Floyd Mayweather has a promotional company with a 38-year-old flagship fighter — himself — and no heir apparent when he leaves the sport.
There is an heir apparent to his pound-for-pound throne, Andre Ward, and for Mayweather Promotions to thrive as a major boxing entity, it has to get top-shelf fighters under his banner. Ward was available as a free agent this year, and his manager once worked in the same role with Mayweather, so why doesn’t Mayweather Promotions have an Andre Ward?
“We’re not in the business of taking losses,” Mayweather replied.
Mayweather Promotions has developed a couple of lower-tier title-holders, short-reigning junior middleweight Ishe Smith and lightweight Mickey Bey.
The company has high hopes for others in its stable, such as J’Leon Love and Ashley Theophane.
But when Ward came on the open market after breaking his contract with the late Dan Goossen’s promotional company, Mayweather Promotions watched as the second-best fighter in the world signed with Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports.
Ward is managed by James Prince, who was Mayweather’s manager from 1999-2003. But he has fought three times in two years and at 31, his marketability never has caught up with his ability.
“Andre Ward’s skills, I mean, he’s one hell of a fighter,” Mayweather said. “But if I’m making a business move, I have to go to Adrien Broner, because once again, I understand business. Hate it or love it — personality.”
Of the chief challengers to Mayweather’s pound-for-pound throne, he has defeated Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (Golden Boy Promotions) and Juan Manuel Marquez (Top Rank Inc. and Fernando Beltran), and is fighting a highly anticipated blockbuster next against Pacquiao (Top Rank)
Mayweather also has been linked to Ward, though the 168-pounder is far too big for such a fight to be realistic, and middleweight Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. Mayweather repeatedly has said that he won’t move up to middleweight, the 160-pound limit. The Pacquiao fight is at welterweight (147) and Mayweather never has fought heavier than junior middleweight (154).
Still, many would like to see Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs) test himself against the hard-hitting Golovkin if he wins against Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs).
Mayweather sounded more interested in a Ward-Golovkin matchup.
“Triple G, I’ve seen the kid fight,” Mayweather said. “I’ve only seen him fight once, actually. If he was fighting Andre Ward? Andre Ward, hands down. But Triple G, he’s a solid competitor, and he likes to engage in battle, whereas in the past, I got criticized for being a defensive, smart fighter. But it paid off in the long run. It really paid off in the long run.”
Mayweather has two fights remaining on his CBS/Showtime contract, and however long he continues his active boxing career, he hopes for an equally long reign as a leading promoter.
To do that, Mayweather Promotions needs stars.
“I just want to continue to work with fighters and try to look for that next Floyd Mayweather, or the next Manny Pacquiao,” Mayweather said. “That’s what it’s about, the next Mike Tyson, the next Zab Judah. That’s my ultimate goal, to try to make the next fighter a pay-per-view star.”