By Jordan Moskowitz
To be free or not to be.
That's a question that Floyd Mayweather Jr. has to answer.
He has a lot on his mind.
He is currently training and trying to figure out if he wants to have the final fight of his career on free television instead of PPV.
While most fans would celebrate Mayweather fighting on CBS to avoid shelling out close to $100, someone with knowledge of the looming deal said the idea of fighting on free TV is a stretch.
And they blamed the difficulty of selling ads so close to the actual fight to explain why it doesn't quite make sense for now.
The greater possibility is that Mayweather fights on Showtime PPV on September 12 with Andre Berto the favorite to fight him.
Mayweather is expected to announce the fight next week with all the details, the source said.
Those in the Mayweather camp view the option of fighting on free TV as a strategical business move from a public relations perspective to put Mayweather back in the good graces of fans.
After Mayweather's boring win against Manny Pacquiao on May 2, his reputation and that of Pacquiao's seemed to take a beating.
“What better way to make it up to the fans after the Pacquiao fight than fighting on CBS?” a source said.
The person close to Mayweather said he also wanted to leave a favorable impression with fans by ending his career on free television.
Mayweather has stated his fight in September- the final of his six-fight contract with Showtime/CBS- will be his last of his career.
But because of the differences in the money between fighting on Showtime PPV and CBS, Mayweather (48-0, 26 knockouts) on free TV is an idea that's almost too good to be true.
In other words, it's probably not going to happen.
Mayweather’s last fight with Pacquiao set a record 4.4 million buys on PPV and he pocketed more than $200 million.
Not bad for a day's work.
By fighting on CBS he will make a lot less money.
And we know that Mayweather likes money.
Mayweather is reported to have a guarantee of around $30 million per fight in his Showtime deal. However, a source said the deal was “flexible” and wouldn't preclude him from fighting on CBS.
No, the bigger issue to putting the fight on CBS, an industry source said, is trying to figure out how to accumulate advertising revenue on such short notice since that is where the money is made.
"Rarely do you have an event of this magnitude that you hear about in two or three months’ notice,” the source said. “If there were nine months to plan the event, it would be a different ball game (in terms of selling ads).”
Another option for Mayweather, said an industry source not directly involved with Mayweather, is for him to fight on PPV in September and then go for his 50th win next year on free TV. That way, he would give officials ample time to sell advertising.
Mayweather’s selection of Berto as probablly next opponent has also surprised some, since Berto's best days seem behind him.
The gossip site TMZ.com reported on Monday that a deal was already in place for Mayweather to face Berto.
But that announcement was a bit early, with sources saying the final details were still being ironed out.
Someone close to Berto has also said that Berto (30-3, 23 knockouts) hasn’t been officially told he will fight Mayweather next.
"We're waiting like everyone else," they said.