*Floyd Mayweather Jr. said Thursday he is excited about both a weekend fight he’s promoting as well as his lucrative new deal with the Showtime cable network.
Boxing’s top pound-for-pound fighter signed a blockbuster six-fight deal with Showtime on Tuesday, ending a 23-fight affiliation with HBO Sports.
The boxer, who was in Detroit for a news conference ahead of Saturday’s junior middleweight title bout between Cornelius “K9” Bundrage and Ishe Smith, likened his Showtime agreement to a matrimonial modification.
“I got a divorce,” a smiling Mayweather said of leaving HBO, his longtime television home. “I’m married again.”
“I couldn’t have asked for a better deal,” he said.
Showtime vice president and general manager of sports programming Steven Espinoza told USA Today, “It’s the biggest deal (for Showtime) since (Mike) Tyson. I put it up there on the same level of importance. Floyd is far and away the most popular, well-known and talented fighter in the sport. It is absolutely critical for the . . . network that we secured him.”
Mayweather’s first fight in his 30-month deal with the network will be May 4 on pay-per-view against Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (31-1-1, 18 KOs), 29, a four-division world champion who has publicly sold himself as an opponent for Mayweather for the last few years.
The 147-pound champion, who hasn’t fought since beating Miguel Cotto on May 5, has fought just four times since December 2007.
“The fans want to see a lot more of me,” Mayweather told reporters at the MGM Grand Detroit. “I will give you excitement.”
Mayweather, who turns 36 on Sunday, was there to support Saturday’s card at the nearby Masonic Temple Theatre as well as Smith, his friend and sparring partner from Las Vegas, who is vying for his first-ever professional title.