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Mayweather/Canelo: Calling Out Leonard Ellerbe: A Response To A Questionable Response

After watching the video in the ESB article entitled, “Team Mayweather Calls Canelo’s Management Inept In Episode 2 of ALL ACCESS,” by ShowTime Boxing, published August 29, 2013, I knew I had to respond—out loud—to what I believe, are misleading comments that Leonard Ellerbe made about Team Alvarez and how the 152 lb. catchweight limit was arrived at for this fight. My biggest issue with what Ellerbe said is that he didn’t tell the whole story. He just modified it to suit Team Mayweather’s needs. So, I’m calling you out, Leonard Ellerbe.

This is what I know:

From the aforementioned video–

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABUoKhPgZdg

Floyd: “The fight is at 152 but, it’s really not the weight. It’s about the skills.”

Ellerbe: “His management put out something on Boxing Scene that they will be willing to fight at a catchweight. Now, because his management is inept, we take advantage of those kind of things. Why would we go in a different direction? They suggested it, why would we say “no” and do something different?…It wasn’t that Floyd Mayweather axed (yes, Ellerbe said “axed”) for a catchweight because absolutely that did not happen, so I want to be clear on that. Floyd would have fought him regardless…”

Mr. Ellerbe, I think you and Team Mayweather are talking out of both sides of your mouths. Again.

I remember Floyd Sr. being the first to open his mouth saying that if Canelo wanted to fight Floyd that it would have to be at 147. And, even after the 152 lbs. catchweight was agreed on, Sr. still voiced his unhappiness stating that he preferred a catchweight no higher than 150.

In the mlive.com article “Trainer: Floyd Mayweather Wants Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez Fight at 147 Pounds, No Catch-weight,” by Josh Slagter on May 13, 2013, Josh wrote:

“If it’s up to Floyd Mayweather, a possible September superfight against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez will be contested at the welterweight limit of 147 pounds. That’s according to Alvarez’s trainer Jose Reynoso, who says Mayweather already has rejected the idea of a catch-weight for the bout.

‘Floyd wants every advantage on his side’, Reynoso told Boxingscene.com. ‘Among one of the things that is often being stressed is that he wants Canelo at a lower weight. Why would I make my boy sacrifice so much?’

“’We proposed an intermediate weight, but he refused.’”

Then, for the May 17, 2013 article “De La Hoya Says No 147 For Canelo Against Mayweather,” by Michael Woods on thesweetscience.com website, Woods interviewed De la Hoya on the subject and quoted Oscar as saying:

“’Floyd Junior is a competitor, he wants the best,” he said. ‘I don’t see an issue of not making it at 154.’

But, if Team Mayweather said it’s 147, or no deal, would and could Canelo make 147? ‘No, no, his legs are so thick, his neck is so thick,’ Oscar said.

Even making 152 would be a stretch, he said.”

On May 31, 2013, Salvador Rodriquez wrote an article entitled, “Canelo’s Trainer Explains Mayweather Catch-Weight Deal,” which was published on boxingscene.com website. Salvador said:

“The two sides agreed to a catch-weight of 152-pounds, but Reynoso says it wasn’t easy. Initially, Chepo [Reynoso] claims Mayweather wanted a catch-weight of 150-ounds, and Canelo wanted the full junior middleweight limit of 154. Mayweather and Canelo finally agreed to meet in the middle, with both giving up two pounds in weight.”

To my memory, it was AFTER Sr. was calling for a fight at 147, and AFTER he repeatedly stated there would be no fight at 154, that Canelo’s team–Reynoso in particular–“suggested” to fight at a catchweight.

But in my opinion, this offer by Canelo’s “management” to fight at a catchweight was coordinated by GBP and Mayweather Promotions behind the scenes, and this is the scenario that I believe is closer to what really happened regarding the decision to fight at a 152lb. catchweight:

Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Canelo Alvarez are the two top draws and moneymakers in GBP’s stables (yes, Mayweather is represented by his own promotional company, but he always co-promotes with GBP who has the savvy and clout, in my opinion, to make things happen in a way that is favorable to its fighters). So naturally, GBP wants to and needs to take care of, and be “fair” to both of them. Floyd Sr. demands a fight at 147. Reynoso, Canelo’s trainer, says no way but is willing to make some concession on the weight. Team Mayweather fires back and says the fight will be at 147 or no fight. Then Floyd Jr. says 150 or no fight. GBP realizes that this big money fight isn’t going to happen if the two sides can’t come to agreement and sees the need to mediate for the two of them. GBP does so and works out the deal for the 152lb. catchweight.

I can find nothing online which shows that team Alvarez offered to fight at a catchweight before Team Mayweather started demanding a fight at 147. Based on what I have been able to dig up however, it appears that the original demand to fight at 147 was likely a ploy to get Alvarez to come into the fight at a lower weight. The ploy worked.

Unfortunately, Team Alvarez–who I repeatedly said should not agree to fight at anything but 154–agreed to fight at a catchweight. On this point only, Ellerbe is correct in saying that Alvarez’s management screwed up. But Ellerbe is probably misleading everyone by making it seem like Team Alvarez “suggested” to fight at a catchweight of their own accord. No. I don’t think they did. Instead, I think they were pressured into making a counter-offer of a catchweight fight, and Floyd Sr. was over-ridden so the fight could be made. In any event, Team Mayweather ended up getting what it wanted: Canelo Alvarez will be weighing in below the 154 lb. jr. middleweight limit.

Floyd. Leonard. It is in fact “about the weight.” The two-pound catchweight WILL make a difference, otherwise, Team Mayweather would not have asked for any weight concessions at all.