By Ryan Maquiñana
Floyd Mayweather’s fighting days are coming closer toward the finish line, and boxing’s pound-for-pound king addressed the subject at Saturday’s press conference announcing his May 3 pay-per-view clash with Marcos Maidana.
“I got this fight and three more,” Mayweather said. “So we can say four fights, three fights. A lot of times you hear people saying, ‘I’m trying to break Rocky Marciano’s record.’ Floyd Mayweather fights for Floyd Mayweather.”
Marciano retired at a pristine 49-0, but Mayweather claims that being ranked ahead of the “Brockton Blockbuster” or other retired all-time greats like Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson is the least of the reigning welterweight champion’s concerns.
“I don’t fight to try to break Ali’s record,” Mayweather said. “I don’t to try to fight to break Sugar Ray Robinson’s record. I fight to please myself. This is what I love to do. I know deep in my heart where I’m rated at in the sport of boxing. I didn’t fight in Ali’s era. I didn’t fight in Sugar Ray Robinson’s era.”
However, Mayweather did offer a brief comparison between himself and the aforementioned legends.
“This is Floyd Mayweather’s era, so like I said before, everybody’s always going to have their own opinion about fighters,” he said. “Back then, fighters can fight once a month or once every two weeks. But look at the type of fighters they were fighting. Athletes in today’s time are bigger, better and stronger.”
One department where yesterday’s fighters pale in comparison to Mayweather is in the bank account; he pulled in a guaranteed $41.5 million purse following his last bout against Canelo Alvarez. On Saturday, Mayweather attributed his transformation from “Pretty Boy Floyd” to “Money” to his departure from former promoter Top Rank in 2005.
“I think the best move I ever made in my whole career was leaving Top Rank,” he said. “… I was making seven figures with them, but once I left them I made eight figures, so that was the best move I ever made in my whole career was becoming my own boss and being able to dictate and do what I wanted to do with my career.”
The encounter with Maidana represents the third of six contracted bouts with Showtime Pay-Per-View. In terms of who’s next on the horizon, Mayweather was initially vague.
“As far as my three next opponents, I really don’t know who my three next opponents will be,” he said. “I really don’t, because I know that a lot of people want to know, ‘Who are you going to fight next?’”
But in contradictory fashion, the topic of conversation switched to former junior welterweight titleholder Amir Khan, whom Mayweather suggested fight Adrien Broner on the May 3 undercard in order to secure the next fight with Floyd.
“You all see what I tweeted out,” Mayweather said. “… You know who I wanted on the undercard (Khan). You want to fight me? Earn it. You want to fight me? You got to earn it. Some may not earn it. I may just pick ‘em because I want to.”
Ryan Maquiñana was the boxing producer for NBCOlympics.com during London 2012 and writes a boxing column for CSNBayArea.com. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and Ring Magazine's Ratings Panel. E-mail him at [email protected] , check out his blog at Norcalboxing.com or follow him on [email protected] .