Floyd Mayweather’s six-fight contract with Showtime Sports—a subsidiary of CBS—expires after his next bout. It could also end up being the final fight in the controversial boxer’s career, which is a potential ratings bonanza the mothership network may look to take advantage of.
According to Lyle Fitzsimmons of CBSSports.com, Mayweather is considering an offer to broadcast his next fight on CBS: “Mayweather insisted after the May 2 defeat of Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas that he’d return for a 49th and final fight in September, and an industry source told CBSSports.com on Wednesday that a short list of opponents is being pondered for a Sept. 12 event that could be broadcast live on CBS.”
Fitzsimmons’ report was published Wednesday, and he cited a source as saying an official announcement was “possible as soon as the end of the week.”
“It’s wide open,” Showtime Sports’ executive vice president Stephen Espinoza said, per Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “The one thing Floyd has made clear to all of us is he wants his last fight to be very special and unique.”
Mayweather is still deciding who his next opponent will be, though he did say in a Facebook post Thursday that he plans “to go out on top,” and he confirmed September 12 as the date of his next fight. The undefeated champion said after defeating Manny Pacquiao in May that his next fight would be his last.
However, in Fitzsimmons’ report, matchmaker and businessman Rick Glaser is quoted as saying it’s “highly unlikely” Mayweather retires in September.
The financials of broadcasting a Mayweather fight on free television would be interesting. Marquee boxers make money from pay-per-view revenue. ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael and Darren Rovell reported Mayweather banked at least $220 million from the bout with Pacquiao, which included closed-circuit television revenue.
Mayweather has never been shy about how much he loves money—there’s a reason “Money” is one of his nicknames—so CBS would possibly have to pony up a lot of coin to make this a financially viable option for the fighter.