The Gamble 10 Years Ago That Made Floyd Mayweather “Money”


By Ryan Velez

Floyd “Money” Mayweather’s nickname is well-earned, looking to command earnings of over $1 billion after his upcoming $280 million payday from his fight with Conor McGregor. Celebrity Net Worth recently discussed an often-forgotten decision by the boxer that ended up setting up his rise to wealth, which at the time, likely seemed like a huge gamble.

To put things in perspective, between 1996 and 2006, Bob Arum's Top Rank Boxing promotional company represented Mayweather. Fronting the money means that promoters get the chance to get some of the biggest paychecks. In practices, this means organizing fights, paying off all of the necessary costs – including giving the fighters their cut – and taking home the rest of the profits.

In theory, the boxer would be okay with this because having someone else handle the business side of their fights lets them focus on their craft, right? Not if you want to make the most money, which Mayweather ended up deciding to do. In April of 2006, Arum offered Floyd $8 million to fight Antonio Margarito, over double what he had made up to this point. Not satisfied, Mayweather put a counter-offer: $20 million to fight Oscar De La Hoya. Arum ended up passing over this decision, and Mayweather ended up paying $750,000 to break free of his Top Rank contract and become a free agent.

To give a bit of a picture of the risk involved, at the time, Mayweather’s network hadn’t topped $5 million yet. If injury struck or venues and fighters passed him over, he could have easily lost whatever money he had. But in this case, betting on himself paid off, capping off with $25 million in a fight with De La Hoya in 2007 in what was then the highest revenue-producing fight boxing had ever seen.

The final step? In 2013, the Nevada Gaming Commission gave him his own promoter's license, allowing Mayweather to launch Mayweather Promotions. This means that he has to now use his own money for each fight, which includes venue costs, his opponent's purse, the event space, vendors, food, and drink. However, spending now leads to bigger payoffs later, like a 2013 fight against Saul Alvarez that cost Mayweather $10 million to put together and made him $75 million. Mayweather also made $250 million off the awaited Pacquiao fight. How much will his bout with McGregor ultimately bring in? One can only imagine.