Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s announcing his rematch against Marcos Maidana on Thursday, just as Saul “Canelo” Alvarez was staging his news conference for a Saturday pay-per-view fight, was simply business, Mayweather’s advisor said.
“That’s about the dumbest thing I’ve heard all week,” Leonard Ellerbe told the Los Angeles Times in a telephone interview. “I didn’t even know they were having a news conference. Floyd’s the biggest fighter in the sport. We’ve got business to take care of.
“We’re going to do what we need to do. We’re not going to let anything get in the way of our bottom line.”
Mayweather defeated Alvarez in the richest fight in history in September 2013, but tension between Mayweather and Alvarez's promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, has risen lately.
Alvarez earlier this month said he wanted to fight in May and September of 2015, Mexican holiday dates usually reserved for Mayweather.
Mayweather (46-0) opted to finalize the Sept. 13 rematch with Maidana on Showtime pay-per-view, deciding to fight again at MGM Grand in Las Vegas and retain De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions as co-promoter.
The staying power of that union is unknown.
Golden Boy had previously secured the Sept. 13 date at MGM Grand on Showtime. Stephen Espinoza, a vice president at Showtime, encouraged the sides to cooperate.
Mayweather’s own company, Mayweather Promotions, doesn’t have a license to promote fights in Nevada, and Mayweather’s strongest ally at Golden Boy, former chief executive Richard Schaefer, recently split with the company.
“Floyd’s fighting Sept. 13, and he’ll put on a tremendous show for the fans,” Ellerbe said after a May bout between Mayweather and Maidana that one judge scored a draw while the other two gave Mayweather decisive victories.
“Maidana thinks he won.... It’s a huge fight. The first one was very exciting. This is what the fans want. Floyd made adjustments in the fight. Now, you’ve got to prepare again, come in as best you can. Maidana’s going to come in and make adjustments. Their camp feels they won the fight, so maybe they’ll fight more like they were in the beginning throughout.”
Ellerbe said Mayweather wanted to fight in Las Vegas again, where he’s established a comfortable routine, instead of taking the fight to Brooklyn.
“We had several offers on the table,” Ellerbe said. “Everyone wants Floyd in their state and country.”
That meant doing business with De La Hoya, who lost a split-decision to Mayweather in the second-most lucrative bout in boxing history in 2007. The pair have been at odds ever since over a variety of issues.
Schaefer had been the buffer.
De La Hoya said he didn’t meet personally with Mayweather, but leaned on Golden Boy matchmaker Eric Gomez to strike the co-promotion deal with Ellerbe.
“That decision was based upon Leonard Ellerbe and Floyd Mayweather understanding what Golden Boy Promotions brings to the table,” De La Hoya said. “We know how to promote. We have been involved in the biggest events in boxing history. What we both bring to the table, we’re a powerhouse. We can create the biggest events together, and they understand that.”
De La Hoya said his relationship with Mayweather is not hostile.
“Just confusion, misunderstanding,” De La Hoya said. “I know deep down inside Floyd Mayweather has no reason to hate me, and I have no reason to hate Floyd, whatsoever. I believe if one day we sit down in a room and talk face to face, we’ll be doing business for a very long time.”
The Mayweather-Maidana media tour will begin Monday in New York and continue to Washington, D.C., Chicago and San Antonio before concluding in Los Angeles on July 17.
“I made a decision that, yes, we want to be in the Floyd business, and yes, we want to contribute to a September fight,” De La Hoya said. “We’re just creating another big event for boxing.”