Although Brett Yormark didn't land Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s May 3 defense against Marco Maidana, despite what he called the "most unprecedented offer that's ever been made outside of Las Vegas," the Barclays Center CEO said the "offer is still there for him to call Barclays Center home."
"Floyd decided to stay, to some degree, in his comfort zone," said Yormark of Mayweather, who chose to make his ninth straight appearance at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in defense of his RING and WBC 147-pound championships.
"He knows Vegas, and he knows the dynamics that are involved when it comes to fight day. He's also loyal to the MGM, and I respect that. But I know that Floyd Mayweather is certainly aware of our interest, and he's aware of how we would market it, promote it and finance it. We've been very transparent about all of that. So, I think that it's just up to him to truly determine that it's time."
Could that time be just around the corner?
Thanks to a union with Barclays Center, Golden Boy has promoted seven boxing cards at the venue from October 2012 through this past January, including one in December that was headlined by Brooklyn welterweights Paulie Malignaggi and Zab Judah.
January's main event featured Luis Collazo's second-round knockout of ex-beltholder Victor Ortiz. Collazo, who was born in Brooklyn, will next fight Amir Khan on the Mayweather-Maidana card on Showtime Pay Per View.
Collazo has revitalized his career by winning all three of his fights contested at Barclays Center, where the former welterweight titleholder also earned a unanimous decision over Steve Upsher Chambers in October 2012, as well as a fifth-round knockout of Miguel Callist last April.
Yormark said that a Mayweather-Collazo bout at Barclays Center would be "a dream come true."
Other notable fights at Barclays have included Malignaggi's loss of his WBA 147-pound title to Adrien Broner, Brooklynite Peter Quillin's six-knockdown performace against Hassan N'Dam for the WBO middlweight title, two wins by RING 140-pound champion Danny Garcia, against Erik Morales and Judah, and Bernard Hopkins' unanimous decision over Tavoris Cloud to take the IBF light heavyweight title.
Yormark shared his thoughts about the potential for Mayweather-Collazo and boxing in general at Barclays in this, the first of two Q&A's with RingTV.com:
RingTV.com: What it would take for Barclays Center to get the next Mayweather fight?
Brett Yormark: I don't know. Obviously, we made a big push for this current fight. We made arguably the most unprecedented offer that's ever been made outside of Las Vegas. Floyd decided to stay, to some degree, in his comfort zone. He knows Vegas, and he knows the dynamics that are involved when it comes to fight day.
He's also loyal to the MGM, and I respect that. So I don't know what it would take for him to not fight there. We led with our best, we thought we had put together a pretty compelling pitch, and at the end of the day, we were close, but we didn't get it done. So I don't know what it will take.
But I know that Floyd Mayweather is certainly aware of our interest, and he's aware of how we would market it, promote it and finance it. We've been very transparent about all of that. So, I think that it's just up to him to truly determine that it's time. Time to do something a little different, and it's a time for him, obviously, to come into the No. 1 market in the world and to show the fans, the consumers and Madison Avenue, Wall Street — to show them all who is he is and what he does.
So until that time, when he decides that he wants to do something different, I'm just not sure what it's going to take. My offer is still there for him to call Barclays Center home, for sure. Whether that's the next fight or the fight after that, he knows our desire to, No. 1, be in the big event business, and, No. 2, to host what we think would be a mega-event. We're gracious to do it, and, obviously, he's got to want to.
RingTV.com: How would you feel if Mayweather fought Collazo next and it’s at Barclays Center?
BY: For me, personally, that would be a dream come true. When we opened up Barclays Center, our goal was a couple of things. Our goal was to re-establish boxing on a regular basis, and to do that here in the Northeast and specifically here in the metropolitan area. Another goal was to establish Brooklyn as a hotbed for boxing from the grassroots level up.
That also means investing in the sport, which we have done. With the help of Golden Boy, we've been able to nurture and build the careers of many local and Brooklyn-area fighters. Luis Collazo being an example. Barclays Center kind of gave him the next chapter, I think, in his career.
Obviously, the night against Ortiz was incredible. To the extent that we can build on that, and bring a championship and a fight that would certainly appeal globally to Brooklyn, not only to see arguably the best of all time in Floyd Mayweather, but to see Mayweather fight a Brooklyn fighter, that is certainly something for the storybooks, and we certainly would love to be a part of it.
RingTV.com: Your thoughts on Collazo and how he told you how important Barclays Center is to him?
BY: Listen, Luis Collazo loves the venue, and he loves what we're doing. He really appreciates the commitment that we've made to boxing and to local stars like him and Paulie Malignaggi and Peter Quillin and Danny Jacobs and Eddie Gomez.
They can hop in a car, and in only a few minutes ride, they can be fighting in a world class venue where they can showcase their talents. That wasn't necessarily the case. There is an incredible pride factor when you think of Brooklyn, where most of them grew up.
The pride of being able to fight in front of your hometown fans, friends and family. We've been able to afford these fighters that opportunity, and in my mind, that has certainly made a big difference. That's our goal, and will continue to be our goal.
RingTV.com: Your impressions of Barclays Center’s boxing franchise, what is making it successful, and what are your goals moving forward?
BY: Well, I mean I think that it has been very successful. We partnered with the right promoter in Golden Boy, and we've developed an incredible outreach here in the metropolitan area here when it comes to the boxing community. I have personally spent a lot of time with the boxers.
I love it when "Kid Chocolate" [Peter Quillin] and Paulie and Eddie Gomez and Danny Jacobs and Marcus Browne and Luis Collazo and Zab Judah want to fight at Baclays Center and consider Barclays Center their home. I think that's a great, great thing for us, and that gives us an opportunity to truly embed ourselves into the community.
In the meantime, and in addition to those fighters, we've also entertained world-class opponents for our Brooklyn contingency, so that's been great. Not only do the fights have local significance but they also have national significance, and that was our goal. Being with Showtime, they've helped to glamorize Barclays Center and to glamorize the borough.
They've done a great job of working with us to promote boxing in general. So it's been a great first 18 months here, and, starting with July, when we'll have our next fight, we'll be very aggressive in the back half of the year as far as our fight schedule with Golden Boy, and we're looking forward to continuously growing the sport and being a big part of it.
Listed below are the seven boxing events hosted by Barclays Center and promoted by Golden Boy:
Oct. 20, 2012
Danny Garcia KO 4 Erik Morales
March 9, 2013
Bernard Hopkins UD 12 Tavoris Cloud
April 27, 2013
Danny Garcia UD 12 Zab Judah
June 22, 2013
Adrien Broner SD 12 Paulie Malignaggi
September 30, 2013
Sadam Ali UD 8 Jay Krupp
December 7, 2013
Paulie Malignaggi UD 12 Zab Judah
January 30, 2014
Victor Ortiz vs. Luis Collazo