During Floyd Mayweather Jr''s. trip to Johannesburg, South Africa, last month, the nation's Minister of Sport and Recreation, Fikile Mbala, praised boxing's No. 1-ranked pound-for-pound fighter with words befitting a king.
Referring to Mayweather's "priceless" visit, Mbala told the boxer that his countryman "don't sleep when you fight." As part of a week-long, four-city visit designed by organizers to "resuscitate" boxing in South Africa,
Mayweather visited the late South African President Nelson Mandela's apartheid-era jail on Robben Island in Cape Town and also took part in a ceremony with Mbala posthumously honoring popular South African boxer Jacob "Baby Jake" Matlala. Mandela died on Dec. 5 at the age of 95, and Matlala, at the age of 51 on Dec. 7.
Mayweather told guests at a Jan. 17 dinner at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg, South Africa, that "September 2015 will be my last" after having earlier suggested that he "looks forward to coming back" to South Africa, adding, "hopefully, coming back and fighting."
But will Mayweather fight in South African before the end of his career? Rob Murray Jr., whose Philadelphia-based Duality Management facilitated Mayweather's trip, is one person who believes that Mayweather just might.
Murray was able to set up Mayweather's trip with assistance from music executives Ryan Press, Nigel Talley and Tibo Touch
"People around the world, particularly people from that continent. Black people. They love him and adore Floyd Mayweather. They really rolled out the red carpet because their intent, and I don't know if it will happen, but it was a huge step for them in terms of creating excitement for the country toward Floyd maybe having his last fight on Robben Island in South Africa," said Murray, son of the late former Philadelphia-based boxing trainer, manager and promoter by the same name.
"I'm telling you that they would be willing to basically put a blank check in front of Floyd's face to make it happen if he was interested. The country of South Africa rolled out the red carpet for Floyd Mayweather in terms of media, and in terms of accommodations and in terms of whatever it needed for Floyd to be happy and content. They have the means and the capability to offer Floyd $10 to $15 million more than what he would get in Las Vegas, and they are willing to do it. So that tells me that the potential is absolutely there for Floyd to globalize his brand by potentially fighting in the home of Nelson Mandela."
For now, Mayweather (45-0, 26 knockouts) still is considering the opponent he will fight next on May 3 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas amid wide speculation that he will face England's Amir Khan, who stated publicly in late December that he has signed his contract to face Mayweather.