Floyd “Money” Mayweather says boxing wants him back, but he is moving on to mixed martial arts.
No, Mayweather is not planning on stepping in the octagon and trading leather with men half his age for less than a quarter of the money he would have made boxing. Instead, the retired, undefeated boxer told Fight Hype that he wants to be a promoter.
“They want me back, but it’s time for me to move on to MMA. It’s time for me to start promoting fights, you know, for the MMA. You know, I’m ready to get involved in that business now. Of course, you already know what the MGM Grand stands for, ‘Mayweather Gets Money.’ I’m still doing that, every month the check comes in. We’re talking about my smart investments. Oh man! I got to thank Al Hayman, baby. Al, man, you put that deal together. Aw, man! And I got that big, big money.”
Certainly, few people would make better promoters than Floyd. The outspoken Mayweather is well-known not only for flaunting his lavish lifestyle, but for his ability to generate pay-per-view buys. His fight against Filipino boxer and politician Manny Pacquiao, for instance, garnered so many last-minute purchases that it caused technical issues with providers and forced the main event to be pushed back 45 minutes.
— Floyd Mayweather (@FloydMayweather) March 18, 2016
(Interestingly enough, Manny Pacquiao is also involved in MMA. Back in 2014, the 37-year-old purchased shares of the Singaporean mixed martial arts promotion ONE Championship, and all of the gyms he owns in Asia offer MMA classes.)
This is not the first time Floyd Mayweather has talked about promoting mixed martial arts. Back in 2014, Mayweather told Fight Hype that he looked forward to putting on his first MMA show.
“I look forward to putting on my first MMA show also and having me some MMA champions. Like I said before, Floyd Mayweather loves to think outside the box. We’re not just one-dimensional. We’re very versatile and we have an open mind. When I get into the MMA game, I want them to make more money than they’re making because from what I hear, they’re not being treated fair.”
Mayweather’s name has also frequently been brought up in MMA news.
In 2015, mixed martial arts media blew up over the idea of Mayweather fighting former women’s bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey. Though few expected the fight to actually happen, the media storm generated heated debate over whether or not a female mixed martial artist as talented as Rousey could win in a fight over a man who has been considered the greatest boxer of his era.
Mayweather fanned the flames of the media’s fire when he confused Rousey for a man and told the reporter “I don’t know who he is.”
Rousey hit back at Floyd after she won the Best Fighter Award at the 2015 ESPY awards, asking him how he felt about “being beat by a woman for once?” The comment was an obvious jab at Mayweather’s history of domestic violence.
Despite the controversy and, at times, animosity between the two, Mayweather offered to help Rousey train after her defeat at the hands of kickboxer and former bantamweight champion, Holly Holm. Mayweather even told Rousey to “hold her head up high, and don’t let this discourage you.”
Another famous MMA face Mayweather said he offered to reach out to was UFC president Dana White. According to Floyd, the “Bald Father of MMA” used to work for him and his uncle.
“He [Dana White] used to run around with me and nobody would wear his patch and I said I would do it for free, showed him love and I’m proud of him. I’m proud of how far he has come.”
But will Floyd Mayweather be as generous when and if he promotes mixed martial arts? Will he become nearly as successful as he has in his boxing career?
The world of combat sports will have to wait and see.
[Image via Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press]