Floyd Mayweather was in the nation’s capital over the weekend, as four fighters he promotes squared off in a tournament of sorts that aims to unify the 168-pound titles. But as he is wont to do, Mayweather made the biggest headline, when he strongly hinted at coming out of retirement.
“Everyone is asking me, ‘Is Floyd Mayweather coming back?’ Right now, I’m happy being on this side [of the ropes], but I’ve been talking with CBS and Showtime, and you just never know,” Mayweather told Showtime’s Jim Gray on Saturday. “But right now, I’m happy on this side.”
“As of right now, some crazy numbers have been thrown my way, upwards of, of course, nine figures,” Mayweather added. “I’m truly blessed, way beyond belief. I’m taking my time, I don’t really know what we’re going to do, but right now, I’m happy being on this side, helping fighters.”
What Mayweather repeatedly described as his final fight occurred in September, when he defeated Andre Berto and upped his record to a perfect 49-0. That matched the iconic mark reached by legendary heavyweight Rocky Marciano, and the extremely well-compensated welterweight champion insisted that he was perfectly happy to walk away.
However, the list of top-notch boxers who found it impossible to stay retired is a long one, including Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard and, more recently, Shane Mosley. Plus, in addition to massive financial incentives, Mayweather can push his record to an enticing 50-0.
Evidence that Mayweather is tempted by just that scenario was presented Sunday by ESPN’s Darren Rovell, who reported that, in April, a company owned by the fighter filed for trademarks on “TMT 50” and “TBE 50.” Both “TMT” (“The Money Team”) and “TBE” (The Best Ever”) are phrases that Mayweather has associated with himself, and as for “50,” well, it’s not hard to connect the dots.
Reasoning that “the window is cracked here a little bit,” Gray pressed Mayweather on some hypothetical opponents. Not surprisingly, if disappointingly, the ever-cautious fighter seemed to rule out Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, the undefeated Kazakh middleweight who many view as the most exciting fighter in the game today.
Mayweather repeated his previously stated assertion that Golovkin should face Andre Ward, presumably with the latter coming down in weight, rather than Mayweather himself going up to a weight (160 pounds) at which he’s never fought. However, he appeared to be more receptive to Gray’s suggestion of Danny Garcia, the 32-0 WBC welterweight champion.
“Undefeated prospect, undefeated champion in two different weight classes,” Mayweather said. “Very exciting fighter. You just never know.”
A possible matchup with the winner of June’s Keith Thurman-Shawn Porter fight clearly held no appeal for Mayweather, possibly because neither is, as yet, a big enough draw. While his May 2015 fight against Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao set records for revenue, his finale against Berto garnered lackluster numbers, and if Mayweather does reenter the ring, it will almost certainly be against a boxer he thinks has the right combination of star power and inability to overcome his defensive, counter-punching style.
Oh, and the money would have to be right — meaning monstrous. Gray asked if Mayweather would be more likely to come back for a pile of cash or to run his record to 50-0.
“For both,” the currently retired fighter said. “If I came back, of course, it would have to be a nine-figure payday, and probably a championship fight.
“And a nine-figure payday,” he added.