Friday, May 4, 2012
Updated: May 5, 8:45 AM ET
Floyd Mayweather Jr. sets record
By Dan Rafael
LAS VEGAS -- Floyd Mayweather Jr., known as "Money," is in the money yet again with the largest contract guarantee for one fight in boxing history.
Mayweather -- the cover subject of the new "Money issue" of ESPN the Magazine -- will earn at least $32 million for his
junior middleweight title challenge against Miguel Cotto on Saturday night (HBO PPV, 9 ET, $59.95) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The $32 million figure is on Mayweather's bout agreement, which was filed with the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Friday, according to executive director Keith Kizer.
According to Kizer, the previous largest guarantee in Nevada -- where most of the biggest money fights have taken place -- was the $30 million Mike Tyson was guaranteed for the infamous ear-bite heavyweight championship rematch with Evander Holyfield in 1997.
"It's the biggest guarantee ever in the history of the sport," said Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, who said his company was responsible for guaranteeing the money. "Nobody ever had a guarantee bigger. Floyd is in a league of his own. I think that this shows it again."
Mayweather stands to earn many millions more because he also will earn significant money on the profits from the pay-per-view, which is expected to sell well in excess of 1 million units.
Schaefer said the fight is tracking better than any previous Mayweather fight except for his 2007 fight with Oscar De La Hoya, which sold nearly 2.5 million subscriptions and set the record.
In his previous two fights, Mayweather was guaranteed $25 million for his bout against Victor Ortiz in September and $22.5 million for his fight with Shane Mosley in May 2010.
"This is just a testament to his star power," said Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather's closest adviser. "Floyd Mayweather is a one-man walking conglomerate. Of course, this is exciting. Over the last 12 months he is the highest-paid athlete in sports."
Cotto is guaranteed a career-best $8 million but also stands to earn millions more because of what he will earn from the pay-per-view upside.