Floyd Mayweather Jr. knows all too well about starring in a high-profile split from a promoter.
In 2006, Mayweather bought himself out of his Top Rank contract for $750,000, and the rest, as they say, is history, as Mayweather went on to stage some of the most lucrative boxing events in history against the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Canelo Alvarez, Manny Pacquiao, and Conor McGregor, among others.
Mayweather retired with an unblemished record of 50-0 and backed up the Brink's truck along the way as the world’s highest-earning athlete during his active years.
The fighter of the decade now presides over his own company in Mayweather Promotions. The star of his stable features Gervonta “Tank” Davis (26-0, 24 KOs), the undefeated knockout artist who’ll headline his fourth-consecutive Showtime pay-per-view event against Rolando Romero (14-0, 12 KOs) on May 28 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Davis added some unforeseen fuel to the pre-fight fire this week when he said in a since-deleted tweet that “my contract is up, that's why [Mayweather Promotions] wants me to fight this clown [Romero] so bad.”
FightHype.com founder Ben Thompson spoke to Mayweather following Davis’ statement to get Mayweather’s side of the story.
"Nothing lasts forever. I will always love Tank. I like him. Love him – look at him as a son. He has to do what's best for him,” said Mayweather. “I feel like I've done a great job thus far, building him and putting him in good fights, great fights. He's steady growing, he's steady learning. I'm proud of him."
Davis lobbed several other barbs toward Mayweather this week, including: “they put my tickets on sale one month before like I’m f------- Michael Jackson or something.”
Whether or not there are real fractures between the two will further be seen once Davis is in the thick of training camp.
Davis has held his last three camps at Mayweather’s gym in Las Vegas for wins against Leo Santa Cruz, Mario Barrios, and Isaac Cruz.
After addressing the elephant in the room, Mayweather wore his promotional hat and proceeded to hype up the fight.
"Two heavy hitters. Of course Tank has more experience at this level at this particular time than Rolly,” said Mayweather, who also promotes Romero. “He talks a good game but he also fights a good game because he's undefeated. It's a very exciting matchup between two heavy hitters. Everybody is anticipating this fight ... this is going to be a blockbuster fight.”
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