Major changes appear afoot at Mayweather Promotions, with CEO Leonard Ellerbe's job in apparent jeopardy, according to comments by pound-for-pound champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. to FightHype.com's Ben Thompson.
In a brief question-and-answer session with Thompson, Mayweather indicated unhappiness with cutman/hand wrapper Rafael Garcia, and suggested there are problems between Ellerbe and himself.
Just last week, a glowing feature on Ellerbe ran in the Washington Post in which Mayweather lavished praised upon him.
It takes brains to want to surround yourself with brains. I want to surround myself with the best businessmen that I can possibly surround myself with. Leonard is a very shrewd businessman.
The rematch with Maidana was the first that Mayweather Promotions promoted on its own. It was licensed in Nevada in July and largely ran the show the rest of the way, with little involvement from Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions.
It was an awkward, difficult promotion, made tougher by a civil lawsuit filed against Mayweather by his former fiancee and by Mayweather's egregiously tasteless answer to a question about ex-Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice slugging his wife.
But that may have been Ellerbe's one and only opportunity to run the ship himself. Mayweather told Thompson he is growing apart from Ellerbe.
I think we're just getting to a point where we're outgrowing each other. I think I just see things my way and I think he sees things in another way. For example, this time around when I went out and fought, my WBC and WBA titles in both weight classes were on the line and I didn't approve of that at all. That's something I didn't approve of. Also, my daughter was sitting in the front row and her mother wasn't sitting next to her, so the ticket arrangements were totally wrong. It just got to a point to where everyone wants to do what they want to do instead of communicating and compromising like we used to. We got to this point by us communicating and compromising. If I'm not mistaken, my dad wasn't able to work [Andrew] Tabiti's corner, his fighter. My dad, he got all his stuff, the things that he needed for the fight, extremely late. That's just very unprofessional. There's just a lot of other things within our team that's just not right. Leonard wasn't in my corner, so, you know, it's not any hard feelings. It's just people outgrow one another. I'm not mad at him. There's no hard feeling like I hate the guy; not at all. No hard feelings whatsoever. People just outgrow one another, just like when people get a divorce. They're no longer on the same page mentally.
Yahoo Sports called Ellerbe for comment, but his phone went directly to voicemail. He didn't immediately respond for comment.
Richard Schaefer, the ex-CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, told Yahoo Sports he hadn't read the interview and declined comment. Mayweather Promotions had earlier hired long-time Schaefer confidant Bruce Binkow in a marketing role and several employees from Schaefer's days at Golden Boy were visible assisting with the promotion for the Maidana rematch.
Schaefer attended the fight and sat in the first row in Mayweather's corner, but he made a point to stay removed and until fight night, mostly out of view.
He would be a logical person to replace Ellerbe, if Mayweather indeeds fires or parts ways with Ellerbe. However, Schaefer is in a legal dispute with Golden Boy, which claims he's under contract to it until March 2018. De La Hoya said last week his company has a no-compete clause in Schaefer's contract and intends to enforce it.
The case will likely be settled in court unless the sides can come to a settlement.
The truth of the matter is, he has a contract until 2018 that stipulates he can not compete or he can not be involved in boxing [with anyone else]. It's a strong, solid contract that, obviously, I'm standing by 100 percent.
It's all unclear where things are going, though Mayweather reiterated in his interview with Thompson that he plans to fight again in May 2015.
What we know is this:
• Mayweather is unhappy with Ellerbe and feels they're growing apart, but he has yet to say Ellerbe is no longer with the company.
• Schaefer is close with Mayweather, but has to resolve his issue with Golden Boy before he'd be free to take a job with Mayweather Promotions.
• The powerful manager/advisor in the industry, Al Haymon, will remain involved with the company, Mayweather said, but federal law prohibits him from taking an official role in the company while he serves as a fighter manager.