Floyd Mayweather Says Conor McGregor Fight Is His Last, Talks Legacy on Call

Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 17, 2017

Floyd Mayweather Jr. trains at his gym Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017, in Las Vegas. Mayweather is scheduled to fight Conor McGregor Aug. 26 in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press

When Floyd Mayweather last stepped into a ring nearly two years ago to fight Andre Berto, he thought he was doing it for the last time. 

This time, Mayweather says his impending retirement is for real.

"I gave my word to Al Haymon. I gave my word to my children. And one thing I don't want to do is break that. ... This will be my last fight," Mayweather said Thursday at a media conference call for his Aug. 26 fight against Conor McGregor

Mayweather, who retired after earning a unanimous-decision win over Berto in September 2015, spent most of the conference call reflecting on a career that ranks among the greatest in boxing history. He would set an all-time record with 50 wins without a defeat should he beat McGregor, breaking a tie with Rocky Marciano. 

"I don't try to focus on other fighters, but I'm appreciative for every fighter that paved the way for me to be where I'm at," Mayweather said. "Even though this is No. 50, this is my 50th fight, that's not my focus. My focus is to give the fans an exciting fight. ... Rocky Marciano is a legend. Rocky Marciano did it his way. I'd just like to it the Mayweather way."

McGregor, the most famous face in mixed martial arts, is making his boxing debut after becoming the first fighter in UFC history to simultaneously hold two championships. Some have wondered whether McGregor, in the prime of his career, is taking too big of a risk switching sports altogether in a match that could lower his star power. 

Mayweather said he believes his decision to put his undefeated record on the line is more of a risk.

"I believe I'm taking the bigger risk, I have the 49-0 record," Mayweather said. "When a fighter has lost before, if he loses again, they say it's nothing he lost before. But when a boxer has been dominating for twentysome years, never lost, everything is on the line. My legacy, my boxing record, everything is on the line."

Mayweather also doubled down on his comments acknowledging that he may have lost a step at age 40.

"I'm just being honest, I don't think I'm the same Floyd Mayweather I was 21 years ago, of course not. I don't think I'm the same Floyd Mayweather that I was 10 years ago. I'm not even the same Floyd Mayweather I was five or two years ago. But I said I still have a high IQ in that ring, and I said experience wise it leans towards me," he said.

The fight will take place using eight-ounce gloves, rather than the standard 10-ounce gloves, thanks to a waiver granted by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. McGregor typically fights using four-ounce gloves in UFC while boxing typically requires 10-ounce gloves for any weight class above 147 pounds.

Mayweather said that was put in place to avoid excuses on either side, saying, "I'm not really worried about the outcome, I'm worried about excitement. I understand he's used to fighting in four-ounce gloves...I want to make him feel as comfortable as possible. I'm not going to have any excuses, and I don't want him to have any excuses."

As for his post-boxing career, Mayweather said he will focus on real estate ventures, his children and his Mayweather Productions business. He said he wants to leave a legacy behind for his children to take over the businesses and expand them once they graduate from college.