In an extended interview with members of the boxing media on Tuesday, pound for pound King and Welterweight and Junior Middleweight champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (45-0) discussed a number of topics ranging from his interest in purchasing the Los Angeles Clippers of the NBA to the possible future of Richard Schaefer, the CEO of his promoter Golden Boy Promotions who is allegedly feuding with Golden Boy owner Oscar De La Hoya. The most surprising thing mentioned by Mayweather during this interview was that he is considering retirement without fulfilling the final three fights of his massive exclusive contract with Showtime. The man known as “Money” did not mention if he would fight one or two or three more times.
The first two fights of the six fight Showtime deal has been extremely lucrative for Mayweather. Sports Illustrated, which named him the top earning athlete in all of sports for 2013, estimates that Mayweather made $90 million for his two 2013 bouts. That would be a ton of money even if he was in two grueling wars which resulted in cuts and injuries. However, those two fights were virtually walks in the park: in May, 2013, Robert Guerrero basically did nothing but catch Mayweather’s punches and in September, 2013, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez was too slow to come close to landing anything of significance on “Money.” In the third fight, airing on pay per view Saturday night from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, Mayweather faces Marcos Maidana (35-3) who is anywhere from a 8 to 1 to a 14 to 1 underdog (more on that tomorrow) and while Maidana is heavy handed, the Argentine’s lack of speed has all of the experts predicting another easy night for Mayweather.
This begs the question… if you could make $150 million for two fights against opponents who are not much of a threat to beat you, why retire. Indeed, Mayweather’s next opponent, should he beat Maidana, is likely Amir Khan who must get past Luis Collazo on Saturday’s undercard (more on that tomorrow). Khan is a light hitting speedster with a shaky defense and a lousy chin. It will likely be considered another Floyd walk with very long odds. That leaves two fights, one of which many believe will be a rematch with Canelo. Other possible opponents such as Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter could be considered tougher tests for the pound for pound king but they still would be long shots given their lack of experience, punching power or skill. The risky opponents for Mayweather, such as Manny Pacquiao or Gennady Golovkin, are not viable due to the promotional and television network issues that surround boxing.
Thus, Mayweather is likely not credible when he says he may retire before completing the Showtime contract. There is just too much money there with not much risk. For boxing fans, we may be seeing four more fights like the Guerrero and Canelo bouts. In other words, $70 for not much action and fairly uncompetitive main events.