There are some athletes who simply have the Midas touch. Take former jailbird Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather for example. He’s already lucky enough to be the world’s highest-paid sports star and he’s going to see his earnings guaranteed for at least another 30 months now. It was announced on Feb. 19 that the undefeated boxer from Michigan has signed a lucrative multi-million dollar deal with American broadcasting network Showtime
The first bout of his newly-signed deal will be against Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero on May 4 on pay per view. The deal came as a mild shock to many boxing insiders and fans since Mayweather has fought most of his bouts on Home Box Office (HBO) over the past several years and the CBS-owned Showtime is its major rival.
The financial details of the 30-month contract haven’t been released yet, but it’s been reported that Mayweather may fight up to six times during the length of the deal and it will be recognized as the richest contract for an individual in sports history. HBO will be taking it on the chin since Mayweather has generated $543 million in revenue for the network over the years and has sold 9.6 million pay-per-view units.
Forbes magazine recognized Mayweather as the highest-paid athlete on the globe last summer as he made a total of $85 million in the previous 12 months by taking on Miguel Cotto and Victor Ortiz on pay-per-view events. He made $40 million against Ortiz and $45 million more against Cotto. Mayweather has his own boxing promotion company called Mayweather Promotions, which enables him to keep a larger percentage of revenues. He basically scoops up the revenue from sponsorships, pay-per-view sales and ticket sales and then takes care of his opponent’s purse as well as the rest of the cost. Whatever’s left over is shared between him and the taxman.
Mayweather isn’t somebody who gets involved in personal endorsement deals, perhaps because some companies don’t really see him as much of a role model. Instead, he talks the businesses into sponsoring his bouts and in turn that helps sell more pay-per-view units. By signing with Showtime, Mayweather’s fights will be heavily promoted via CBS.
Since Mayweather made $85 million last year, you can bet the new deal pays him an exorbitant amount of cash. HBO also offered him a contract, but the boxer said Showtime came up with a much better deal. He made $120 million combined in his last three contests. He was guaranteed a minimum of $32 million for the Cotto fight and then earned another $13 million on top of it when all of the revenue and pay-per-view money was added up. The $32 million was a record for a guaranteed purse. The last three bouts also averaged 1.4 million pay-per-view sales.
Of course, all records would probably be blown out of the water if Mayweather ever agrees to take on Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines. Mayweather and Pacquiao are generally seen as the top two pound-for-pound boxers in the world and it’s a fight the fans want to see. However, it may never take place if Mayweather waits much longer since Pacquiao has lost his last two matches. If he fights Juan Manuel Marquez for a fifth time and is beaten again, a bout with Mayweather will be dead in the water.
It’s believed that Mayweather’s new deal will see him make between $200 and $250 million. He could possibly make more depending on pay-per-view sales and who he’s fighting. He’s only entered the ring four times in the last five years though, so it’s unclear how often he plans to fight. He’s about to turn 36 years old and his biggest fight lately has been trying to avoid a long jail sentence. If he can keep his nose clean, he may just treat the fans to six more fights.
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