THE chief executive of Mayweather Promotions has dismissed concerns that Floyd Mayweather’s fight with Conor McGregor is yet to sell out. The Mayweather v McGregor fight at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena has long been billed as the biggest and richest in history, but suggestions it could prove a greater commercial success than Mayweather’s bout with Manny Pacquiao appear premature.
It was reported that as of last week 7,000 seats at the 20,000-capacity arena remain unsold, but Leonard Ellerbe is adamant the notion other fights sell out almost instantly is a myth.
At Tuesday’s surprisingly low-key grand arrivals, an advert could be seen for the September 16 fight between Saul Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin at the same venue, which said it had sold out.
Ellerbe, however, has accused rival promoter Oscar De La Hoya of “lying” about their ticket sales, and claims Saturday’s fight will surpass the pay-per-view take-up of Mayweather-Pacquiao, which remains history’s richest fight.
Press Association Sport understands there has already been a significant number of pay-per-view bookings throughout the UK and elsewhere, and Ellerbe said: “Internationally we’ve already surpassed where we were with ‘MayPac’. So we’ve got something very special.
“We’re going to break all the records, in all the Pay-per-View markets, internationally.
“Actually (Mayweather-Pacquiao) didn’t sell out in seconds. What you’ve got to understand is that I don’t see what people are making a deal about. I haven’t checked in the past day; I’m sure we’re probably close.
“The only thing that sells out like that, realistically, is like the Rolling Stones. This ain’t nothing like the Rolling Stones: this is a massive event, people are talking about this thing across all genres.
“From music, to sports, to entertainment: everywhere everybody goes, that’s all they’re talking about: Mayweather versus McGregor.
“It took a while (for Mayweather-Pacquiao to sell out), for a number of things. If you’re making reference to Golden Boy and Oscar De La Hoya, he lied to you guys. He’s good for doing that: tricking the fans, but that’s what his objective is.
“They still have thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of seats, still at the box office, that are unsold.”
Ellerbe, who is one of the few within Mayweather’s inner circle, also revealed the American believes Ireland’s McGregor has modelled himself on his ‘Money Mayweather’ persona.
Each fighter has frequently taunted the other throughout the build-up to Saturday’s fight, but Ellerbe said: “All you’ve got to do is look at his fights. Look at him inside and the outside of the ring.
“In 2013, was he flashy and flamboyant? He wasn’t. You didn’t see him walking around with mink coats on, and convertible Rolls Royces: you didn’t see all that. He had to learn it from somewhere, and we all know who he learned it from. Floyd knows that. But there’s nothing wrong with learning from the best.”