By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Floyd Mayweather will sit ringside Saturday night for the Manny Pacquiao-Keith Thurman fight.
That’s about as close, according to Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe, as Mayweather and Pacquiao will come to sharing a ring again. Ellerbe told BoxingScene.com on Tuesday that despite persistent speculation that a Mayweather-Pacquiao rematch eventually will happen, the 42-year-old Mayweather isn’t the least bit interested in ending his retirement.
“He’s very content,” Ellerbe said. “He’s living his best life. I just talked to him earlier today. We went over some business stuff. He’s traveling, spending time with his kids, spending time with his family. He’s doing all the things that he never got a chance to do because boxing has consumed his life ever since he was 5 years old. So truly, he’s getting to do stuff for really kind of the first time in his life. And he’s really enjoying it.”
Mayweather-Pacquiao was the most lucrative event in boxing history. It generated more than $600 million in overall revenue and produced a record 4.6 million pay-per-view buys in May 2015.
The long-anticipated fight itself drew intense criticism because it lacked action. Consumers complained, too, that Pacquiao came into it injured.
The Filipino icon contended after losing a 12-round unanimous decision that he suffered a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder during training camp and was far from fully healthy. The injury required surgery the week after Pacquiao’s loss to Mayweather.
Nevertheless, a second bout between Mayweather and the 40-year-old Pacquiao still would be the most profitable boxing match that can be made.
Mayweather is believed to have earned nearly $300 million from the Pacquiao fight. Even if he were to make half as much for a rematch, Ellerbe is certain Mayweather won’t do it.
“Floyd has no interest,” Ellerbe said. “He has zero interest. He’s been doing this all his life. And after a while, you get burned out. He’s given the sport everything. I can relate to everything [Pacquiao is] saying about being an older fighter, where you have to switch it up. Instead of running 10 miles, you might only have to run five because the wear and tear on your body, with all the rounds of sparring, it takes a lot out of you. Because guys like him and Floyd, they separate themselves from everyone else. That’s why we always say it’s levels to this.
“And Floyd’s always been more prepared than his opponents. He’s always been in the best shape ever, because he has given boxing everything. There was no stones unturned. So when you’re an older fighter, you have to make that adjustment. You have to train smarter and not harder. That’s what Manny was saying [earlier Tuesday] and I can appreciate it, because I know exactly what he was saying.”
Las Vegas’ Mayweather hasn’t competed in a boxing match that counts since he stopped UFC superstar Conor McGregor in the 10th round of their August 2017 fight at T-Mobile Arena. On December 31, however, the five-division champion knocked out Japanese featherweight Tenshin Nasukawa in the first round of their three-round exhibition in Saitama, Japan.
Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) will challenge Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs, 1 NC) for Thurman’s WBA “super” welterweight title at MGM Grand Garden Arena, the same venue where Mayweather beat Pacquiao. FOX Sports will distribute Pacquiao-Thurman as the main event of a four-fight telecast (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT; $74.95 in HD).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.