by Andreas Hale
Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe is usually the smooth talker when it comes to promoting Floyd Mayweather fights. But at the media workouts prior to Mayweather’s August 26 showdown with Conor McGregor, Ellerbe was visibly agitated and wasted little time addressing the elephant in the room.
“Mind your f***ing business,” Ellerbe said to critics who have criticized everything from the ticket sales to the fight itself. “The fans wanted this event. We didn’t ask for this.”
Ellerbe’s ire was drawn over the statement that were recently made by his promotional rivals, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya and Top Rank CEO Bob Arum - with both promoters advising fans to turn away from the Mayweather-McGregor pay-per-view.
“It's amazing those idiotic comments that Bob said the other day, telling people don't buy their event because this and that,” Ellerbe said.
“Have you ever heard me say that about any of your [fights]? None of this makes any sense. But what it comes down to, it comes down to the same guys that's hating on the sh*t are the same guys who wanted to be a part of it. He wasn't saying that a few months ago when he openly, publicly said, ‘if Mayweather deal can't come together, I'd love to put Manny Pacquiao in there.' He wasn't saying that then.”
“When that other idiot Oscar said — and I'm saying that cause that's what I think of him and yes, I did say that — when he says the same thing. He would love to promote Conor McGregor and also he sees no other fight for him other than Canelo. Well what happened then? It was okay then as long as they could potentially be part of it. But now because they have nothing to do with it, then they want to trash it. It's okay. I wish them nothing but the best. One of them is a great promoter and been around for a long, long time.”
Ultimately, Ellerbe says that the super fight is something built specifically for the casual fan and the more hardcore fans should understand why this fight is taking place. It’s not something that Mayweather went after but he wasn’t going to turn it down given the financial windfall that is expected to hit his bank account. If the hardcore fans don’t like it, Ellerbe says don’t spend money on it.
“The hardcore fan is the reason why our sport isn’t where football and basketball are [in terms of mainstream success],” he said. “You tell me what’s wrong with these two guys fighting. If you don’t like it, don’t watch. But don’t be like these media members and promoters telling people why they shouldn’t watch the fight.”