By Jake Donovan
The road to Floyd Mayweather’s next—and perhaps final—fight has officially begun. The pound-for-pound king—fresh from a $240 million take following a 12-round win over Manny Pacquiao on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas—is due to return to the very same venue on September 12, against an opponent to be determined in the coming weeks.
A request for his promotional company—Mayweather Promotions—to serve as the lead for the forthcoming event was unanimously approved by the Nevada State Athletic Commission during its monthly agenda hearing Thursday morning in Las Vegas.
The headlining act will air live on Showtime Pay-Per-View, the last of Mayweather’s financially record-breaking six-fight deal since signing with the pay cable network in 2013.
Since signing with Showtime, Mayweather (48-0, 26KOs) has fought twice per year—in May and September, around the same time as Cinco de Mayo and Mexican Independence Day. All five bouts during that span–in fact his last 11 fights dating back to 2007—have taken place at the MGM Grand.
Among the 11-fight stretch at the venue, Mayweather has been part of the three highest grossing events in boxing history. His May ’07 points win over Oscar de la Hoya set records at the time for biggest live gate, most PPV units sold and highest grossing PPV events.
With the win and new level of superstardom also came criticism that Mayweather was the “B-side” in the event, that the revenue records were attributable to de la Hoya’s drawing power. The reigning pound-for-pound king has since put those claims to rest, shattering every imaginable financial record in the sport while also establishing himself as boxing’s biggest box-office attraction in the world.
His win over Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in Sept. ’13 established new records for biggest live gate and most PPV revenue generated from a single event. The 2.2 million units sold fell just shy of the 2.5 million PPV buys generated by Mayweather-de la Hoya.
All of those marks were stampeded and likely never again to be broken following his 12-round win over Pacquiao. The event sold 4.4 million units, raking in $430 million in PPV sales and $73 million at the live gate. Forbes’ magazine estimates the event will have generated close to $600 million in revenue once all receipts—including international sales—are officially tallied.
The profit margin from the May 2 event saw the unbeaten 38-year old boxer clear $240 million for 36 minutes worth of ring work. With that came the question of whether he could find the motivation to return to the gym for a fight just four months later.
With the date, venue and his status as lead promoter officially set, the question now becomes whether September 12 in fact serves as the final fight of his Hall of Fame career.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox