Friday, June 28, 2013
Source: Barclays interested in Floyd fight
By Michael Woods
Floyd Mayweather showed up at Barclays Center last Saturday and took in the main event, a welterweight scrap between Adrien Broner and Brooklyn's own Paul Malignaggi, and drew one of the loudest cheers of the night when his face was shown on the giant screen.
This was no given, as Mayweather's detractors often outnumber his devotees at public appearances.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. is the sport's current pound-for-pound king.
A not-uncommon reaction that night: Wouldn't it make sense for Floyd, who gloves up Sept. 14 in Las Vegas against Canelo Alvarez, to do one of his fights in Brooklyn at Barclays Center?
It turns out that sentiment is shared by high-level suits at Barclays. I reached out to Barclays, and a source there told me the thunderous reaction to the sport's top draw was an immediate catalyst to explore how to get Mayweather to fight at the arena.
On fight night, Mayweather sat with Barclays Center and Nets CEO Brett Yormark, and he met the man responsible for bringing the much-buzzed-about arena to Brooklyn, Bruce Ratner.
Ratner, I am told, has become much more of a fight fan since Barclays started hosting cards put together by Golden Boy last October, and could be open to helping bring "Money" to BK.
"There is certainly interest in both the ownership and the building to bring Floyd here," the Barclays source told me.
In the past, one hurdle to bringing Mayweather, the top earner last year in sports, has been the tax structure in New York state. Entertainers get a chunk taken from their earnings in New York, as opposed to in, say, Las Vegas, where they are not taxed. When you make around $30 million a fight, as Mayweather does, that becomes a consideration.
Somehow, that tax issue would likely have to be massaged, or worked around, for Mayweather to agree to hit Brooklyn for a bout.
Money aside, one could see other compelling reasons to lure Mayweather to Brooklyn. Among them: Floyd fights the second bout in a six-fight deal with Showtime in September. His foe, Alvarez, is probably the most anticipated of fighters from the opponent pool of those likely to get a shot against the mouthy 44-0 hitter. A fight with Broner would garner great buzz, and that could build into a high-demand option, but it isn't yet ... and besides that, Broner said he respects Floyd and wouldn't take the challenge even for $20 million.
So a Floyd fight in New York would add another level of buzz and hype that could serve to aid any promotion, even one featuring a "B side" that doesn't excite the majority of boxing fans.