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 re-
match with Evander Holyfield in 1997. “It’s the biggest guarantee ever in the his-
tory of the sport,” said Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, who said his
company was responsible for guaranteeing the money. “Nobody ever had a guaran-
tee bigger. Floyd is in a league of his own. I think that this shows it again.” May-
weather 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 ex-
cess 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 Sept-
ember 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.