The genius of Floyd Mayweather: The billionaire draw even in retirement
Floyd Mayweather has long been enshrined as one of the all-time box office kings.
As a five-weight world champion who retired from professional boxing with a perfect 50-0 record, Mayweather generated approximately 24 million pay-per-view buys and grossed $1.67billion over the course of his career.
That’s far more than the likes of Mike Tyson, Oscar De La Hoya and other formidable PPV draws.
Mayweather told the Million Dollaz Worth of Game show in May: “I would [rather] have the currency than the legacy, my legacy is already engraved in stone.
“They say, ‘Mayweather’s doing exhibitions, it’s bad for boxing.’ At the end of the day, my mother’s a millionaire, my dad’s a millionaire, my children are millionaires.
“My little [five-month-old] grandson is a multi-millionaire and he don’t even know it.”
“I’ve made a billion. I’ve reached that four years ago. [Now I’m] over $1.2billion…
“Tell me another fighter that beat 16 world champions straight? Tell me another fighter that, in just two fights, made $650million?…
“For Pacquiao I made $300 million, for McGregor I made $350 million.”
During his career, Mayweather headlined four of the five highest-bought boxing PPVs ever.
His bouts with Conor McGregor, Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez all netted north of two million buys, edging out Evander Holyfield vs Mike Tyson II.
For context, only one UFC show in history has generated over two million buys – and you know which Irishman that was headlined by.
After making UFC box office phenomenon McGregor the magic number 50 on his record, Mayweather retired from boxing, but he resurfaced again to take on YouTuber turned professional boxer (0-1) Logan Paul.
It’s believed Mayweather, 44, made $132million (£72m) from the Paul fight. He even revealed just one sponsor on his ring shorts netted him $30m. Frankly, that’s insane.
But given his unbeatable aura, cocky attitude and undeniable skills, people paid to watch this man perform. They paid to watch him fail. They paid to witness history.
Even in retirement with those elements of lustre suppressed, Mayweather is still a draw.
“I believe in working smarter, not harder. So if it’s something easy like [the Paul fight], a legalised bank robbery, I gotta do it. I have to do it,” 44-year-old Mayweather said during Showtime’s pre-PPV show Inside Mayweather vs Paul.
“My nickname is ‘Money’ for a reason. I worked extremely hard for years and years to get to a certain level. A level where we can start calling everything an event.”
“I’m retired from boxing. But I’m not retired from entertainment,” Mayweather said.
“Nobody has to watch. Nobody has to pay. Do whatever makes you feel good, and I’m going to do what makes me feel good.”
Joe Rogan commented on Mayweather’s genius after he managed to pull in another record payday.
Now that Mayweather is a billionaire, one does have to appreciate how he has done it.
“About last night… first off I have to say I was really surprised at how much I was looking forward to this fight,” Rogan started.
“Right before the bell rang for the opening around I was legitimately giddy with excitement. I think the whole thing is pretty fascinating.
“First of all Floyd Mayweather is a f***ing genius in more ways than one. He’s arguably the greatest boxer of all time, and in the twilight of his career he’s managed to make hundreds of millions of dollars fighting people who really don’t have a chance to beat him. Just f***ing genius.
“He’s figured out a way to compete into his 40s and make more money than any other boxer alive. It’s really incredible. And the confidence that he has to have in his skills to fight a guy 20 years younger than him and 35 pounds heavier can’t be emphasised enough.
“Not a lot of all-time greats in any sport would take that kind of chance. I think we should appreciate the f*** out of that guy while he’s still around.”
Mayweather is the gold standard for what a box office attraction is and can be. Where McGregor and Tyson had knockout intrigue, Mayweather had skill, confidence that bordered arrogance and undeniable credentials. We won’t see too many like him ever again.
So, as Rogan says, appreciate his genius while it’s still active.