Floyd Mayweather is moving his circus from the skies to the high seas.
BoxingScene.com has learned that the rescheduled exhibition between Mayweather and former sparring partner ‘Dangerous’ Don Moore will relocate to Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) from its previously planned staging on a helipad atop Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai.
The luxurious island—roughly one hour southwest of Dubai—was chosen for logistical purposes once the reality of moving forward with the event in the same location was no longer an option after most of the original staff left Dubai. The event was previously due to take place May 14, only for the passing of UAE president Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan on May 13 to force a three-day suspension of work and service throughout the nation.
An overall 40-day period of mourning—Muslim tradition for the death of a member of the Islamic community—ultimately prompted LiveNow and Global Titan Fight Series to call for a months-long postponement with the event eyed for October.
Mayweather (50-0, 27KOs) chose to take matters into his own hands, moving forward with the show and calling for remaining staff to have as many undercard fighters as possible flown back into the region. Both sides of the WBC silver junior lightweight title fight complied, with former lightweight champ Delfine Persoon (46-3, 19KOs) and unbeaten Elhem Mekhaled (15-0, 3KOs) both boarding a plane Wednesday evening in time to proceed with what’s left of Saturday’s event.
MMA legend Anderson Silva will serve as the co-feature versus Brazil’s Bruno Machado in an MMA exhibition bout, maintaining its place in line when the event was still scheduled to take place in Dubai.
Former two-division titlist Badou Jack (25-3-3, 15KOs) remains on the show as well, or so suggests his image placed on the revised fight poster with the new location.
Moore (16-0-1, 12KOs) has not fought since 2016, and never versus an opponent of note. The 45-year-old from Gary, Inidana won his last fight in a second-round knockout of Deshaun Williams who was 5-16-1 at the time of their September 2016 clash in Conyers, Georgia.
Mayweather (50-0, 27KOs) takes part in his third exhibition bout since retiring in 2017. The 45-year-old Hall of Fame former five-division champion was last seen going eight rounds with content creator and cruiserweight novice Logan Paul last June in Miami, headlining a Showtime Pay-Per-View event that reportedly generated 1,000,000 buys.
The action was the first in the ring for Mayweather since a first-round knockout of kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in their 2018 New Year’s Eve exhibition in Saitama, Japan.
Mayweather left the sport for good in 2017 following a tenth-round knockout of UFC superstar Conor McGregor who made his pro debut for the occasion. The bout ended a 23-month ring absence for Mayweather, who previously announced retirement after a September 2015 points win over Andre Berto at MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas. The win over Berto came four months after Mayweather soundly outpointed fellow boxing legend Manny Pacquaio (62-8-2, 39KOs) in May 2015, atop what remains the highest grossing event in boxing history.
Championship wins in five weight divisions along with his longtime status as the sport’s pound-for-pound were properly honored with three BWAA Fighter of the Year awards and the 2010s Fighter of the Decade. Mayweather was a slam-dunk, first-ballot selection for Hall of Fame enshrinement as part of the Class of 2021. He will be formally enshrined this June as part of a three-class induction ceremony, with the 2020 and 2021 induction ceremonies both canceled due to the pandemic.
Streaming options for the show remain unclear as this goes to publish. Fite TV was originally to carry the event via Pay-Per-View ($29.95 SRP), though no longer offers the option to purchase as the website lists the event as postponed.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox