This week six-weight world champion Floyd Mayweather announced that he will be defending his WBC welterweight title against the interim champion Roberto Guerrero at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, on May 4.
But in terms of boxing business, the more significant news was that the undefeated fighter has ended his 16-year relationship with television channel HBO and signed with network rivals Showtime where he is scheduled to appear six times over 30 months.
But will Mayweather, who is approaching his 36th birthday, realistically compete six times in two-and-a-half years?
For most boxers this question would be a moot point. But Mayweather is not your average boxer.
Since his win over Juan Manuel Marquez in September 2009, Mayweather – who has an unblemished record of 43 wins (26 K.Os) – has only fought three times.
Despite his inactivity and incarnation last June for two months after assaulting his ex-girlfriend back in 2010, Mayweather grossed £54m last year following bouts against Victor Ortiz and Miguel Cotto to be crowned the world’s highest paid sportsman.
So when it comes to finance Mayweather brings a lot to the table, and even though figures of his contract with Showtime have not been declared, it is more than likely that the offer was incredibly lucrative.
But back to the original question. Can Mayweather live up to his side of the bargain?
Let’s look at the variables. In his last four contests, the Las Vegas native has fought in May and then September meaning that there are plenty of dates where he could fight, but the last time he fought twice in a year was way back in 2007 when he defeated Oscar de la Hoya and Ricky Hatton.
If Mayweather was to lose or become old overnight then we could actually see him compete more – an immediate rematch to avenge a loss could occur – or we could see him retire, which would not be a shock considering he has retired twice previously before returning.
Very few elite prizefighters have reached the 50 professional fights unbeaten mark and that could be a goal that Mayweather wants to achieve.
But he is not nicknamed ‘Money’ Mayweather for no reason. He has admitted that he would rather be wealthy than secure a pugilistic legacy. Mayweather turns 36 on February 24 and the richer Mayweather has become, the less he has competed.
With more money in the bank guaranteed to be coming his way, it is unlikely that Mayweather would risk potential injury just to satisfy Showtime.
Showtime have undoubtedly pulled out all the stops to the secure the signature of Mayweather and if the eight-time world champion does appear in the ring more, then that can only be good for boxing.
But whether or not Mayweather will be able to live up to his contractual agreement remains to be seen.1099433