By Rick Reeno
Leonard Ellerbe, the CEO for Mayweather Promotions, called his boxer's deal with Showtime/CBS - "a great day for boxing." It was announced on Tuesday that Floyd Mayweather Jr. (43-0, 26KOs) had signed a six fight agreement with Showtime/CBS.
The first match of the multi-fight agreement will land on May 4th at the MGM Grand - when Floyd defends the WBC welterweight title against Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero (31-1-1, 18KOs).
Mayweather has spent the better part of his career with HBO, but Ellerbe indicates that Showtime was very aggressive and came out swinging with both hands to secure a long-term agreement with Mayweather. The financial details are confidential.
"It's a tremendous day. This is historic and groundbreaking. HBO made a tremendous offer. Showtime/CBS, they stepped up to the plate and they made it perfectly clear that they want Floyd Mayweather. And guess what? Just like anybody who really, really wants to be in a situation - they were extremely aggressive and Floyd was extremely impressed," Ellerbe told BoxingScene.com.
"This is great for boxing. Floyd Mayweather was the highest paid athlete in sports anyway. As an example, to put in perspective on what we're talking about. According to Forbes, their list of the NBA salaries - you have Kobe Bryant, you have Lebron James, you have D. Wade and you have Kevin Durant - and Floyd Mayweather made more money than all of them combined last year. What he's doing, is once again he is going to be able to crossover and bring more eyeballs to the sport."
"The biggest and baddest star in the sport also happens to be the highest paid athlete in all of sports. Those things go hand in hand. And this will enable Floyd to bring more visibility to the sport, which will attract more fans to the sport. When you look at young fighters out there, they mention one name and one name only. The generation that we're in right now, with the young people, from the ages of 18 to 34 and these categories who watch boxing, and not just watch boxing because they are boxing fans, but watch boxing because of Floyd Mayweather - because he brings entertainment, he has a tremendous amount of charisma and when he comes he comes to perform - and the fact that nobody has been able to solve that puzzle. He brings so much more to the sport then just the fights. Floyd's fights are events.
In terms of the fight itself, Ellerbe made it clear that Guerrero was Mayweather's preferred target for May 4th.
"Floyd wanted to fight Robert Guerrero That's what Floyd Mayweather wanted to do. He's a very good fighter. He has a tremendous story and he's going to come to win. That's all you can ask for, for a guy to come and lay it all on the line. But he's going to be in for a rude awakening. With all due respect to my guy, Andre Berto - Floyd's fight with Guerrero will not look like the fight Guerrero had with Berto. Guerrero has a tremendous amount of confidence because he beat a very, very good fighter in Andre Berto," Ellerbe said.