By Keith Idec
Floyd Mayweather Jr. clarified on a conference call Wednesday that the maximum contracted weight for his rematch against Marcos Maidana is the welterweight limit of 147 pounds.
Leonard Ellerbe, chief executive officer for Mayweather Promotions and Mayweather’s close friend/adviser, raised eyebrows on Marcos Maidana’s conference call last week by noting that Mayweather (46-0, 26 KOs) and Maidana (35-4, 31 KOs) will fight for the WBC welterweight title and the WBC super welterweight title Mayweather won from Canelo Alvarez nearly a year ago. While Mayweather made the contract weight known Wednesday, neither Ellerbe nor Mayweather provided a legitimate reason why the WBC would sanction the Mayweather-Maidana rematch as a super welterweight title fight when the super welterweight/junior middleweight division begins at 148 pounds and caps at 154.
Mayweather actually sounded surprised when asked on the conference call about the contract weight.
“What do you mean?,” Mayweather asked. “We’re fighting at ’47.”
Ellerbe quickly interjected when a reporter asked why, then, the WBC’s 154-pound title will be at stake Sept. 13 at MGM Grand ($74.95 in HD; 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT).
“Because in an unprecendented move, that’s what we’re doing,” Ellerbe said. “Floyd is defending his WBC title at 154 [in addition to his WBC 147-pound title]. It’s only been done one other time in the sport, when Sugar Ray Leonard fought Donny Lalonde. Floyd brings something different to boxing. That’s why we’re doing it.”
Leonard defeated Lalonde by ninth-round technical knockout in a September 1988 bout in Las Vegas that was contested for Lalonde’s WBC light heavyweight title and the then-vacant WBC super middleweight crown. Lalonde weighed in at 167 pounds for that fight, one below the super middleweight limit. Leonard weighed in at 165 pounds.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.