Mayweather Talks Retirement, Ali’s Health

Boxing is a dangerous game, and none have a better understanding of that than Floyd Mayweather. The defensive tactician suffered less damage in his 19 year career than many boxers sustain in half that time, and he considers his health the main reason he won’t be returning to the ring.

Speaking at the Barclays Center to promote an upcoming fight between Mayweather Promotions boxer Badou Jack and James DeGale, Mayweather said that Muhammad Ali taught him an unfortunate lesson about taking damage in the ring.

"Like I said before, I had fun while it lasted," Mayweather said. "I had a great time while it lasted. And listen, everyone keeps saying 49-0. Listen, I want to say something to you. I want to say something to everyone. Muhammad Ali is truly missed. When Ali was at the top of his game, everyone hated Ali. They hated him. They had so many negative things to say about him.

"And he was — at the end of his career he could barely talk. He could barely walk. And that’s not cool. My faculties — me being sharp and me being smart — is more important than anything. I’m happy I was a defensive fighter. I’m happy I didn’t take a lot of wear and tear on my body. So the best thing about my career is this — I was able to leave the sport of boxing with no punishment, still sharp, and made smart investments. That’s the best thing about my career."

Despite his conviction, Mayweather has publicly entertained the possibility of a comeback since retiring following his 2015 bout with Andre Berto. Many believe that he cannot refuse the opportunity to reach 50-0, especially in a blockbuster event that would make him hundreds of millions. A rematch with Manny Pacquiao could potentially coax Floyd out of retirement, and some believe there’s a likely chance of that happening.

But for now, Mayweather is content with his legacy and record, and above all else, his health.

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