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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Floyd Mayweather is officially the Brett Favre of boxing retirements

Floyd Mayweather

Floyd Mayweather Jr has officially hit Brett Favre status when it comes to retirements.

Mayweather announced on Instagram Saturday morning that he will come out of retirement yet again so that he can fight Manny Pacquiao in a rematch.

A second fight between the men will mark their rematch of a May 2, 2015 bout that left many disappointed. Mayweather won the match convincingly in a unanimous decision. Pacquiao hardly looked like himself and barely threw any punches, which was later attributed to a serious shoulder injury. Fans later sued over the shoulder injury. The fight did 4.6 million pay-per-view buys, which is a record for combat sports, and generated an estimated $400 million in revenue.

Mayweather facing Pacquiao will not only mark their second fight, but Mayweather’s third time coming out of an official retirement, making him similar to Favre, who officially came out of retirement twice, and toyed with the idea of retirement many more times.

Mayweather’s first retirement came after he beat Ricky Hatton on Dec. 8, 2007 to improve to 39-0. Mayweather said at the time that he would concentrate on building his promotional business. He returned to the ring almost two years later on Sept. 19, 2009 and beat Juan Manuel Marquez to go 40-0. Prior to his fight with Hatton, Mayweather openly contemplated retirement because he had just beaten Oscar De La Hoya.

Mayweather retired a second time after beating Andre Berto on Sept. 12, 2015 to improve to 49-0. At that point Mayweather had completed his six-fight contract with Showtime, but there was speculation that he would return for another fight to make his record 50-0.

Mayweather indeed returned two years later to beat Conor McGregor in a one-off boxing match against the UFC champion on Aug. 17, 2017. That made him 50-0. Mayweather retired again after the fight.

If Floyd retires after facing Pacquiao, that would mark his fourth retirement.

So what’s the deal with all the retirements? We have a few thoughts.

One, on a basic level, Mayweather constantly retiring and unretiring could come down to a matter of poor terminology. Maybe if he said he was putting his career on hiatus or taking a sabbatical, that would be more appropriate wording. But the more likely reason for his multiple retirements is negotiating power. By retiring, Mayweather gives himself added leverage in contract negotiations. While retired, he needs to be convinced to make a return. He is the main draw, the big attraction, and he makes himself more scarce and therefore more valuable by saying he is retired. He drives his price up with this tactic.

Mayweather is a businessman — an excellent one at that. He knows what he is doing with his retirements, and he knows that he’ll be making a ton of money every time he comes out of it to fight.



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