The rumor is persistent and until the man himself gives the word, it cannot be considered more than a persistent rumor….but it’s darn sure looking like that #FreeBoxing4All hashtag is going to have some legs, if indeed it plays out that Floyd Mayweather will fight TBA on Sept. 12 from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on CBS.
Yes, CBS, that “free” over the airwaves, terrestrial network which is available to anyone who owns a TV in the US. That is something like 120 million households, friends….
Mayweather is a pay-per-view perennial, and his last fight, a once in a quarter century-level extravaganza, did bangup business. More than 4.4 million buys were activated and who knows how many folks were inside those viewing spots. But Floyd on free TV, that would figure to be a massive informercial for whatever “Money” wants to do next. He’d expect to go to 49-0 on Sept. 12 –maybe against Andre Berto–and then for his 50th fight, he could prime the pump on network television, not behind any sort of paywall.
I reached out to folks that might be able to respond to this rumor, which a few people not directly in the Mayweather camp stated on Saturday looks to be the real-deal Holyfield. I have not heard back, as yet, from a spokesman at Showtime, which signed “Money” to a six fight deal in February 2013.
Mayweather is intensely prideful about being his own boss and doesn’t like it when cats are prematurely released from bags, so until he gives word to spill the beans about Sept. 12 specifics, we will continue to speculate, hopefully in informed fashion. But yeah, I’d tend to think if this Floyd on CBS deal looking cemented info were faux, I’d maybe have heard back from potential corroboraters. But maybe not…
Reaction to the Floyd on CBS deal would and will be mixed. People will wonder how and why he’d leave money on the table, being that there seems to be no way to match the directness of revenue collection which the PPV model embodies. But who knows if, say, Al Haymon might make up the difference, if he wanted to piggyback on the Mayweather fight and blanket the airwaves with ads for his PBC series? Also, we don’t know how much CBS and Showtime grossed off #MayPac; maybe there’s an appetite to SPEND some of that gain, hand it back to Floyd for what he might be leaving on the table by being off PPV. And then again, we hear he’s guaranteed $33 mill an outing. There might be a considerable blowback/dropoff after that Pacman fight letdown…so who really knows, but deep insiders, how much he would, or would not make, beyond his guarantee, on Sept. 12….
Others will say that there is no sure bet that the “informercial” aspect of such a setup would be a home run. Mayweathers’ skills are sublime, but subtle. His defense, his punch anticipation and his ability to make em miss, are his best asset. That is appreciated by the hardcore…but casuals are not likely to be in jaw-dropping mode when he does his thing…if they expect Mike Tyson, they will be saddened. So, even if he attracts 12 million viewers, we can’t know how many of them will stay sticky, stay in “watch boxing” mode.
Anyway, I reiterate, until “TBE” drops word on Shots or whatever, it is none of this set in stone. But signals point to #FreeBoxing4All to be in effect Sept. 12.