Floyd Mayweather knows the drill: Retirements in combat sports are almost never final – especially his own.
“Retirement has been great but as you know and everyone knows, I go in retirement and I come back,” Mayweather said in an interview on Showtime Sports Saturday night. “It is possible I do come back, but if I do come back, it has to be in the Octagon.”
Mayweather announced his latest retirement following a 10th-round technical knockout win over Conor McGregor in a boxing match at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Aug. 26. Since then, “Money” has repeatedly teased a foray into mixed martial arts, and has reportedly been training with UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley in preparation for such a move.
There have also been rumored negotiations with the UFC over the past few months, though details have been scarce. Mayweather himself confirmed that he’s in the process of applying for an MMA license and would need six to eight months to adequately train for a transition to the cage. Not everyone is supportive of such a move.
“I spoke with my team, I spoke with Al Haymon. Al Haymon says no,” Mayweather said. “I spoke with Showtime, I spoke with CBS. If I do come back, Showtime and CBS has to be involved.”
In the interview, Mayweather said he would likely compete at featherweight in MMA. And, at least for now, it sounds like something he genuinely wants to do.
“Absolutely. Only if the money is right, and the money will always be right,” Mayweather said. “You got to talk to Showtime, CBS. Of course, the number is going to be crazy. I can do whatever I want to do. I’m Floyd Mayweather.”
The interesting aspect there is that Mayweather wants Showtime and CBS to be a part of his fight in the UFC, an organization which balks at co-promotion when it involves its own sport. The “Money Fight” between Mayweather and McGregor was an exception, but that was boxing.
“If we can get together with Dana White and the UFC to make a mega-fight happen, it could be against Conor McGregor, we don’t know,” Mayweather said. “We could do a multi-fight deal. But if I do come back, Showtime and CBS have to be involved.”
Whether McGregor is involved could be another matter entirely. The Irishman’s future is uncertain after he attacked a bus carrying UFC fighters and employees at the Barclays Center ahead of UFC 223 on Thursday. McGregor is now facing multiple charges in New York and is due back for a hearing on June 14.
“I feel that when you have reached such high status you have to carry yourself in a classy way,” Mayweather said of his rival. “Outside the ring you have to carry yourself as a gentleman.”
There is much regarding Mayweather’s potential return from retirement that is unclear at this point, but he is adamant about one thing: he will not compete in the ring if he comes back.
“I would not box again,” he said.