By Troy Ondrizek
Floyd Mayweather Jr. (39-0 25KOs) has yet again announced he is retiring from boxing. What is it about his dealing with De La Hoya that makes him want to quit the sport? This time there were no tears and there seemed to be a greater sincerity to Mayweather’s words of wanting to leave this sport behind. Floyd said in a statement he released earlier today “It is with a heavy heart that I write you this message today, I have decided to permanently retire from boxing. This decision was not an easy one for me to make, as boxing is all I have done since I was a child. However, these past few years have been extremely difficult for me to find the desire and joy to continue in the sport.”
Mayweather hasn’t been so honest in a long time, fighting only once in thirteen months and running off and playing a big role in the male soap opera known as the WWE, it has seemed for some time that Floyd was done with boxing. Even though there are a couple fights we would’ve liked to see Floyd in (a rematch with Oscar De La Hoya not being one of them) I believe this is a good split for both boxing and Mayweather. Whether this is a permanent retirement or a promotional ploy has yet to be determined, but finally Floyd is making sense.
Truthfully, one would be hard pressed to find a roomful of people outside of Golden Boy’s offices who actually wanted to see Mayweather/De La Hoya II and the only real pressing fight we really want to see “Money May” in was against Miguel Cotto. It never seemed like Floyd was ever interested in fighting Puerto Rico’s burgeoning star.
No one can ever question Mayweather’s talent and skill, but his fighting heart and his aloofness at times towards the fans of the sport and their desire to see greatness from him has left his memory a bit skewed. Floyd has had a handful of meaningful fights, he took on a prime Diego Corrales and stopped him, and beat a prime Jose Luis Castillo twice (some say once); he took on the “Golden Boy” and showed him how to counter and he flattened the light welterweight champion Ricky Hatton in his final outing.
However, when he took on a fading De La Hoya the world was calling for a fight with Antonio Margarito (who would go on to lose his leverage by losing to Paul Williams) and now for him to fight his number one contender and exciting boxer-puncher Miguel Cotto. Mix in his lack of desire to go out and finish opponents ala Carlos Baldomir and his eccentric actions outside the ring it just might be a good thing the limelight could fall on another fighter and for the sport to carry on with a different marquee name.
Now that the fight with Oscar is off, there is a chance that we could get a big fight this fall that we want to see, and some young fighter will have a chance to shine on the big stage, and whomever comes to take Mayweather’s place as boxing’s best fighter, maybe they have a chance to connect with fight fans and sports fans alike and continue to help the sport regain some popularity, just maybe. They don’t have to be as good as Floyd (few in history ever have) they just have to connect better than Floyd. I hope Mayweather is just as successful outside the ring as he was in it, and I wishfully hope that he like his father and two uncles could be a trainer down the road.