Floyd Mayweather will keep himself busy with business interests inside and outside of boxing when the pound-for-pound king leaves the sport, which he said will be for a relatively basic reason.
“There’s really nothing else to accomplish,” the Grand Rapids native said.
Mayweather (48-0, 26 KOs) defends his welterweight title next week against Andre Berto (30-3, 23 KOs), and insists his 26th world championship bout will be his career finale.
Mayweather, 38, will face rounds of questions about his boxing future right up until the Sept. 12 fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena, and beyond, by those who believe it unlikely he will step away from his sport’s pinnacle.
Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions, said no one from MGM has approached him about Mayweather competing at the new 20,000-seat arena opening next spring in Las Vegas.
Mayweather could continue to have his pick of opponents in 2016, when he would be a television free agent.
A rematch with Manny Pacquiao, whom he defeated in May, or a step up to fight middleweight titleist Gennady Golovkin would generate great interest.
Asked if he would consider a rematch against the winner of a November fight between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Miguel Cotto, whom he defeated in 2013 and 2012, respectively, Mayweather scoffed.
“If I’m through at 49, why would I fight one of them in my 50th fight?” he said.
Mayweather for years has expressed a sagging interest in boxing, and the record-shattering Pacquiao fight set financial marks that could go unmatched for many years.
He also has seen the declining health of his uncle Roger Mayweather, the two-time world champion who trained him until he decided he had to make a change in 2013, and whose deteriorating condition almost certainly is boxing-related.
“No one is in my shoes,” Mayweather said. “My health is more important. Anything can happen. I’m not really worried about losing but I want to have a sharp mind. You can make a lot of money but you still want to be able to talk, walk and have a sharp mind.”
Berto probably could have fought any other welterweight title-holder without criticism of the selection.
For Mayweather, who risks his World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council 147-pound titles, that isn’t necessarily the case. He is the pound-for-pound king and some believe Berto, who has lost three of his last six fights, is ill-fit to challenge that throne.
“It really doesn’t matter who I choose, they’re going to always criticize,” Mayweather said. “That goes with the territory.
“I don’t read it, I don’t talk about it. I could care less. Nobody is forced to watch. Watch if you want to watch; if you don’t want to watch, don’t watch. Write about it if you want to write about it; if you don’t want to write about it, don’t.”
Mayweather contends that several opponents in recent years have performed beyond their usual limits against him.
He said he expects the same from Berto.
“He’s got nothing to lose, and when you’ve got a guy that’s put in a situation with nothing to lose, it makes him work that much harder,” Mayweather said. “He’s got a chance to be one of the top guys in the sport when I’m through. So does he want to dethrone Floyd Mayweather? Absolutely.
“Like they say in football, ‘Any given Sunday,’ I say any given Saturday, anything can happen. So I’m prepared, mentally and physically. I’m in top shape. I’m pretty sure he’s in top shape. But I’m not going to overlook this guy.”
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