Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe has been a part of some rowdy and rambunctious promotions over the last two decades.
Most recently, Floyd Mayweather Jr. threatened to kill Jake Paul after the YouTuber-turned boxer snatched his hat weeks before the fighter of the decade fought his brother Logan in an exhibition. There was also the massive, foul-mouthed promotion between Mayweather and Conor McGregor that featured a flurry of insults and F-bombs.
Ellerbe is days away from guiding the star of his stable in Gervonta Davis (24-0, 23 KOs) to a June 26 fight against Mario Barrios (26-0, 17 KOs) at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta on Showtime pay-per-view.
Ellerbe said the promotion took a wrong turn when Barrios assistant trainer and cutman Don Ames — a decades-long disciple of Virgil Hunter — graphically prophesied on Andre Berto’s Instagram page that Barrios is going to “bust [Davis’] head to the white meat.”
“I have so much respect for Virgil Hunter because he’s my dude, but Tank is going to f--- his boy up, for real,” Ellerbe told BoxingScene.com in an interview.
“[Ames] definitely crossed the line. A fighter is responsible for his team. What he said is some street sh!t. There is no room for that in boxing. Tank don’t play like that. Tank is a street dude. Tank is going to f--- him all the way up. It’s going to take their entire corner and the referee to get Tank off of this motherf-----. This has now gone from a dangerous fight, which I’ve said all along, to something more. You don’t understand. I grew up in the streets. Where we’re from, sh!t is different. [Ames] said [Barrios is] going to crack Tank’s head and bust it down to the white meat! You don’t say sh!t like that! He got this sh!t all the f-----. I have never heard anyone say some real disrespectful sh!t like that. When you talk that sh!t there are repercussions behind it. [Ames] put a bounty on his kid’s head. Everybody knows what that means. I feel bad for Mario Barrios. I really do.”
Davis and Barrios met at a press conference last month and were respectful toward one another, but a livid Ellerbe continued to state that chivalry is dead.
“Never as a promoter have I wished anything bad upon a fighter. At the end of day, everyone wants to be able to go home. I take great pride in fighters having health in competition and going back to their loved ones to enjoy the fruits of their labor,” said Ellerbe.
“Now this sh!t is all the way personal now. Tank is going to f--- him up. I promise you that."
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com