Sulaiman talks Mayweather’s influence on the sport, CBS fight, PBC, and boxing’s wealth
WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman believes Floyd Mayweather fighting on CBS in his final fight would have been a massive event in boxing, but ultimately the ‘Money’ man is the only one who can decide as he currently holds all the power in the sport.
Mayweather, 38, plucked out the name of Andre Berto with just six weeks until fight night on September 12, even though frustrated fans are not only surprised by his choice of the Haitian-American, but also with the timing of the announcement.
It’s another example of Mayweather doing things his way, as he has done for many years, with Sulaiman stating that it’s just a sign of the times and something the sport has to allow due to the pound for pound number one’s standing at the top of the boxing tree.
“I don’t know why the fight took so long to announce and it is difficult to speculate. Floyd Mayweather is one of the greatest fighters of the era and there just seems to be so many things going on in his mind,” Sulaiman exclusively told World Boxing News.
“It’s his time. There was a time when it was Muhammad Ali, there was a time for Julio Cesar Chavez, Sugar Ray Leonard and Mike Tyson, but now in boxing its Mayweather time. He is the biggest star of the moment, and as long as he does everything within the rules, it’s okay.”
As Mayweather rakes in nine-figure sums that cannot be matched, even by Filipino great Manny Pacquaio, Sulaiman is hopeful that it won’t be a case of the rich getting richer and that some stability can come from the current king’s reign as the best of his generation.
“It’s a new business structure that boxing has to adapt to. Before, there was no internet so we need to adjust to the current times and I think boxing is going through a great moment, but also a very fragile moment. Things need to happen and be done to keep the synergy and the great opportunities.
“One of the keys is that we must work for fighters to get more opportunities to get more money and I believe there is much more money today in boxing for more boxers than before.”
On the emergence of Mayweather’s advisor Al Haymon and his Premier Boxing Champions amidst continued rumours over their own financial structure, Sulaiman added:
“We have a responsibility to make sure the best for boxing happens. We now have open television in the United States with the PBC and that is huge! It’s a great thing for boxing.
“A lot of people are speculating (about the money side of PBC) and a lot of people are concerned, but we are not and we are supporting what they are doing.
“If they want WBC fights then that is great. It they don’t do WBC fights it’s okay too and were are supportive because of the open television it provides for the fans of the USA.
“If you combine open television with cable and pay-per-view, it’s the perfect scenario for everybody and we just want to support what is best for the sport.”
Sulaiman was finally asked what he made of Mayweather potentially fighting on CBS, rather than his usual format on PPV, to which he replied: “It would have been huge. It would have been incredible and would have been a great opportunity for the PBC series to grow also.
“But those are decisions that are mostly made with only business in mind for the promoter and the fighter,” he added.