Floyd Mayweather might not be done with boxing after all.
Despite retiring for a third time following a 10th-round TKO victory over UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor in August at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, the former five-division world champion and self-proclaimed “The Best Ever” (TBE) could be hinting at another return to the ring.
The 40-year-old Mayweather (50-0, 27 KO’s), a 1996 Olympic bronze medalist, posted several training videos of himself hitting the heavy bag last week, and a groin protector was also included.
This could simply be for attention and to prove once again that even when he is “retired” from boxing, his name is still the most talked about in the sport. It could also be a dated video, though, there is no evidence to prove otherwise. But Mayweather could even be hinting that he’s not ready to walk off into the sunset just yet.
In 2016, Mayweather explained what it would take to get him back into the ring.
“Of course, it would have to be a nine-figure payday and probably a championship fight,” he told Showtime’s Jim Gray.
The McGregor bout was not a championship fight, but it sure delivered financially. The 154-pound fight generated a live gate of $55.4 million. Mayweather also earned a guaranteed $100 million, with McGregor taking $30 million, the biggest of his career.
If there is one more fight Mayweather could take where he will make at least nine-figures, it could be a long-awaited bout against the UK’s Amir Khan.
Khan (31-4, 19 KO’s), 30, a former lightweight and junior welterweight world champion, has some of the fastest hands in boxing, but has a suspect chin, as three of his four defeats have come by way of knockout.
In early 2014, Mayweather held a fan poll with the expectation that he would fight the winner. Khan prevailed over former world champion Marcos Maidana in the week-long fan voting. When the votes were tallied, Khan was ahead 20,105 to 15,474.
However, Mayweather cast Khan to the side and fought Maidana twice in 2014, recording both a majority decision and a unanimous decision victory.
“I can’t really say [why we didn’t fight],” Mayweather said in a previous statement. “He [Khan] was calling me out, but at that particular time, me and Pacquiao was about to fight. You know, me and Pacquiao were lining up to fight – which was a huge fight. Why take a $60-70 million fight when I could take a $300 million fight? Also, when he called me out another time, I was getting ready for Canelo [Alvarez]. Once again, why take a $60-70 million fight when I made $100 million?
“But, Amir Khan is a tough competitor. He hasn’t won them all, but every time he goes out there and competes he gives 100 percent, which is a great thing for his country, and a great thing for himself.”
Mayweather made similar comments explaining his reasoning for fighting Andre Berto prior to their Sept. 2015 bout.
“I chose Berto because he’s very exciting. Berto is a tough competitor, a former world champion. Every time he goes out, he gives it 100 percent.”
However, between the Pacquiao and the McGregor bouts alone, Mayweather made around $600 million, broke the legendary Rocky Marciano’s record, and is approaching billionaire status.
Mayweather has nothing more to prove and his payday to fight Khan would likely max out in the range of $100 to $150 million. That might not be enough to push another comeback.
Although Khan is notably chinny, he does possess the faster hands, and that in and of itself is a challenge – a rare one at that.
“Floyd’s a great fighter, but I just think it’s a very bad style for him,” Khan told MMAFighting.com. “I’m not saying he’s scared, but maybe he didn’t think it was the right time.
When 2018 hits, Khan will be nearly two years removed from his last fight when he was iced in six rounds by Canelo Alvarez.
Is now the right time?