The skills of Floyd Mayweather are as good as ever, but the time is now to hang up the gloves for good.
He may have lost a split second on his reaction time and foot speed, but he‘s still at the top of his game. His 43rd win over Miguel Cotto was earned (unlike Manny Pacquiao’s win over Juan Manuel Marquez), and he even switched up his style to do it.
Typically a defensive puncher, Money May turned into the aggressor so he could “give the crowd what they wanted” and still ended up winning handily. It was one of the most impressive performances in the 35-year-old's career and there is no question he has a few more fights in his system.
So why did he say he’s 80/20 on retiring?
The first problem is a jail sentence that begins on June 1, which will keep him behind bars for 87 days. That means training for his next fight won’t begin until September. Is that enough time for a November bout?
Money May is one of the most prideful boxers of all time. His perfect 43-0 record is everything to him. Rushing back into the ring without the proper amount of time to train would be a nightmare situation.
The other big question: Who is left to fight him?
We all know a fight against Pacquiao is the ultimate dream for boxing fans. It’s the one fight that really matters at this point. Yet with Mayweather blaming promoter Bob Arum for not giving him more than a 50/50 cut of PPV buys, which is just the latest complication after years of arguing over blood and drug tests, a fight between the two seems as unlikely as ever.
The arguments have been going on for four years now and if we haven’t seen it by now, it’s never going to happen.
Other than Pacman, no other opponent is going to make fans truly believe Mayweather might lose. Sergio Martinez, Andrew Wards and Canelo Alvarez are all great fighters, but would all be heavy underdogs. No. 44 doesn’t mean as much to Mayweather as the “0” next to his name anymore.
What’s the point in risking his perfect record for a lesser known opponent that needs Money May to become famous?
Mayweather himself recognizes that the reason he is talking about retirement is the lack of competition at this point in his career (via ESPN):
There's really no one for me to fight. I don't have to fight if I don't want to. They say, 'Save the best for last.' And if this was my last fight, it was a helluva fight.
Blame the state of boxing, blame Arum or blame the insane amount of money Mayweather has in his bank account, but all of them combined paint a future for Money May that doesn’t include boxing.
He has a fiancée now and he just collected over $40 million for the Cotto fight. He is one of the most famous athletes in sports and can go out on top. He doesn’t need boxing anymore; he doesn’t need the tireless regiment, the endless workouts and the pressure. His legacy is already set in stone.
Mayweather doesn’t need boxing anymore, so don’t hate him if he decides to hang up the gloves. Blame the rest of the boxing world.