By Jake Donovan
Whenever Floyd Mayweather Jr. fights or even makes a major announcement regarding his career, the boxing world collectively stands up and takes notice.
Even in a career filled with earth-shattering results and news, there was perhaps no bigger moment than when word leaked of his six-fight deal with Showtime after a career largely spent fighting on HBO’s airwaves. The first of the six fights comes on May 4, when he faces Robert Guerrero in a Showtime pay-per-view headliner from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Mayweather is on record claiming a September ring return, with the goal to remain as active as possible for the benefit of the rest of his career as well as for the fan’s enjoyment. He’s doing it not in pursuit of anyone or anything in particular, but simply because he still carries the fighting drive.
“If I didn’t have anything left, I wouldn’t be in the sport,” claims Mayweather, even if some will argue the guaranteed purses north of $200 million are all the motivation he needs. “I still have the will to win. If I took a lot of punishment, I would’ve hung up the gloves by now.”
Next weekend’s event comes exactly 52 weeks after his last ring appearance, a 12-round decision win over Miguel Cotto. The time spent from the ring was due in part to his incarceration last summer, though once back in the gym it was just a matter of picking the right opponent.
That moment come in the weeks following Guerrero’s 12-round multi-knockdown-aided points win over Andre Berto last November. Guerrero had aggressively pursued a Mayweather showdown for most of the early portion of 2012 before settling on a pair of welterweight fights to prove his worth at the top level.
The May 4 showdown is the first of six fights on his current contract, though not necessarily the first of the final six fights of his career.
“I don’t know yet,” Mayweather stated when asked if the 30-month term on his contract will double as a career expiration date. “I’ll be close to 40 (by then). It might be time to get out the sport. We’ll just have to see how these six fights play out. I just want to stay active and stay busier. It will be better for me and better for my fans. Time will tell.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox