Mayweather Hits Motown Ahead of Bundrage-Smith
Corey Erdman / February 21, 2013 - 3:51pm
The promotional genius of Floyd Mayweather has been pointed out time and time again by those smart enough to realize he's not just a lucky jerk. For those in the latter category, it should be noted once again, as Mayweather has timed his announcement that he's jumping ship to Showtime as immaculately as he would a counter right hand.
Floyd's Mayweather Promotions also happens to have a hand in promoting this weekend's Cornelius Bundrage-Ishe Smith bout in Detroit, MI, which will be televised on his new home of Showtime. Bundrage-Smith hadn't been done any favors in the promotional department, to say the least. Originally, it was to be the co-feature beneath Devon Alexander-Kell Brook, but that was derailed by an Alexander injury.
For weeks, it sat as a lame duck Showtime telecast with no buzz whatsoever.
That is, until the news broke that Mayweather's May 4 bout with Robert Guerrero would also be airing there, and he'd be in town to promote it.
Whether it was intentional or not, suddenly people are paying attention to the card, even if it's inadvertent.
Mayweather attended the final press conference, and will be present at Friday's weigh-in as well. Media members who were maybe on the fence about covering the event are booking last minute trips to get there in time, with hopes of nabbing a quote from Floyd.
It remains to be seen whether the late push can help ticket sales, however. Surely it will help in some respect, but the card wasn't stacked with local fighters the way it should have been.
Bundrage has never been a huge local draw, and J'Leon Love, who is now in the co-feature against Derrick Findley, is a Detroit native who now lives in Las Vegas. Friends and family who haven't seen him in a while will certainly turn out, but it was impossible for him to be a part of any word of mouth sales from Nevada.
With shows such as this one, ideally the card is loaded up with local guys who can all push tickets individually. Unless you have an A+ main event in a neutral site such as Vegas or Atlantic City where boxing fans tend to reside or typically travel to, this is a necessity. In the case of Bundrage-Smith, the undercard has lots of intrigue—Badou Jack vs. Don Mouton, 2012 Olympian Terrell Gausha—but no workhorse ticket sellers.
Had Tony Harrison, Domonique Dolton, Darryl Cunningham or Willie Fortune been on the bill, the Masonic Temple might have been packed. Instead, Fortune fights the night before in California, and the other three will probably be in the stands rooting for Bundrage and Love.
Mayweather can do a lot, and he has probably already made this telecast a success. But he may not be able to save the live gate.
Here's hoping I'm wrong, because Detroit boxing needs a successful event.