WASHINGTON: Floyd Mayweather Jr. has no plans to return to the ring after hanging up his gloves undefeated last September, but he is finding opponents as a promoter more difficult to manage.
That was the case on Monday (Tuesday in Manila) as reigning World Boxing Association super lightweight champion Adrien Broner stormed out of a Washington news conference to advance his April 1 title bout against Britain’s Mayweather-backed Ashley Theophane.
“[Screw] those guys. They’re coming to dethrone me,” Broner said. “They are my enemy right now. I’m going to beat the [hell]out of Ashley. Fight ain’t going four rounds. Nine minutes is too much.
“I’m going to torture this guy.”
Broner, 31-2 with 23 knockouts, chattered at his English rival during a staredown for photos and took off after that without staying for questions, leaving Mayweather to try and explain how an event that began an hour late came to such a premature end.
“I’ve said some things I regret when I was a young fighter. I’ve learned,” Mayweather said. “To get respect you have to give respect. If you don’t carry yourself in the right way, you’re going to hurt yourself in the long run.”
Mayweather, who walked away 49-0 with 26 knockouts, made it clear a ring return is not in the cards even for a rich payday, much less for the new Olympic opportunity open now to pro fighters.
“Absolutely not,” he said. “For my body to recover from all my fights will be for the rest of my life. I’m truly blessed to have been fighting for so much of my life.”
“I had a great run. Ain’t no more for this body to heal but rest.”
Mayweather figures by the time he would be ready to try and surpass the 49-0 mark he shares with the late Hall of Fame legend Rocky Marciano, “the only record in boxing I would be looking at is old age.”
Mayweather, who indicated he would like to become part-owner of an NBA team, said the young fighters he helps advise and promote are the ones he wants to see challenge his feats.
“I want these guys to break my records,” Mayweather said. “I was able to retire from the sport with all my faculties. I did not let the sport retire me.”
Theophane, nine years older than Broner at 35, is 39-6 with one draw and 11 knockouts and has won six bouts in a row to book the biggest fight of his life.
“I’ve shown I can mix it with the best,” said Theophane. “This is my career-defining fight. Adrien Broner is not Floyd. He can be beaten.”
Age might work in his favor, the Briton said.
“Old is not always bad. You can be very experienced. You can be smart. It’s like him being a clown and me staying calm. Being the older man means you have lived life, seen things.”
Among the things Theophane has seen is Mayweather’s growing contentment with his role as promoter and advisor.
“He seems content now,” Theo¬phane said. “He has mastered the script. He is 49-0. He has made lots of money. He should be applauded because now he’s helping other boxers achieve their dreams.”