Floyd Mayweather Jr. v Conor McGregor World Press Tour - Toronto
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Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe Talks McGregor Vs. Mayweather Superfight

"Someone's getting knocked out," predicts Mayweather's moneyman, Leonard Ellerbe.  

Leonard Ellerbe once had prizefighting aspirations of his own—growing up in northeast Washington, D.C., as an amateur fighter—until hand injuries derailed his boxing passion and set it in another direction. After meeting Floyd Mayweather through the boxer's uncles early on in his career, Ellerbe left a six-figure job as a strength and conditioning coach to join Mayweather's team to do security. "Nobody starts at the top. I started at the bottom and worked my way up," relays Ellerbe.

Two decades later, Ellerbe has risen to the top of the industry by becoming 12-time champion Floyd Mayweather's right-hand man as the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, forming the most powerful duo in combat sports. "I'm blessed to be in this situation I'm in," says Ellerbe. At 40 years old, Mayweather will become the third athlete ever to eclipse the billion-dollar mark in career earnings once he steps foot in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (Aug. 26) to take on Conor McGregor.

The grind doesn't stop for Ellerbe, who hasn't had a day off in weeks, and the passion to further the legacy of Mayweather Promotions will last long after Mayweather officially retires from boxing. VIBE caught up with Ellerbe shortly after the Mayweather-McGregor world tour of press conferences, which included sold-out stops in Los Angeles, Toronto, Brooklyn and London.

VIBE: Conor McGregor versus Floyd Mayweather, Saturday, August 26th. That feels good to say.
Leonard Ellerbe: It's going to be sick, bananas. It's going to be lit, as the kids say.

What did you think of the world press tour, and did you accomplish your goal with it?
The Brooklyn stop was second to none. It was an unbelievable turnout. The presser was just on fire, filling up arenas for a press conference. I think we did accomplish our goal.

I was there as well—the atmosphere was second to none. I found it funny when you checked ESPN boxing analyst Dan Rafael after the press conference in Brooklyn. I know you two don't always see eye to eye.
Right: I told him no matter what you say or the sh*t you write, you can't convince people not to watch. They're going to buy this fight if they want to buy it.

What have you learned about Conor McGregor over the past month or two?
I learned from Conor that he's everything that I thought he was. He has a dynamic personality that captures people's imaginations and attention. He has an enormous following because people believe in him. He has a cultlike following.

Is Paulie Malignaggi the right partner to spar with Conor? (Editor's Note: This interview took place before Malignaggi left McGregor's camp.)
I haven't seen any of the sparring, but it's definitely a smart move. Bringing in a guy with a lot of experience, I like the move. You could tell he's taking it very seriously. He's trying to figure out a way to take down Floyd.

Is this the biggest fight ever?
This is the biggest fight in the history of combat sports.

Will it be tough for this fight to actually live up to the hype?
No, I think we're going to get a knockout, and I think Floyd is going to look his best ever.

Does passing Rocky Marciano's 49-0 boxing record have any meaning to Floyd?
Well, it means more to the fans and the media than it means to him. He's happy sitting at home, riding around in his jet with all his friends and family.

Since you know him best, what's your personal favorite fight of Floyd's career?
I like the Arturo Gotti fight and the Diego Corrales bout. The Gotti fight was Floyd's first headlining pay-per-view in Atlantic City.

At what point was Floyd Mayweather at the peak of his boxing powers, in your opinion?
There's so many. I'll go with Canelo [Álvarez], that was one of my favorite fights. He [Floyd] won every round.

Which Mayweather fight had you the most worried about Floyd?
The Marcos Maidana fight. Maidana II, when he got buzzed in the fourth round. The Mosely fight as well.

Most would say the De La Hoya bout that resulted in Floyd winning a split decision.
F**k out of here. There was no split decision with De La Hoya. He beat him easy. Anything can happen, though. Floyd got that dog in him, a granite chin. He can take it.

What are these last couple weeks of preparation like until August 26th?
I think it's more being mentally prepared and knowing that he's looking forward to going out there and performing at his best.

Have you noticed any changes in his training regimen?
He takes a little more time off. It comes with time. Your body's a little more sore. You move a little slower, and it's OK. You use the wisdom and experience you've gained over the years to your advantage.

So what's next for you? Any more stints with Dancing With The Stars or WWE lined up?
No, we're going to continue to promote these fights. We got Gervonta Davis, he's next up. We got Badou Jack. All these young guys are going to be in a position to be in big events, and that's what we're going to make happen. I'm blessed to be in this situation I'm in. We have a great team led by Nicole Craig. All of these people are key components in us being successful.

How did you end up meeting Floyd?
I met Floyd through both of his uncles, who were good friends of mine. I started out doing strength and conditioning and actually security. Nobody starts at the top. I started at the bottom and worked my way up.

Did you leave a six-figure job on the table?
One hundred percent. I was training high-profile athletes, celebrities and entertainers. A couple news anchors in Washington, D.C. A couple football players and other businesspeople as well. I had a vision and Floyd's had an incredible vision; I've followed his lead, he's followed me, and we've put together an unstoppable force. We've changed the game.

Can you let us in on any big names that will be in attendance on fight night?
I know a bunch of athletes are trying to go. A lot of the NFL players, it depends on their schedule, I know they're trying to get here. I can say LeBron James, Steph Curry, Kobe Bryant and Draymond Green have reached out.

Alright, so August 26th, McGregor versus Mayweather. What happens, Mr. Ellerbe?
Someone's getting knocked out.

Contact your local cable provider to order Mayweather vs. McGregor on August 26 at 9 p.m. EST on Showtime Pay-Per-View for $99.99.

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Rihanna performs onstage during Savage X Fenty Show Presented By Amazon Prime Video - Show Sneak Peak at Barclays Center on September 10, 2019 in Brooklyn, New York.
Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for Savage X Fenty Show Presented by Amazon Prime Video

Rihanna's Savage x Fenty Show Creates An Inclusive Silhouette For All

No matter your shape, size or physical ability, sexiness can be achieved. It's a mantra retail corporations have pushed but with Rihanna's Savage x Fenty Show in New York this week, it was a smoldering reality.

On Tuesday (Sept. 10) Brooklyn's Barclays Center was flipped into the entertainers' lair filled with 32 flavors of what womxn really look like. Thick thighs, ambassadors of the #littlebootiesmatter movement and members of the LGBTQ+ community sashayed across the stage in a confident spirit only Rihanna can conjure.

The second annual show took their talents to a new level by partnering with Amazon Prime to film the show. Cameramen jumped to the stage every now and then to catch models like Joan Smalls, Bella Hadid and performers Halsey, Big Sean and Tierra Whack. But the theatrics also matched the energy the models exuded–dominant, sweet, flirty and most of all assertive. It's a behavior assumed to be behind closed dungeon doors and for women who keep up Eurocentric beauty standards.

With Savage x Fenty, those stereotypes are thrown out the window. The brand has done well in that market. It's why it makes it the perfect segway into the next generation of lingerie brands. Critics have used their most witty phrases to compare the event to Victoria's Secret Fashion Show but as fans will see Sept. 20, nothing is like Savage x Fenty.

Their mission of inclusion didn't stop at the beautiful bodies and negligees on stage. The music paid homage to the hot girls we've loved before (Tweet, Eve) as well as dancehall riddims and Latinx house music.

As Rihanna continues to dominate the fashion/beauty industry (her LVMH collab, Fenty Beauty) the Savage x Fenty show will be just one of the many moments in fashion history we'll revisit.

Before the big reveal next week, see how it all went down from inside the event below.

___

7:35 pm: The Dean Street entrance to Barclays Center looks like the outside of a club. There are models, rappers and fans who printed out fake barcodes to get in. After a few minutes of starting at the "Standing Line" section, I realize I'm in the wrong line.

7:40 pm: Doors aren't opening until 8:00 pm, so I get to enjoy some fresh air while checking out influencers wrapped in glitter and baby doll lingerie. Perhaps it shows what's to come this evening.

8:00 pm: The doors have officially opened. Like noted in the email, phones were placed into uber-secure YONDR pouches. I'm not mad at it all. With Amazon filming the show, it's only right that the audience is immersed in the experience.

8:13 pm: Sections aren't open yet but the red carpet is. Hip-hop is in the building (early) thanks to Migos, Big Sean and newcomer CHIKA.

8:16 pm: Some guests are starting to look uneasy without their phones. I’m so glad watches are still a thing–shouts to Casio, specifically A$AP Ferg’s collaboration design I rocked.

8:23 pm: In the bathroom and a favorable viral group comes in with plenty to say. “It's funny how celebrities act like they don’t nobody but they see everybody. Like, I know you see me." I feel you sis.

8:40 pm: Was asked to say hello to Rihanna on her Savage x Fenty Insta and totally fumbled it.

I let Rihanna down. 

8:54 pm: We're finally able to enter the show. The stage set up is a perfect combination of MC Escher stairs and gloomy Roman windows with a minimalistic twist.

Spotted: Bronx rapper Maliibu Miitch in a cozy fur, country star Kasey Musgraves in a perfect green fit, Chanel Iman and Ashley Graham with their mom glow as well as R&B duo LionBabe.

9:10 pm:  There’s a lady with a very big feathery hat sitting below me, she smells good.

9:20 pm:  Wow, it’s Dascha Polanco.

9:45 pm: Now that we're all seated, the DJ slows down the tunes and lights turn down low. It's starting.

9:46 pm:  Rihanna is front and center as ten dancers of all sizes flex (and look comfy) in black lingerie. The choreography is on point. The ladies are busting out their best bruk wine to the audience's delight.

9:47 pm:  The Savage looks are separated by color. Plenty of dancers and influencers hit the experimental runway. Bella Hadid looks too cute as she waves at the camera.

9:49 pm: Big Sean comes out (with his abs) and performs "Clique" before jumping into "Bezerk" with A$AP Ferg.

9:51: Blue and yellow bring us into the next phase of the show, paired with a sexy deep mix of Tweet’s “Oops (Oh My).” Cara Delevingne gets everyone in line and I love it.

9:54 pm: Red is the vibe and 21 Savage looks so happy in his blue steel walk. Women dominate the stage with accessories but one can help but appreciate how inclusive the show is. Short, tall, curvy, petite and people with disabilities are owning the stage.

9:56 pm: Laverne Cox came out of nowhere and just bodied her walk! It's a moment fans will truly adore. Tens across the board.

9:57 pm:  Migos perform “Pure Water”... in pure water. The pool is small and the guys seem to be unbothered by it. Shouts to their socks.

 

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A post shared by Migos (@migos) on Sep 11, 2019 at 9:01am PDT

10:03 pm: My handwriting goes to s**t once Normani takes the stage. Her moment makes me feel at ease about copping the new collection.

10:06 pm: I'd like to give props to the musical director. The blend of Wiley's "Boasty" and Eve's "Who's The Girl" is giving me life.

10:11 pm: It's time for another performance! DJ Khaled, Fat Joe, Fabolous take the stage but as predicted, Tierra Whack shines the brightest.

10:18 pm: Lace caps, sheer pants are the move in the lingerie game and I’m with it.

10:20 pm: Queen Rihanna comes out to a standing ovation. If she didn't walk away, I'm sure we would have clapped all night.

Spotted on the way out: Dave East, Mack Wilds, VIBE cover stars Naturi Houghton and Lala Anthony, Rapsody, Misa Hylton, Monica, Kehlani (who photographers couldn't get enough of) and actor Jharrel Jerome.

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Big Sean, Halsey, Fat Joe And More To Perform At Rihanna's 2019 Savage X Fenty Show

After Rihanna officially announced her second annual Savage X Fenty Show for her Fall/Winter 2019 collection last month, she has now unveiled who will take the stage and perform.

According to Billboard, Migos, DJ Khaled, Big Sean, A$AP Ferg, Fat Joe, Fabolous, Tierra Whack, Halsey, and more have been listed as performers. The expose is set to take place on Tuesday (Sept. 10) at Brooklyn's Barclays Center for New York Fashion Week.

Executive produced by Rihanna and produced by PRODJECT and Endeavor Content's non-scripted group, 21 Savage, Bella and Gigi Hadid, Cara Delevingne, Christian Combs, Laverne Cox, Wale  Normani, Alek Wek, Aquaria, Paloma Elsesser, and more will make "special appearances."

#SAVAGEXFENTYSHOW. SEPT 20TH. You have no idea how crazy of a show is coming to @primevideo !! Performances by @djkhaled @halsey @bigsean @Migos @fatjoe @asapferg @myfabolouslife & @TierraWhack... pic.twitter.com/bE63HWMe4n

— Rihanna (@rihanna) September 10, 2019

"I couldn't be more excited that everyone will have full access to The Savage X Fenty Show this year! We are working on creating bold, sexy, super energetic experience for our viewers," Rihanna said in a press release last month."

Other artists are slated the walk the runway as well. They reportedly include Saweetie and Gallant.

The entrepreneur also announced that following the live event, the Savage X Fenty Show will be available exclusively on Amazon Prime (Sept. 20), currently, the collection is available here.

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Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Chance The Rapper Shelves Tour After Birth Of Second Daughter

After Chance The Rapper and his wife Kirsten Corely welcomed their second baby girl, the Chicago native announced on Monday (Sept. 9) that he would be postponing the majority of his "The Big Day Tour."

The "Hot Shower" artist posted on his Instagram the surprising news, mentioning 2019 to be "one of the greatest years of his life," but that is has been "very strenuous having to divide [his] time and energy between family and work."

 

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I thought it over for the past week and I’ve decided to push back my tour. This year has been one of the greatest of my life; Marriage, new baby, first album etc. But with it being so eventful it has also been very strenuous having to divide my time and energy between family and work. When Kensli was born, I went on tour 2 weeks later and missed some of the most important milestones in her life, but more importantly I was absent when her mother needed me the most. At this point as a husband and father of two I realize that I can’t make that mistake again. I need to be as helpful and available as possible to my wife in these early months of raising Kensli and Marli. I apologize because I know how many people were counting on seeing me soon, but I hope you’ll understand and forgive me in time. Tour kicks off Jan. 15th and you can still get tix or your refund if you are unavailable at chanceraps.com & a few of the shows are still being rescheduled as well so stay tuned. I love you guys AND LITERALLY CANT WAIT FOR U TO WITNESS THIS SHOW 🙏🏾🙏🏾 SIDENOTE: 9/28 CHICAGO AT UNITED CENTER IS STILL ON AS WELL AS “LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL FEST” “IHEART MUSIC FEST” & “MIAMI BEACH POP FEST”! ❤️

A post shared by Chance The Rapper Owbum (@chancetherapper) on Sep 9, 2019 at 12:20pm PDT

While the tour is only postponed for five months, Chance's hometown will be the last city at the United Center on Sept. 28 to watch him perform for before his much-needed hiatus.

ABC7 Chicago reports that concert ticket holders can get refunds and more information at chanceraps.com.

 

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