LAS VEGAS — Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer expressed confidence on Friday that Saturday night’s Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Canelo Alvarez fight will surpass Mayweather’s 2007 victory over Oscar De La Hoya as “the highest-grossing boxing event of all time, no question about it.”
The record, $136 million, will “definitely be broken,” said Schaefer, who announced on Friday that the Mayweather-Alvarez had eclipsed the record gate with $20,003,150, surpassing the $18,419,200 garnered by Mayweather’s split-decision victory over De La Hoya in May of 2007.
Mayweather will earn a record $41.5 million guaranteed purse compared to Alvarez’s of $5 million. Schaefer estimated that Mayweather stands to pocket “$70 or $80 million” if the grossing record is broken, and Alvarez, “well over $10 million.”
“I was right when I told you guys that it was going to be a record-breaker, and everyone was looking at me with big eyes, like, ‘There he goes again.’ I will tell you one thing, that I am very, very confident to say that this is the highest-grossing boxing event of all time, no question about it,” said Schaefer.
“I feel very confident about that. As of this morning, I just got the report that we have 6,000 closed-circuit seats left out of 27,000 [in Las Vegas,] and then that’s it. That’s never happened. That was the Friday morning report. That’s unbelievable. You go to the lobby in the merchandise store, and there lines that are so long. I got pictures last night at around 12:30 that people were already camping out for the weigh-in.”
Schaefer said he was uncertain whether or not the 2.5 million buys, but that it matters little.
“The 2.5, I’m not yet prepared to say it about that, but I feel very confident that it will be above 2 million buys. Very confident. When I look at the numbers I got this morning, I can tell you that we are significantly above that if these trends hold up,” said Schaefer.
“But, you know, I’m not yet prepared to say that. But the will definitely be broken. The gross is bigger. It will break the highest gross. I have the certificate of the Guinness Book of world records in my office, so I always look at it. It’s going to be bigger than that.”
MAYWEATHER: ‘I BUST MY ASS’
Although much has been revealed during Showtime’s All Access: Mayweather vs. Canelo regarding what it has taken for THE RING’S No. 1-rated pound-for-pound fighter to prepare for Saturday night’s clash with Alvarez, Mayweather said there is a lot that viewers don’t see.
“I bust my ass. I worked my ass off to get here, man,” said Mayweather, a 36-year-old five-division titlewinner.
“You guys only see what they show you. You guys don’t see working out three, four times a day to fight these young guys who are 23, 24 years old. I talk to the young guys under my Mayweather Promotions’ banner.”
Mayweather (44-0, 26 knockouts) will be after his ninth belt against the 23-year-old Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 KOs).
Mayweather also responded to criticism that he has faced carefully selected opponents, even as his success has made him the highest-paid athlete over the past two years.
“I can never be upset with what the media write about me. I can never be upset, because I don’t read nothing no way. I’m in my own world. If they want to get my attention, let it go across the television screen when I’m watching college football. I’ll be like, ‘Hey, they’re interfering with my game,’” said Mayweather.
“If they said Mayweather has hand-picked his opponent, then my team’s done a f–king good job. They’re supposed to hand-pick my opponents. Everything is supposed to go easy for me. Life is supposed to be easy. Who wants to go through life in a hard way and a tough way. If I’m able to hand-pick my opponents and make 60 or 70 or 80 million or 100 million dollars, then keep doing it.”
MORE ON THE CATCHWEIGHT
Mayweather will face Alvarez at a catchweight of 152 pounds, a fact that has become a source of contention during fight week. Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe said Alvarez’s management put him at a “disadvantage” by allowing that concession to Mayweather.
Alvarez argued that Mayweather not only asked for the catchweight, but that he originally tried to make him fight at 147. After agreeing to the 152-pound mark, Alvarez — who estimates that he could re-hydrate to as much as 172 pounds come fight night — said the Mayweather camp tried to get him to agree to weigh in the day of the fight.
“Finally, so we could make it I said, ‘look, if anything I’ll give up two pounds. I’ll go to 152.’ I agreed to that. I’m the one that made the decision to go to 152,” said Alvarez on Tuesday.
“Then, they came up with a second-day weigh-in. They wanted to do a second-day weigh-in and limit what I could weigh the second day, and I wouldn’t agree to that. And then they tried to force me to stay quiet and to not mention it, and that’s why we didn’t say anything. And we haven’t said anything until now.”
Ellerbe summed up the results as “business.”
“We just took advantage of the situation. It’s no different from basketball, football or baseball. You’re always going to put your opposition at a disadvantage if you can. You break them down, and you go in for the kill. The kid, himself, he had suggested it a long time ago that he would be willing to come down and fight Floyd at 150.That was just one example. He put it out there,” said Ellerbe.
“This is business. It’s business at the end of the day. If he’s going to put himself out there like that, we’re going to hold his feet to the fire. His manager, the same way. He’s making the most money he’s ever made. At the end of the day, he knew who was on the A-side. That’s what being on the A-side is. It’s about having leverage, and that’s all that it is. We’re always going to put every opponent at a disadvantage.”
Billed as “The One,” the nine-fight Mayweather-Alvarez card also feattures RING junior welterweight champ Danny Garcia (26-0, 16 KOs) putting his WBA and WBC belts on the line against RING No. 1-rated 140-pounder Lucas Matthysse (34-2, 32 KOs), as well as IBF junior middleweight beltholder Ishe Smith (25-5, 11 KOs) against Carlos Molina (21-5-2, 6 KOs).
In super middleweight fights, Luis Arias (6-0, 3 KOs) of Las Vegas, meets James Winchester (16-8, 6 KOs) of Reidsville, N.C., Ronald Gavril (6-0, 5 KOs) of Las Vegas, takes on Shujaa El Amin (12-4, 6 KOs) of Flint, Mich., and Lanell Bellows (5-0-1, 4 KOs) of Las Vegas will face Jordan Moore (3-0) of Logan, W.Va.
In addition, middleweights Chris Pearson (11-0, 8 KOs) of Dayton, Ohio, and Joshua Williams (9-5, 5 KOs) of Westerly, R.I., will engage in battle, as will cruiserweights Andrew Tabiti (1-0, 1 KO) of Las Vegas and Edward Smith (1-0) of New York.
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com