Leonard Ellerbe unleashes on Mayweather vs. McGregor critics

Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor may not be sold out yet, but the fight is far from a bust at the box office.

Despite hundreds of tickets still left available for the mega-fight taking place on Aug. 26 in Las Vegas, Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe says the event has already raked in a huge live gate with two weeks still remaining until the show.

“The fact of the matter is we have over $60 million in the box office right now, which is more than double any other live gate that’s ever been done,” Ellerbe said on Thursday. “The fight that they have on the 16th of September next month [Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin], our fight right now we’ve got more in the box office right now double than what they will have.

“We’re not talking a $2 or $3 million gate. All these record-breaking events and the numbers that are associated with it, all are because of Floyd Mayweather. A little guy who soaking wet is 147 pounds broke all these records.”

Ellerbe also fired back at questions he received from members of the media earlier in the week about tickets allegedly being offered at Costco as some kind of sign that the promoters for the event were already hitting the panic button on sales.

Ellerbe says he had no knowledge that Ticketmaster, who handles the sales for the fight, were offering tickets at Costco but if that’s the case, why does it automatically mean something cautostrophic is happening?

“Someone said to me something about tickets on sale at Costco. I’m like we don’t have anything to do with that but when you think about it, is that a bad thing?” Ellerbe said. “Opening this thing up to a housewife in Desmond, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, someone who normally wouldn’t have access to our fight. Is that a bad thing for us to be accessible at Costco?

“That’s what’s wrong with boxing right now. Everyone wants to operate in this little small circle and that’s why this little guy at 147 pounds will go over making a billion dollars in his career because he’s been able to think outside of the box.”

Ellerbe criticized the boxing media in particular for looking for a problem where one doesn’t exist, especially considering how the fight is only $12 million away from breaking the all time record for ticket sales held by Mayweather’s 2015 bout with Manny Pacquiao.

“That’s what’s wrong with boxing today. You guys are always complaining and looking for s–t to complain about when there’s nothing there,” Ellerbe said. “That’s the reason why we can’t be innovative. That’s what Floyd Mayweather has done differently from anybody else. He’s thought outside the box.”

In the end, Ellerbe laid it out rather bluntly that if somebody doesn’t want to watch or attend the fight, no one is forcing them to be a part of the show.

The negative attitudes aside, Ellerbe fully expects a sellout with ticket sales breaking the all time record with hopes that the pay-per-view numbers will do the same when the fight actually take place on Aug. 26.

“You tell me what’s wrong with these two guys fighting? If you don’t want to watch it, don’t buy it! Simple as that,” Ellerbe said. “But you can’t be mad and going out there like some media members and promoting ‘oh this is why you shouldn’t buy the fight and this and that’. Mind your f–king business. It’s like do your job, cover the sport and obviously you have to give your opinion, which we understand that but we don’t see you saying anything else about anybody else’s event. We know what it’s about. We know what this is about.

“One thing’s for sure, you’re not going to stop this event. The fans demanded this event and this is what they’re going to get.”

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.