Fighter of the Decade Floyd Mayweather has attributed some of the blame for HBO’s Boxing collapse to the bosses who rejected his demands for a six-fight deal.
Back in 2012, Mayweather wanted to cash himself out with the biggest contract possible. He subsequently gave HBO first refusal on the most lucrative terms any sportsman has ever secured.
To his own astonishment, HBO rejected giving the ‘Money’ man an unprecedented two-fight per year deal between 2013 and 2015, worth in the region of $200 million.
Mayweather took the same agreement to Showtime and the rest is history. Showtime would then benefit from a 2017 comeback.
Conor McGregor crossed over for one of the most lucrative bouts of all time, earning all involved over $400 million dollars for one event.
Just over a year later, HBO went off-air and Mayweather believes their decision not to renew with him was a major factor.
“This is what happened. I basically told HBO, ‘this is what I need’,” Mayweather told Drink Champs on Revolt TV. “They said, ‘nobody is going to give you that deal’.
“I said, ‘HBO – when I told you guys a long time ago that I was going to be the biggest fighter you guys ever had, you guys doubted me.’ And when I kept telling you guys, you said, ‘Floyd – you’re right’.
“Then I said, ‘the show that I created ’24/7’ – that I got an Oscar, for that show. But they didn’t give me the deal I need.
“I kept going to them and saying, ‘let’s make this happen’. Then I said, ‘If you don’t make this happen, you know how big I am. I’m colossal.
“So I went over to Showtime and made Showtime the A-side. And when I made Showtime the A-side, HBO Boxing is now off-TV.”
Showtime hasn’t exactly gone from strength-to-strength since, though. The launch of DAZN, ESPN+, and FOX’s emergence has spread the playing field thinly.
A lack of top stars on the network, largely due to other promoters moving elsewhere has hindered Showtime from remaining a massive force.
If Mayweather is to make a comeback to the sport anytime soon, as promised, it would be interesting to see if Showtime would be the first port of call.