Lem Satterfield

Leonard Ellerbe: Floyd Mayweather Jr. , MGM ‘comes down to them dollars’

LAS VEGAS — Although Floyd Mayweather Jr. eschewed Barclays Center in favor of his ninth straight appearance at the MGM Grand against Marcos Maidana, Leonard Ellerbe said the home of the NBA's Brooklyn Nets still has at least three more fights within which to land THE RING's No. 1-ranked pound-for-pound fighter.

A 37-year-old Las Vegas resident, Mayweather (45-0, 26 knockouts) will fight at the MGM for the 12th time, overarall, against Maidana (35-3, 31 KOs) despite what Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark characterized as 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," said Yormark of Mayweather, during an interview with RingTV.com earlier this month.

"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."

Ellerbe agreed with Yormark's assessment of why Mayweather yet again selected the MGM, adding, "but, also…it comes down to them dollars."

Ellerbe shared his thoughts with RingTV.com during on Saturday at Wolfgang Puck's restaurant at the MGM, where Maidana spoke to reporters along with trainer Robert Garcia and strength and conditioning guru Alex Ariza.

"Barclays Center made a tremendous offer, and there were other offers too that were very, very good that I can not divulge. But they [Barclays] made a tremendous offer. They stepped up, but the MGM stepped up, too," said Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions.

"It's about comfort level, but, also, at the end of the day, it comes down to them dollars. You can't spend conversation. It just comes down to making these decisions on what's best for you and your family, and your career."

Bound for the Hall of Fame and having won eight title belts over five divisions, Mayweather is not only the sports' highest paid boxer, but also, the highest paid athlete over the past two years, having parlayed that into a successful promotional company named for him.

Mayweather earned a guaranteed $41.5 million  for September's unanimous decision over Canelo Alvarez for THE RING, WBA and WBC 154-pound championships, a bout which was the highest-grossing boxing event of all time with nearly $150 million in revenue reported,

Mayweather-Alvarez eclipsed the existing mark of $136 million earned by Mayweather’s 2007 victory over Oscar De La Hoya.

An online report by Forbes Magazine estimated that Mayweather’s exclusive six-fight agreement with Showtime — his third in the deal being the upcoming bout with Maidana –  could be worth a guaranteed $250 million to Mayweather, who made his first-ever appearance on Showtime Pay Per View when he beat Robert Guerrero last May.

Mayweather pocketed a purse of $32 million against Guerrero, tying the record mark he earned with a unanimous decision victory over Miguel Cotto in May 2012. Mayweather netted a total of $45 million against Cotto.

Asked if Mayweather could yet choose Barclays, Ellerbe said, "Of course."

"There's always a possibility. We get all kinds of offers to go all across the globe. It's just a matter of we love fighting here at the MGM," said Ellerbe.

"They have treated us so, so wonderfully, and it's a great feeling for Floyd to be able to get up, get out of his 20,000 square feet mansion, and drive a couple of miles down the road and to just come and pick up $30 or $40 million. That's a great feeling."

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