Ellerbe (left) says that Floyd will fight more often, because he has a renewed sense of motivation for the sport. (Hogan Photos)
Floyd Mayweather’s righthand man Leonard Ellerbe sounded jubilant on the phone with TSS, talking about the up-to-six fight, 30 month deal “Money” signed with Showtime.
“It’s just an exciting day, and Floyd is really excited, and looking forward to going out and performing,” he said. “An active Floyd Mayweather! He’s been whipping these guys and he’s been off, an active Floyd these guys are really going to have hell on their hands. An active Floyd is going to put a can of ass whipping on these guys.”
Ellerbe didn’t want to look much beyond the day and the bombshell news. I asked him if there’s an escape clause, or if Floyd is locked into the Showtime deal for the entire 30 months the release referred to. “I’m not ready to get into details of the deal, I’m just really, really excited, and boxing fans should be excited that he’s opening these doors. He’s already a crossover superstar and this will bring more fans to boxing. But while HBO made a tremendous offer, Showtime’s was in a whole nother universe.”
And will we see Mayweather on CBS proper? “You can expect an active Floyd, everywhere. You might see him in your living room. You might see him in China, in Europe. He’s an iconic global superstar and he continually thinks outside the box.
“He’s singlehandedly had boxing on his back, and he’s kicking down doors, to bring more viewership, more eyeballs. But yet you hear whispers boxing is a dying sport…and he’s the highest paid athlete in all of sports who happens to be best athlete in the world. He’s already the highest paid athlete in sports, and he did that in 48 minutes of work (last year)!”
I didn’t think that Floyd was at all handcuffed by his HBO deal, that it didn’t prevent him from fighting more often. So, why, I asked Ellerbe, would the Showtime deal enable or spur Floyd to fight more often?
He cited Mayweather’s “renewed motivation” and implied that is present because this deal befits an entertainer of his level. “There’s one face in boxing and we know who that is,” he said.
Ellerbe didn’t take the bait, and look beyond May 4. I asked about a faceoff with the Canelo-Trout winner, but Ellerbe answered, “We focus on what is in front of us. Guerrero on May 4. Guerrero is a tremendous fighter, with a tremendous story and he’s coming to win. You can’t fight all of them in one night. Floyd’s been fighting the top fighters and he will continue to do that.”