By Rick Reeno
WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. (44-0, 26KOs) explained some of his reasons for leaving Top Rank in 2006. While the split has been well documented, Mayweather explains that it took him years to figure out the behind the scenes politics and why Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, as Mayweather claims, would not allow him to face promotional stablemates Miguel Cotto and Oscar De La Hoya - when all of them were fighting under the Top Rank banner.
After becoming a free agent, Mayweather faced De La Hoya the following year in a record-breaking pay-per-view showdown. Mayweather was able to fight Cotto in May 2012, after Cotto himself became a free agent.
"I didn't understand business back then. I was young. Now that I'm older, and wiser, I understand business. For Top Rank, Oscar De La Hoya was their cash cow. So they are not going to risk me fighting him and him taking a [loss]. Top Rank didn't believe in me. [Bob Arum] said I was one of the best fighters that he ever seen, but he didn't believe in me. Eventually [Oscar] was smart, eventually Oscar left," Mayweather said.
"[Arum] wouldn't let me fight Cotto because he knew 'Floyd is going to leave and I'm not going to let [Cotto] get beat because I'm going to have to build him up to be my cash cow.' Once he got Pacquiao, he said 'Pacquiao is my cash cow' and he didn't mind feeding Cotto to Pacquiao at a catch-weight."
This Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Mayweather will challenge Saul "Canelo" Alvarez for the WBC/WBA junior middleweight titles.