The boxing world has been buzzing with Floyd Mayeather’s recent comments regarding long-time confidant and business partner Leonard Ellerbe. In an interview with Fighthype, Mayweather appears to disclose that he has grown apart from Ellerbe, and the two may be splitting from a business standpoint within Mayweather Promotions.
Mayweather cites the dubious dual-championships he was defending against Marcos Maidana in their rematch, along with several logistical snafus, ranging from an issue with his father, to the seating arrangement for his family on fight night. All told, those issues seem to be chump change.
So what’s really going on here, and what’s the future of Mayweather, Ellerbe and Mayweather Promotions?
This is entirely speculative, but dig a bit deeper and look into what’s going on with Mayweather’s promotional company right now. Top prospect and protege J’Leon Love just got knocked out. Mickey Bey just managed to sneak away with a win over Miguel Vazquez, but was previously coming off a knockout defeat. Badou Jack got knocked out.
All of their rising fighters are taking bad L’s on the way up, and Mayweather has to be seething about it. Perhaps Ellerbe gets some of the blame there, whether for putting together the fights or otherwise steering certain fighters in the wrong direction. Again, all speculative.
Another place to speculate though is where Richard Schaefer and Al Haymon fall into all of this. Schaefer is still embroiled in a legal battle with Oscar De La Hoya after his departure from Golden Boy Promotions, but it’s no secret that Mayweather and Schaefer are business-buddies.
Schaefer also has a far greater wealth of knowledge and acumen when it comes to putting together the absolute biggest events and working with a wealth of talent for an extended period of time. Is Mayweather looking to push Ellerbe out, as an excuse to bring Schaefer in? Maybe Ellerbe didn’t want to play second fiddle behind Schaefer, and as such was shown out the door.
When Schaefer separated Golden Boy and left the company in a bit of disarray, one school of thought had him teaming up with Haymon for a new promotional company. But what if Mayweather felt that Ellerbe, either on his own or along with Haymon, was taking too much control within Mayweather Promotions? What if he was actually trying to prevent a Schaefer-Golden Boy scenario within his operation?
Lots of different scenarios here, and at this point, we don’t really know which of them have any merit, or if any of them. Maybe it really was all about seating arrangements for his family. Who knows. It’s also unclear whether Ellerbe is actually going to be ousted from Mayweather Promotions, or if he and Floyd’s business relationship and friendship is merely cooling off, while the business structure remains in place.
Maybe this is all just a diversionary press story to take attention away from the negative press Mayweather was receiving for everything from his comments about Ray Rice, to his own past and present with domestic violence issues, to apparently not tipping a waitress on a check for tens of thousands of dollars at his post-fight party.
If you have any thoughts or theories, feel free to add them in the comments below.