Floyd Mayweather has been an HBO fighter since...seems like forever. That changed, today, when it was announced that "Money" will be getting his money from Showtime, and its parent company, CBS.
The deal, according to a release, will "enable" the 43-0 Mayweather to fight up to six times over 30 months. The first fight in the deal will be a May 4 clash in Las Vegas, against Robert Guerrero. The release boasted that if Mayweather fights those six times, and continues to maintain his PPV numbers, the deal "will be the richest individual athlete deal in all of sports."
I reached out to HBO, for a response. A spokesman offered this take.
"We made an aggressive and responsible pay-per-view offer. Now we move on. We are focused on the best boxing franchise in the television business. We are proud of the roster of superstar fighters and emerging stars who are scheduled to appear on the multiple HBO television platforms this year."
Mayweather first fought on HBO on Sept. 6, 1997, against Louie Leija, on "Boxing After Dark." That relationship was by no means a smooth one all the way through. Back in 1999, Mayweather didn't care for a renewal offer, a seven fight deal which he termed a "slave contract."
On the undercard, Canelo Alvarez will meet Austin Trout in a junior middleweight tussle.
Comcast's Ryan Maquinana broke the story.
Here is the release sent out by Mayweather Promotions.
LAS VEGAS (Feb. 19, 2013). Undefeated eight-time world champion Floyd "Money" Mayweather, boxing's pound-for-pound king and the highest paid athlete in the world (Forbes, 2012), has entered into a groundbreaking pay-per-view deal with Showtime Networks Inc. and its parent company, CBS Corporation. Under the new deal, SHOWTIME PPV® will collaborate with CBS Corporation to comprehensively promote Mayweather's events on the CBS Television Network and via the corporation's expansive media platforms.
The deal-a unique revenue-sharing arrangement between SHOWTIME PPV and Mayweather-will enable him to fight up to six times over a period of 30 months, with the first mega-event taking place on May 4, 2013, when Mayweather will fight Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero. More details of this upcoming event will be announced shortly.
Mayweather's new deal is by far the biggest in the sport of boxing (specific financial details are contractually confidential). Mayweather is the PPV king and averages over 1 million PPV buys per event, which is the highest PPV buy average of any boxer in history. At this record-setting PPV performance level, if all six fights contemplated by this deal occur, it will be the richest individual athlete deal in all of sports.
Thoughts, readers? Is this a seismic shift in the boxing world? Where does this leave HBO? Is Andre Ward or Adrien Broner their lead dog? Can Guerrero (31-1-1) hand Floyd his first loss, in their clash for Floyd's WBC welterweight title? Floyd turns 36 on Feb. 24--will he really fight six times with Showtime? How much longer will he lace em up?
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