Los Angeles exotic-car dealer Obi Okeke was sound asleep when his phone rang one morning at 3 a.m. last year.
It was Floyd Mayweather.
The undefeated welterweight champ had a mission for his trusted dealer: Have a Bugatti Veyron sitting in the driveway of his Las Vegas mansion in 12 hours.
It was time for Dr. Bugatti, as Okeke is sometimes called, to perform a miracle.
So Okeke jumped in the shower and headed to Fusion Luxury Motors, the Chatsworth, Calif., store he opened in 2012 and co-owns. He checked his notes, hopped on a plane, secured the car and drove it to Mayweather himself.
And he did it in 11 hours.
That’s life when you’re dealing with the spontaneous Mayweather, who, according to some reports, could rake in as much as $180 million this Saturday when he faces off with fellow superstar Manny Pacquiao.
Okeke said there’s no room for mediocrity when dealing with Mayweather. The polarizing boxer has high expectations for himself, Okeke said, and therefore does for everyone around him.
Okeke has sold 39 cars to Mayweather, including a $3.2 million Ferrari Enzo and three Bugatti Veyrons that are worth $6.2 million combined. In a career spanning nearly 30 years, Okeke has sold cars to the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jessica Simpson, Ellen DeGeneres, Chris Tucker and more.
He started his career as a Chevrolet dealer in 1987 and eventually moved on to manage stores for Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, BMW, Ferrari and Maserati before he started his own.
Okeke, 53, spoke with Automotive News about his life and Mayweather adventures.
Q: Were you born in the U.S.?
A: I was not. My father is from Nigeria; my mother is from Ohio. I was born in Nigeria. My parents have been married for 57 years. When I was a kid, Nigeria had a civil war, so we escaped from Nigeria as refugees [to Ohio], just my mom and the kids. Then we went back to Nigeria. My parents weren’t crazy about the school system. My mom’s best friend was in charge of Swissair for western Africa, so they shipped me off to Switzerland.
When did you first meet Floyd?
Back in 2008, 2009. I was general manager of a Ferrari dealership. A business associate brought him to the Ferrari dealership. That was the first time I met Floyd, and then I transacted on two Ferraris with him.