By Jake Donovan
Whether or not Floyd Mayweather’s announcement on Wednesday qualifies as a bombshell would depend on one’s affinity for fantasy sports.
The big reveal by the former pound-for-pound king wasn’t a rumored ring comeback or even information on a future Mayweather Promotions event. Instead, it was his latest business venture as he’s partnered up with daily fantasy sports app Daily Number.
“After careful consideration and discussion with my team, I will be joining Daily Number in 2019—the baddest mother*****s in the game,” Mayweather announced in a promotional video which he shared on his verified social media account.
Mayweather (50-0, 27KOs) joins National Football League (NFL) star and app co-founder Richard Sherman among the paid celebrity athletes to endorse the product, which is intended to compete with popular models such as Draft Kings and Fan Duel.
The product comes with a twist, however. Whereas other DFS apps are modeled after salary cap and player-versus-player formats, Daily Number allows users “to play against a target score,” according to co-founder Tom McAuley. “The objective is simply to beat the target.”
Scores are determined by an algorithm which analyzes matchups and assigning a star rating for each player. From there, seven-player lineups compete against the target score. Payouts are based on degree of difficulty in regards to the elite level of drafted players. Lower-rated lineups which beat the target score offer a larger payout.
Having already carved out a Hall of Fame boxing career and presently active in promotion and sports gambling, the unbeaten former five-division champion is now seeking the biggest challenges in his latest business venture.
“My next opponent is Draft Kings,” Mayweather insisted during the promo. “That’s right, we coming for the crown. Considering my partnership with Daily Number, fantasy sports will never be the same. I change the game with everything I touch, whether it’s boxing, gyms, you name it… and now fantasy sports. I put my money where my mouth is.”
Current available prizes include a pair of Mayweather-autographed boxing gloves.
Mayweather grossed more money through his events than any other boxer in history. His long-awaited—if not ultimately disappointing—May ’15 showdown with longtime rival Manny Pacquiao remains the highest grossing event of all time, amassing upwards of $600 million in total revenue. The bout ran his record to 48-0, taking on one more fight—a 12-round win over Andre Berto in Sept. ‘15—before calling it a career at the time.
He’s since returned to the ring for two fights versus MMA standouts.
His Aug. ’17 clash with UFC superstar Conor McGregor—whom made his boxing pro debut—serves as the second highest-grossing boxing event ever, as well as Mayweather’s last official bout. He resurfaced last New Year’s Eve in a one-sided boxing exhibition with Japan’s Tenshin Nasukawa, a kickbocking and MMA star whose weight is the boxing equivalent of a featherweight, the size difference evidence in Mayweather’s one-sided knockout.
With Pacquiao having since aligned himself with Mayweather’s longtime boxing adviser Al Haymon and Premier Boxing Champions, rumors continue to swirl of a rematch one day materializing. Pacquiao currently owns a secondary welterweight title, which he defended in a 12-round win over Adrien Broner this past January.
The current rumor mill has him eyeing a summertime PPV showdown with unbeaten welterweight titlist Keith Thurman. For now, don’t expect Mayweather to take on the winner—or any other boxer for that matter.
“You know, championship belts they collect dust; I’m in the check cashing business,” Mayweather insisted, emphasizing his love of money being greater than his desire to retirn to the ring.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox