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LEONARD ELLERBE: THE MAN BEHIND MAYWEATHER PT. 1

By Percy Crawford | May 22, 2009
LEONARD ELLERBE: THE MAN BEHIND MAYWEATHER PT. 1

"Floyd is at the level to where he is a global champion…I think what Floyd has been able to do, him and Oscar are the only two in the sport that have been able to do it. But Floyd has taken it to a whole other level because he's established the motto for how boxers should conduct their business once you've reached the elite level," stated Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions and the man who's helped Floyd Mayweather Jr. take his career to the next level. Check out what he had to say about Mayweather Promotions, Mayweather's return to the ring and much more in part 1 of this series.

PC: How are you doing my man?

LE: Everything is lovely. We just came from two of our stops and we're headed over to London to have a press conference. It's going to be big, huge over there in the UK. Floyd is at the level to where he is a global champion.

PC: Being his advisor and conditioning coach, how do you mix his PR stuff with Mayweather Promotions stuff and have time to train and eat well?

LE: Well, it's a carefully thought out plan that takes a lot of thought behind it. We have a great team and when you're working with someone that has a great vision, like Floyd, and you put everything around him in place, this is what you get.

PC: We see fighters balloon up 25-30 pounds between fights. How easy does it make your job to have a guy that walks around in shape year round?

LE: Well, that's something that's been instilled in him from the beginning. His dad taught him that at a very young age. He has a tremendous work ethic and that was something he learned as a child and it's been with him from the very beginning. Floyd is one of the hardest working athletes in all of sports.

PC: What was the process in Floyd making his return? What was the conversation you had with him before he decided to return?

LE: I think it had a lot to do with the fans. The fans have been putting pressure on him. No matter what fight you were watching, his name came up. I think the more and more he was away from the sport, the fans realized what a major impact he had on this sport. They just tend to not appreciate it when you're active.

PC: I see a lot of people thinking the layoff may cause him to be this or that, but knowing his work ethic and knowing he is a gym rat, it's hard for me to believe he was totally away from the sport in his retirement. What was his gym presence like during that time?

LE: He spent a lot of time…you know, he's a very savvy business man. We have Mayweather Promotions. While he's been inactive, we've been promoting concerts. We did the Jay-Z and Mary J Blige concert last year. We co-promoted the Lil Wayne tour with Al Haymon. We had forty-one dates so it took a lot of planning on my behalf and Floyd's behalf to work together with Al on putting these tours together. All we've been looking to do is work with A-list entertainment. It's taken up quite a bit of time. We also have several young fighters, so we've been quite busy doing things outside of the ring. I got him on Wrestlemania. It's been great. We have the #1 commercial, which is the AT&T commercial. It's the #1 running commercial right now so those are just some of the things we've been trying to do outside of the ring. We're doing things that will really take that Mayweather Brand to the next level.

PC: It sounds like you play a major role in the decision-making department. How important is it for these young fighters to set themselves up for something after boxing?

LE: One, it takes years of hard work, dedication, prayers and belief. You have to continue to surround yourself with positive people. There's going to always be the naysayers out there. I'm not the type of guy to raise my hand and say, "Look what I've done!" It is what it is. I try to play behind the scenes as much as possible and just continue to take Floyd's career to the next level.

PC: I'm sure you guys have some big things lined up for Mayweather Promotions. Could you tell us a couple of things you guys have in store outside of boxing and where are you guys looking to take the brand?

LE: Well, right now we're currently working on another major commercial. We're looking to do a movie, a feature film, which will come out in the summer of next year. So those are just a few things that we've been working on that will continue to elevate Floyd to being the mainstream superstar that he is.

PC: I never envisioned a boxer being on AT&T commercials and doing some of the things Lil Floyd has done under your tutelage. Do you think that this is the next level of acceptance for boxers and that this will open the doors for more fighters to do things like this?

LE: Number one, I think what Floyd has been able to do, him and Oscar are the only two in the sport that have been able to do it. But Floyd has taken it to a whole other level because he's established the motto for how boxers should conduct their business once you've reached the elite level. Floyd's his own boss and he's out there and what happens a lot of times as a fighter, you don't know the business of boxing. He's out there trying to educate other fighters about the business of boxing. The fighters are the ones that are putting their lives on the line and they have such a short window of opportunity to achieve certain things, so you have to make the most of every opportunity that you get. He's surrounded himself with a great positive team and that way, he can focus on taking care of his business inside of the ring and all of his business outside the ring is taken care of. He's the only fighter out there that gets 100% of his money. As an elite fighter, he's controlling all of the revenue. That's the motto that he's established and there has been no other fighter that's been able to do that. To be in control of 100% of your revenue being an elite fighter is unheard of.

PC: I was a little surprised to see Marquez say he wants to fight Lil Floyd after his win over Juan Diaz. Not because I don't think he has the heart or anything, but I never pictured these two fighting. Were you guys watching the fight and if so, what was your reaction?

LE: I was completely shocked that he said what he said after the fight. But on the flip side of it, he's a tremendous champion, he's a great warrior and he's been one of the best fighters for a number of years. He's been in the top for a number of years!

STAY TUNED FOR PART 2 OF THIS SERIES WITH LEONARD ELLERBE: THE MAN BEHIND MAYWEATHER



[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]

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