Not surprisingly, Floyd Mayweather, who retired after beating Andre Berto last September, might not be done just yet. Yes, it seems Mayweather, 39, is interested in boxing again, albeit for the right price.
And by “right price,” we mean “$100 million.”
Is a nine-figure pay day in the cards for Mayweather?
“Well, he drives a hard bargain, that’s for sure,” Showtime Sports Executive Vice President Stephen Espinoza said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “If you’re really a fan of the sport – whether you liked him personally or you didn’t like him personally – his fights were a spectacle and he’s one of the most skilled guys of our generation. So again, whether you liked his personality or you didn’t, skill-wise, you’ve got to be a little disappointed to see him retire – and retire when he still has so much of his sills left. So we’re doing everything we can to get him back. I don’t know how many zeroes are going to need to be on that check, but we’d love to see him back for at least a couple more fights.”
Espinoza didn’t divulge specifics, but it’s clear he’s negotiating a fight package with Mayweather.
“I’ve offered him flowers, I’ve offered him chocolates, we’ve sent MoneyGrams – everything,” Espinoza joked. “He gave us an interview this past weekend on air, where he characterized himself as 50/50 about coming back and then very firmly said his target is Conor McGregor. So it’s hard to tell with Floyd how much is hype and promotion and how much is serious intent. But he seems very intent on Conor McGregor. It’s a somewhat surprising choice, to tell the truth. Maybe it’s just a negotiating ploy to make sure that Manny Pacquiao, for example, doesn’t get too aggressive a position in negotiations for a rematch. I don’t know. But I know that over the past two to three weeks, he certainly has been talking about coming back more than he has in the prior six months.”
Many people would prefer Mayweather/McGregor to Mayweather/Pacquiao. In fact, Scott Ferrall called the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight from May 2015 “horrible,” “awful” and “the worst night of my life.”
“It was a spectacle,” a chuckling Espinoza said. “It just wasn’t quite the action that people were hoping for to some extent.”
While McGregor offers the most from a promotional standpoint, Canelo Alvarez, Danny Garcia and a handful of others offer more from a competitive standpoint.
That’s because, you know, they’re actually boxers.
“As a marketing guy and as someone in TV programming, it’s hard to not be interested in the promotion that Mayweather versus McGregor would be,” Espinoza said. “It would be something that sports has never seen. But from a pure boxing standpoint, Mayweather/Canelo would be a phenomenal fight. I think Canelo has matured a lot since he fought Floyd (in September 2013). Danny Garcia is an interesting one. People wanted to see Mayweather versus (Amir) Khan. People forgot that Garcia knocked out Khan, so why shouldn’t Garcia get a shot at Mayweather? So I think it’s going to be an interesting couple months. I don’t think there’s anything imminent. I don’t think anyone should be by their computers looking for updates this weekend, but I do think there’s more to this story. We’ll see.”