Following his close – yet clear – victory over Oscar De La Hoya last night, the ever-ostentatious Floyd Mayweather Jr. continued to say that he was finished boxing, boasting that he had nothing left to prove.
He’s got a point
Here’s hoping the new WBC 154 lb champion – now 38-0 – goes with the Barry Sanders retirement instead of the Michael Jordan or Roger Clemens version. (And yes, without question, Mayweather is in that class of athletes. His career has been that dominant.)
Although it wasn’t the masterpiece he claimed it was to Larry Merchant in the post-fight interview, Mayweather’s victory confirmed what he’s been telling anyone willing to listen for years now: Pound for pound, he’s the best there is and (possibly) the best there ever was. Call him Bret “the hit man” Hart. Only Pretty Boy doesn’t wear tights.
Now a champion at five different weight classes, his legacy in tact, why should Mayweather continue boxing?
The only real answer: The sport needs him.
Boxing in this country is about as recognizable as Major League Soccer. The average sports fan wouldn’t know Mayweather from Usher before he fought De La Hoya. Now that he’s assumed this over-confident bad guy role, the sport needs a fan favorite to come along and knock him off his pedestal.
But Mayweather appears to be smarter than that. He watched Roy Jones Jr. go from the greatest fighter ever to a loser of three straight fights a few years ago. Why should he move up in weight again and even risk ruining his unblemished record? It’s simply not worth it.
In that interview with Merchant, Mayweather talked about being the greatest fighter ever and suggested, “God doesn’t make mistakes.”
There’s no reason for Floyd to make one either.