Floyd Mayweather + Mark Cuban = PBF MMA fight in the future?
Mayweather mulling move to MMA in deal with Cuban
By Dan Rafael and Marc Stein
Updated: December 21, 2007, 11:28 PM ET
Floyd Mayweather Jr., the world's No. 1 boxer, is strongly considering a revolutionary jump to mixed martial arts under a deal being discussed with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather's adviser and best friend, told ESPN.com Friday night that the five-division world champion, who generated 3.25 million pay-per-view buys and more than $200 million in revenue in two mega fights in 2007, came away from a Thursday meeting with Cuban giving serious thought to taking his game and considerable drawing power to MMA.
"It's definitely something he is interested in, and when Floyd makes his move, obviously it's going to be a mega event," Ellerbe said. "We don't have a timetable. Floyd is taking some time off, but Floyd understands what is involved. You have to take time to go out and understand what you're getting involved in, and he's ready to do that. But it's something he's definitely interested in doing.
"Mark Cuban is a very successful business man and has some very, very successful business ventures that we've discussed. We're looking to do a lot of business with Mark. He's a great guy, and we had a great meeting. Doing an MMA event with him is most definitely something we are looking at, among many things we are looking at doing with Mark Cuban."
Mayweather's interest in participating in an MMA event was sparked after he struck up a friendship with Cuban during their participation this season as contestants on the ABC reality series "Dancing with the Stars."
Cuban was Mayweather's guest at the fight and even carried two of his championship belts into the ring before he knocked out England's Ricky Hatton to retain the welterweight world championship Dec. 8 in Las Vegas.
Mayweather and Cuban were together again Thursday in Las Vegas, where they met to discuss various business ventures, including Mayweather participating in an MMA event.
A few boxers, such as former heavyweight contenders Ray Mercer and Frans Botha, have attempted to compete in mixed martial arts with little success. Mayweather's entrance would bring it to another level, especially at a time when the sports have been pitted against each other by fans and media -- MMA as the hotshot newcomer trying to overtake the century-old, more traditional sweet science.
One of Cuban's many business interests is ownership of HDNet Fights, a fledgling mixed martial arts promotional company whose bouts are aired on Cuban's HDNet. Cuban promoted his second event Dec. 15 in Dallas.
"Floyd is considering fighting with HDNet Fights," Cuban told ESPN.com. "We are going to let him visit some gyms to talk to some folks about what it would take to learn. He knows it won't be easy. But he is getting involved with MMA and HDNet Fights one way or another. He is pumped about it. He wants to go on to the next big thing. Floyd is a brilliant marketer. He follows the money."
Indeed, Mayweather, like Cuban, knows how to make money. Mayweather, 30, won the year's two biggest fights, a decision against Oscar De La Hoya in May in a fight that shattered all boxing revenue records and a 10th-round knockout of Hatton that did 850,000 buys and $47 million in television revenue on HBO PPV.
Mayweather-De La Hoya, with 2.4 million buys, set the all-time PPV record. Mayweather-Hatton was the biggest PPV fight in history not involving De La Hoya or heavyweights Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield.
Mayweather earned about $50 million for the two fights.
"If I said there's a guaranteed $30 million payday, Floyd would be lacing them up," Cuban said, optimistic that Mayweather would eventually participate in an MMA match. "If not, I could see him working to train and develop and invest in MMA fighters, knowing the upside. He can teach them how to be a better boxer and add to their other skills."
After each of his last three fights, Mayweather has talked about retirement or, at least, an extended break. Ellerbe said Mayweather is on vacation now but that when he returns, they'll discuss the prospect of an MMA bout in more detail.
"Floyd is about taking on challenges," Ellerbe said. "This ain't some kind of prank. That is one of many things we've talked about with Mark. Floyd would have to take time to really understand it, but it is most definitely something he is interested in."
Dan Rafael is ESPN.com's boxing writer. Marc Stein is the senior NBA writer for ESPN.com.
I realize that PBJ loves to mouth off and talk about things which will never, ever happen. I am reasonably sure this is one of those things, because he will get DESTROYED against any legitimate lightweight MMA fighter, and although he's a mouthy annoying jerk much of the time, i'm sure he realizes this.
He's probably just doing this for free publicity and to get MMA fans interested in his next boxing PPV. Still, it has to legitimize MMA a little that the #1 PFP boxer in the world is supposedly considering MMA.
Also you have to give Mark Cuban credit. I really like a lot of the things he was saying about HDFights. Fighters can fight in other organizations. Comprehensive health care for all of his fighters, whether they're fighting or not. Encouraging fighters to form a union for collective bargaining.
Even if this doesn't work out (which it won't), I have to give Cuban credit both for the PR boost and the fact that he at least got PBF to talk about it.
Oh almost forgot, my BIGGEST fear is they actually do the fight, and Cuban finds some guy who is a bad striker with no ground game/wrestling ability at all and PBF somehow wins, then declares boxing > MMA and doesn't fight another MMA match again. Ugh, if you thought the boxing nutriders' "PBF is too fast for MMA, they can't punch for crap, look at liddel rampage, they would shoot and PBF would knock them out" was bad now . . .
Yeah right. I'll eat my beanie if that happens.
shoot. take his back. and sub
If it does happen, like most, I'll be watching.
A tenner says he does better than Hatton.
Originally Posted by heyguy
You gonna eat your beanie first?
Originally Posted by RunningDog
Never going to happen. PBF has no reason to, nothing to gain and everything to loose.
Yeah, they just don't pay the MMA guys on the same level yet.
Once they do, then we'll see some **** like this. By then though, mayweather would be old and irrelevant.
No, Mayweather would have the best training, the best supplements, the best coaches, the best ability to train with all of the best. He's already a phenomenal athlete, and could afford to hire all the champs in all the divisions in all the promos in all of MMA to train him for a year if he wanted, **** the UFC, he could get exclusive rights to their services, LOL.
If Mayweather decides to do MMA right, he'll be champ.