The pressure of tremendous public demand, according to Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer.
“If I get that kind of pressure, and Mayweather gets that kind of pressure, and Broner gets that kind of pressure,” said Schaefer, “then I think that’s when that fight has the chance of happening.”
Pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. is coming off a unanimous decision that dethroned RING 154-pound champion Canelo Alvarez on Showtime Pay Per View in September and became the highest-grossing boxing event of all time and drew a record $150 million in revenue.
Mayweather (45-0, 26 knockouts), who turns 37 in February, is expected to return to the ring on May 3 either at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, or potentially at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
There is wide speculation that final details are close to being completed for Mayweather to face England’s Amir Khan, and that the announcement could be made as early as this week.
But on tonight at The Alamodome, the man who considers himself to Mayweather’s “little brother” will take center stage as 24-year-old three-division titlewinner Broner (27-0, 22 KOs) puts his WBA welterweight belt on the line against Marcos Maidana (34-3, 31 KOs) in what could well be his most difficult test to date.
But as far as Mayweather, Broner has stated that no amount of money would entice him, and Schaefer said the same applies to Mayweather.
“I’m not so sure that money is going to be the motivating factor for Floyd Mayweather,” said Schaefer of a man who has won nine belts over five divisions. “Because Floyd Mayweather has so many other opportunities to make that kind of money, and, frankly, much more. Adrien Broner has a lot of opportunities as well.”
Mayweather has signed a package with Showtime that could be worth $250 million, according to an online report by Forbes’ Magazine, which has contributed to his being the world’s highest-paid athlete in any sport over the past two years.
Broner has earned title belts over three weight classes, having taken the WBO’s junior lightweight belt by third-round knockout over Vicente Martin Rodriguez in November of 2011, and the WBC’s lightweight title following an eighth-round stoppage of Antonio DeMarco in November of last year.
In his last bout in June, Broner jumped two weight divisions for his 147-pound debut with a split-decision victory that dethroned Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi for the division’s WBA’s belt.
Although Broner failed to earn his seventh straight stoppage win against Malignaggi, he ended the loser’s five-bout winning streak after rising two weight classes from lightweight.
“I think that both of those guys are entertainers, and I think that it can happen when the fans are going to really, really demand it, and this is going to be the fight where everybody wants to see. The kind of pressure is going have to be on Mayweather and on Broner, like it was on us to get Mayweather and Canelo done,” said Schaefer.
“Because everywhere I went, it was like, ‘We’ve got to do Mayweather and Canelo,’ and, ‘You’ve got to do Mayweather and Canelo.’ I’d like to see it, but I’m telling you right, now — and we’re going to have that conversation after the fight –,don’t be so sure that Broner’s going to win on Saturday night.”
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org