Floyd Mayweather Jr. recently announced that he is coming out of “retirement” once again for a rematch against Manny Pacquiao, and there is plenty of skepticism over whether the fight will actually happen. That was to be expected, but someone who knows Floyd quite well insists the undefeated champion is not messing around.
Stephen Espinoza, president of programming for Showtime Sports, told TMZ over the weekend that Mayweather is “deadly serious” about fighting Pacquiao again.
“I haven’t spoken to Floyd,” Espinoza admitted. “I know he is deadly serious about it. He is very, very serious about wanting to fight from everything that I’ve seen and heard. Manny Pacquiao is serious about it as well.”
Espinoza said it would be difficult to work out all of the details of the fight before the end of 2018, but he believes the rematch will take place at some point in the near future. He added that he understands why there was skepticism about whether Mayweather was serious because of the way he announced he is planning to fight Pacquiao, but that is simply Floyd’s marketing style.
There had been talk about Mayweather only doing promoting work for Pacquiao’s next fight, but as of now it sounds like he wants a rematch. When you can make the kind of money that Mayweather and Pacquiao would make from fighting again, it’s hard to turn it down.
Conor McGregor has a big fight coming up on Saturday but also has his eye on a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
McGregor joined “Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show” on Monday and said that he would like to face Mayweather again. He is open to either an MMA fight or boxing rematch against Mayweather, but he made it clear that he will not agree to a modified rules MMA fight.
“If [Mayweather] has the bottle to come over and deal with this, like he said he has, let’s see what happens. I would also like to box him again. Everything is being discussed. Every rule set. If it’s not an MMA bout, then I don’t want to know. It’s either a straight MMA bout or a straight boxing bout. If they come looking for modified rules, I would rather just box the kid again. If you don’t want to deal with it, then don’t deal with it and stop going on like you’re doing,” McGregor told Helwani.
In the meantime, McGregor has a much bigger task ahead. He is set to face Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 for the lightweight championship. Khabib is 26-0 and may be McGregor’s toughest opponent yet.
After his fight with Khabib, McGregor says he has given consideration to facing Anderson Silva. He also says he would like to complete his trilogy with Nate Diaz at some point.
McGregor and Mayweather fought in Aug. 2017, with Floyd winning by 10th-round TKO. McGregor hung tough for such a challenging fight in his pro boxing debut, though Floyd may have carried the fight into later rounds to give viewers a better show. The fight had 4.3 million pay-per-view buys, second only to Floyd’s fight with Manny Pacquiao. A rematch would probably not sell quite as well, though it would do plenty of buys thanks to the popularity of both fighters. Mayweather said earlier this year that he was training in MMA, but we have our doubts about him stepping into the cage without modified rules.
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.
“I don’t know for sure but I’m just saying the way things are sounding to me,” Mayweather Sr. said, as transcribed by The Sun. “Sounds like he (my son) wants to fight again.”
Mayweather Sr. said he is confident McGregor wants to fight again to show people what he can do, which Floyd Sr. insists is “nothing.” He hinted that a second fight would also take place inside the boxing ring and that Mayweather Jr. would knock McGregor out of the sport for good.
“I’m just saying I think they are going to fight the same way [boxing rules],” Mayweather Sr. added. “I think that Conor McGregor want to get that win back that he had, which is never coming back to him anyway.
“It’s being talked about and it sounds like there is a lot of interest in it right now.”
Floyd Sr. and Jr. are both very good promoters, so it makes sense that they would want to keep the hype alive. Many people thought a rematch between Mayweather and McGregor would take place in an MMA setting, but that seems highly unlikely. Whatever the case, the way the two fighters have continued to throw shade at each other indicates they want their beef to continue.
Conor McGregor appears to have no interest in training with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
On Tuesday, TMZ Sports released a video of Mayweather telling McGregor to come to his Mayweather Boxing Club to train for his upcoming fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229. Mayweather also said he would like to attend the fight.
Later in the day, McGregor tweeted about the Mayweathers, which some thought was a response to Floyd’s offer.
“F— the Mayweathers, except Senior and Roger.
There is no peace here kid.
Step up or step down.”
That seems to be a lot of shade direct at Floyd, who is a “junior” to his father, Floyd Mayweather Sr.
It also could be interpreted as McGregor calling out Floyd to come fight him in the UFC rather than boxing like they did last year. There has been a lot of talk that Mayweather could end up fighting in the UFC, so maybe this is a step towards making that happen.
“Actually, I’m gonna get on the phone with Pacquiao after I get off this call and get in touch. And we can put him in position and get him some…[there’s] a lot of good competition out there that he could fight,” Mayweather said.
Following his victory over Lucas Matthysse last month, Pac-Man said he was open to a rematch with Mayweather. Floyd hasn’t fought since beating Conor McGregor last year and probably has no interest in putting himself against a dangerous opponent like Manny. Instead he’s focusing on his promotional career.
Pacquiao probably would have little interest in having Floyd promote him; Manny recently split with Top Rank and is promoting himself, perhaps as part of his cost-cutting measures. What would he gain from letting Floyd promote him?
It has been more than three years since Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. finally squared off in a match that seemed like it would never actually take place, and Pacquiao is ready to do it all over again.
Pacquiao picked up his 60th career win and captured the WBA welterweight title when he defeated Lucas Matthysse by TKO on Sunday, and he said he is very open to defending the belt against Mayweather.
“Mayweather? If he decides to go back to boxing then that is the time we are going to call the shots,” Pacquiao told reporters when asked about a possible rematch, according to ESPN 5. “I have the belt, so it’s up to him. If he wants to come back in boxing let’s do a second one.”
Pacquiao is 39, but he insists the way he trained for the Matthysse is sustainable. He looked like his old self in the fight and threw threw punches in flurries, so it makes sense that he is willing to keep going. If Mayweather — who is 41 and has not fought since his mega-bout against Conor McGregor last summer — isn’t up for it, there has been talk of Pacquiao possibly fighting Amir Khan.
“Yes that’s a potential opponent; Amir Khan,” he said. “There’s a lot of potential opponents there, like Lomachenko, there are so many fighters that have potential to be my opponent next.”