'Why wouldn't Floyd like Blackpool?' Promoters hit back after Mayweather visit prompts trolling
Internet trolls have cast a dark cloud over international boxing legend Floyd Mayweather's upcoming trip to Blackpool.
Nasty comments have rolled in since the 42-year-old star, worth hundreds of millions of dollars thanks to his success in the ring, announced that he would visit the resort to meet fans.
Tabloid headlines also reference his choice of a budget hotel - the Grand Hotel Blackpool - and claimed Mayweather would charge £150 for a photo at the "no-frills" venue on the Prom.
But local firm Gold Star Promotions, which is running the event, has hit back at claims and said there's no reason Mayweather would not enjoy his fleeting visit to the seaside.
"It'll be the same show the bigger cities get," one of its bosses, which did not want to be named, said. "Floyd agreed to come to Blackpool for people who can't always afford to spend lots of money going to watch big events.
"He's a businessman. He isn't small-minded. He will appreciate how hard-working people in this town are and appreciate the effort we put into it."
The promotions firm dismissed claims fans will be charged £150 for a snap with the sporting star, who earned $275 million after his bout with UFC champ Conor McGregor in 2017 according to Forbes.
"Those claims aren't true at all," the director said. "£150 is the price of the ticket, not just for one photo.
"The ticket includes entertainment, a motivational speech from Floyd, a three-course meal, as well as a meet and greet with a photo. It's been completely blown out of proportion."
He said Mayweather's team is "looking forward" to bringing the tour to Blackpool, and said the online negativity did not bring the threat of cancellation.
Karl Etherington, 42, from Lytham, a co-promoter of the event, said: "Why wouldn't he like Blackpool?
"Mayweather is bringing his entourage and his own DJ with him, and flying into Blackpool Airport on a private jet.
"There will be someone to meet him to teach him about the town, and tell him about all the great things we have to offer.
"There are far too many negative perceptions of Blackpool, so hopefully by attracting these big names it will encourage more people to visit the town."
The event, which will see local footballer and broadcaster Trevor Sinclair interviewing Mayweather, who is also expected to meet young local boxers, will be held on Sunday, March 1.
The Gazette approached Britannia Hotels, which runs the Grand Hotel Blackpool, formerly the Hilton, for a comment.