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Las Vegas Journal Story on Mayweather Doing Mania

Welterweight champion to participate in Wrestlemania on March 30

WWE enlists Mayweather Jr.

By STEVE CARP
REVIEW-JOURNAL

Forget mixed martial arts. Floyd Mayweather Jr. is turning to professional wrestling instead.

The world welterweight boxing champion made it official Monday: He will enter the sports entertainment field by participating in World Wrestling Entertainment's Wrestlemania on March 30 in Orlando, Fla.

Mayweather, 30, said Monday that WWE owner Vince McMahon is paying him $20 million to be part of his company for the next five weeks.

"I've been a big fan of wrestling since I was a kid," Mayweather said from Los Angeles, where the announcement was made. "It's always been entertaining."

Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather's co-manager, said, "We received a tremendous offer and, as his manager, I'm always trying to expand his fan base.

"There's 47 million people who watch wrestling every week. This will be great exposure for Floyd."

Mayweather appeared on ABC's hit show "Dancing With the Stars" last fall and recently participated in the celebrity basketball game during NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans. He had talked about going into MMA with Mark Cuban's HDNetFights, but that idea is on hold.

"We're trying to do things outside the box," Ellerbe said. "It's all about building the Mayweather brand."

Mayweather, who is scheduled to fight Oscar De La Hoya in September in a rematch of their May 5 fight which Mayweather won by split decision, isn't worried about putting his boxing career in jeopardy.

"Is the risk worth it?" he said. "We'll find out. But fighting Oscar? That's easy work. It's like taking candy from a baby."

De La Hoya said it doesn't bother him that Mayweather is venturing into wrestling.

"I'm sure he's going to have a good time and I'm sure the entertainment part of what he's doing is going to be successful, and I'm not going to worry about him getting hurt, whatsoever," said De La Hoya, who will return to the ring May 3 to fight Steve Forbes at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

"Obviously, any visibility a fighter can have is great. Floyd Mayweather is doing a lot of touring and appearances, which is a plus for our September rematch. The more he does, the better."

The Wrestlemania story line has Mayweather (5 feet 83/4 inches, 147 pounds) feuding with Paul "Big Show" Wight (7 feet, 425 pounds). They began their battle 10 days ago at the Thomas & Mack Center during a WWE pay-per-view event that resulted in Mayweather breaking Wight's nose.

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