To Floyd Mayweather Jr., money apparently supersedes ego.
Boxing’s undefeated pound-for-pound king wanted to fight Sept. 13 in Las Vegas. To do so, he either needed a promoter’s license in Nevada or needed to work with someone who has one.
Mayweather was reluctant to do business with Golden Boy Promotions, which had worked with him on his past nine fights dating to 2007, when he fought Oscar De La Hoya. Mayweather has a close personal and business relationship with Richard Schaefer, who resigned as Golden Boy’s CEO on June 2 because of philosophical differences with De La Hoya, Golden Boy’s president, about how the company should be run.
But the 37-year-old Mayweather reconsidered, and De La Hoya will be the promoter of record for his Sept. 13 title fight against Marcos Maidana at the MGM Grand Garden, a rematch of their May 3 bout that Mayweather won by majority decision.
The bout will be shown on Showtime Pay Per View, the fourth of a six-fight deal that Mayweather signed with the company in 2013.
Mayweather, the World Boxing Council welterweight champion and the World Boxing Association welterweight super champion, made the announcement Thursday morning through social media on an app that he uses and promotes.
“This is about business and doing our job to make sure Floyd maximizes his earning opportunities,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “Our job is to make sure our guy has the opportunities he wants.”
De La Hoya, talking after Thursday’s news conference at the MGM to promote Saturday’s junior middleweight fight between Canelo Alvarez and Erislandy Lara, said he and Mayweather don’t have to love each other to work together.
“There’s no reason for me and Floyd not to work together,” De La Hoya said. “We don’t have to be enemies.
“Being part of the Floyd business is very important to us. We know how to promote fights, and this is about business. What Golden Boy brings to the table is valuable, and what Mayweather brings to the table is valuable.”
Ellerbe said Maidana (35-4, 31 knockouts) earned a rematch after his first performance against Mayweather (46-0, 26 KOs).
“He made Floyd work, and Floyd respected that,” Ellerbe said. “But there’s no question that Floyd will fight Maidana much differently this time, and I can guarantee you the outcome will be much different. There won’t be any decision this time around.”
Stephen Espinoza, executive vice president and general manager of Showtime Sports, would not say how many buys the first Mayweather-Maidana fight did. There have been reports that it did about 900,000.
According to records from the Nevada Athletic Commission, the fight attracted a crowd of 15,718, producing a live gate of $15,021,400, the fourth-largest in state history.
“We made a conscious decision not to get into the numbers,” Espinoza said Thursday. “But I’ll say this: If the first fight wasn’t a financial success, we wouldn’t be doing an immediate rematch.”
Ellerbe said Mayweather is going through the process to secure a promoter’s license in Nevada. He recently obtained his license to promote in New York, prompting rumors he would fight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. But Ellerbe said Mayweather’s intention has been to fight in Las Vegas.
“I tip my hat to Mayweather,” De La Hoya said. “He didn’t have to give Maidana a rematch. He could have found another promoter. But the fact is, he gave us the opportunity. It was a business decision that made common sense.”
Contact reporter Steve Carp at email@example.com or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.