Retirement is easier said than done, especially if you happen to be a prizefighter.
Manny Pacquiao had previously announced that his upcoming showdown with American Timothy Bradley Jr. is already his swan song. But even before he could lay a glove on Bradley, Pacquiao appears to be wavering on his stance. First, he hinted on the possibility of extending his career if pro fighters are given the go-signal to participate in the Olympics. Truth be told, however, Pacquiao’s sudden reluctance at hanging up the gloves can be attributed to latest developments pointing to Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s possible emergence from his retirement cocoon.
Mayweather archived the gloves in September 2015 after a ho-hum decision over Andre Berto. Since retiring, he has been spending money like it is about to become obsolete. The problem, however, is that there’s more dough coming out than coming in. At the rate Floyd is throwing away his money on those expensive sports cars, it may only be a matter of time before he laces on the gloves again to resuscitate his coffers.
As things stand, Mayweather is already dropping hints of a possible comeback. He talked about fighting middleweight power-hitter Gennady Golovkin (34-0, 31 knockouts), albeit on the condition that the latter defeats Andre Ward. Golovkin is however too big for Mayweather and a more believable angle is a return match with Pacquiao. Mayweather defeated Pacquiao on points in their megabuck showdown in May 2015, but the win left a sour taste in the mouth after the Filipino disclosed that he fought with a busted shoulder. If Pacquiao comes up with an eye-popping performance against Bradley, you can almost smell a return encounter with Mayweather.
Mayweather (49-0, 26 knockouts) will become a laughing stock if he returns to take on a trialhorse. The last thing boxing fans want to see is Floyd returning to make on another fighter cut in the mold of Berto. A fight with Golovkin is very intriguing, but many believe Mayweather is just using the lava-hot Golovkin to draw attention. Ultimately, Pacquiao makes for a more enticing foe for Mayweather. Pacquiao is not as big as Golovkin and Mayweather is already familiar with the Filipino’s fighting style. Mayweather also talked about mixing it up with World Boxing Council welterweight titleholder Danny Garcia (32-0, 18 knockouts), but between Garcia and Pacquiao it is the PacMan who stands to give Mayweather the astronomical purse he covets.
Regardless of Mayweather’s choice of opponent, insiders foresee a possible return as early as September. If Mayweather does return, it will simply be a case of déjà vu. He retired after knocking out Briton Ricky ‘Hitman’ Hatton in 2007 but returned some two years later to outbox Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez.
The money aside, experts see two compelling reasons for a Mayweather return. Though already 39 years old, he can still compete and has always kept his body in great shape. Moreover, there is the matter of surpassing the 49-0 record he currently shares with former heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano. Mayweather’s ego is too big for him to find satisfaction in sharing the record with another fighter. A 50-0 record achieved by beating a recognizable foe will be the ideal icing on the cake for Mayweather’s career.
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