Friday, April 25, 2014 | 2 a.m.
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Welcome to the fabulous moneyed world of one of boxing’s richest men. This half-a-billion-dollar athlete is living a lavish and luxurious lifestyle, and we captured it all on camera for a Showtime special airing Saturday ahead of Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s Saturday, May 3, fight against Marcos Maidana at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
I filmed with Floyd in not one of his Las Vegas homes but three of them. I didn’t have time to jet to the ones he also has in Miami, Los Angeles and the Trump Tower apartment he’s acquiring in New York.
Incidentally, his fleet of limousines, racecars and luxury vehicles in Las Vegas are all white and in Miami all black.
“I don’t want to get confused where I am,” Floyd joked. He already has two brand new cars wrapped in red ribbon to give away to his team members after he wins the next fight.
Floyd has purchased 88 cars, including 14 Rolls-Royces of every configuration from Towbin Cars here in Las Vegas. “It’s not conspicuous consumption; it’s a night in my life,” he says.
Floyd signed a Showtime PPV deal in February 2013 for six fights in 30 months. It was the richest individual athlete deal in all sports. Several reliable estimates say it was worth more than $250 million to him. His previous HBO deal generated $543 million in TV revenue.
He’s been the star attraction of four of the biggest non-heavyweight PPV events in history. Next weekend’s fight is already another record-buster with millions of viewers around the world signing on to watch the satellite feed from MGM.
“I’m definitely retiring when this contract is over,” he told me. “No more fights. That’s it. I’ll go out on top unbeaten. I’ve got plans for real-estate ventures in New York and film production in Los Angeles.
“I’ve invested wisely over the years, and I’m not going to wind up broke. I set a goal of $12 million a year coming in at a million a month in interest alone. We’ve reached that — and I still sign all my own checks.”
He gave me a tour of one of the largest closets I have seen in my 14 years of hosting and producing “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” There were enough Christian Louboutin red-soled sneakers for every day of the year — and then some. The alligator and crocodile designer custom shoes are in endless stacks.
There are racks of baseball caps emblazoned with the initials TBE — The Best Ever. “That’s the goal. I got there. Forty-five fights unbeaten. I will remain there,” says Floyd confidently. “Money equals power and respect.”
There’s a separate-display, glass-front closet for his sunglasses, many of which have diamonds encrusted into the frames. Floyd said: “Diamonds are my best friends.”
I had to challenge him to show his incredible collection of jewelry, watches and rings. Our cameras were almost blinded by diamonds on diamonds on diamonds. Many of the items were custom made for the 10-time champion, and at least two of the watches came with multimillion-dollar price tags. The newest was a $250,000 gift when tickets for next weekend’s fight sold out in less than 60 seconds.
The watches alone total $5 million. Add all the jewelry, and it’s worth a whopping $18 million. I’m not thinking of restarting “Lifestyles,” but Floyd would be on any premiere living the real lifestyles of the rich and famous.
The main house is a remarkable four-story mega-mansion with a beautiful pool and a view across his estate overlooking the lights of Las Vegas. His bar is stocked with enough treasured Louis XIII Remy Martin cognac to make a French mogul envious. On one of the kitchen marble counter tops are three high-firing video games he plays all at once when he wants to chill away from boxing.
The private movie theater is a two-level wonder with 30 comfortable armchairs for friends downstairs and his private, secluded balcony upstairs with a couch for him to sprawl out on with a girlfriend.
You will see all the incredible comforts from his crib on the Showtime “All Access” special. He owns those, too. We didn’t miss a nook or cranny of his wealth.
“To be the best, you have to work overtime,” he says proudly. “This show is raw, uncut, with total access to give the fans everything they want to see. Nothing is kept back.
“I watched your show when I was growing up every week. I knew I would be on it one day. I knew I would make it out of the hard times and into the good times. You don’t do it anymore, but now you’re doing my Showtime version on me, so in a sense my dream came true,” he told me.
I recorded a “Lifestyles” introduction for him, which he now has on his iPhone to show to friends. There are two remarkable wall hangings at his home that he’s proudest of all. The first is a portrait of his mother.
“I have her photo wherever I am hanging in my homes. She’s the reason I’m here and have been so successful,” he explained.
The second is an oversized carpet with the wool imprinted with a photograph of him at age 2 with boxing gloves on for the first time.
“It was a struggle back then. Nothing came easy. They were real hard times for my family. That’s why when we had no money, I promised myself that when I became successful, I would translate that into money. Money is the mark of success. That’s why we are the Money Team,” he told me.
“Success is defined by money and having the best. It is about the money. It is about the fame. Then I’m also able to do a lot of good with what I earn in helping people and charities. But that we keep private. And remember when you have success, even more comes to you.”
In 2012 on Forbes millionaire listings, he was the world’s highest-paid athlete. Behind the flash and dazzle is a smart businessman who has surrounded himself with his expert team. He commands the biggest fight revenue, with Mayweather Promotions collecting all of the ticket and PPV revenue and then his sponsors.
He covers the costs of his bouts, including his opponent’s purses, and then walks out of the ring with the profits. He took $45 million from his fight against Miguel Cotto as the largest payday ever in boxing history.
I also took the cameras to his former fiancee Chantel Jackson’s home. One empty closet was once filled with more than $3 million in Birkin and Kelly bags and another $1.2 million in brand-name luggage and bags. In all, 400 pairs of shoes, too — every designer from Louis Vuitton to Fendi and Versace to Prada.
Floyd is so rich that he now has a home just for storage. He’s turned his mother’s former home into the Mayweather Museum for his collections of boxing memorabilia, fight videos and celebrity photographs through the years.
Tune in Saturday for “All Access Mayweather” on Showtime. It’s must-see TV.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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