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Is Floyd Mayweather leaving boxing for MMA?

200px-mayweather.jpg In case you missed it, Floyd Mayweather Jr. shockingly announced his retirement from professional boxing on Friday.

The move stunned quite a few people in the boxing world because plans had been in motion for a rematch between Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya to take place on Sept. 20. The fight has been canceled and with it, Mayweather is walking away from a $20 million payday for the fight.

“It is with a heavy heart that I write you this message today,” Mayweather said in a statement. “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.

“I have said numerous times and after several of my fights over the past two years that I might not fight again. At the same time, I loved competing and winning and also wanted to continue my career for the fans, knowing they were there for me and enjoyed watching me fight. However, after many sleepless nights and intense soul-searching I realized I could no longer base my decision on anything but my own personal happiness, which I no longer could find. So I have finally made up my mind, spoken to my family, particularly my mother, and made my decision.”

To me, the decision makes little sense. While there were very few hurdles left in climb in boxing for Mayweather, to walk away from $20 million for just one more fight speaks volume. I don’t think he’s walking away to take up golf or sit around and play shuffleboard. Mayweather is still a relatively young man (he’s 31) still in his athletic prime. There has to be something else going on here that we don’t know about.

Mayweather participated in a pro wrestling angle for the WWE earlier this year, which culminated in a featured match with Paul “The Big Show” Wight at Wrestlemania this past match. Mayweather’s haul for the performance has been rumored to be anywhere between $2-20 million. Officials were said to have been happy with Mayweather’s performance and the door was left open for his return.

In addition to pro wrestling, Mayweather has also flirted with the idea of getting involved with MMA. In recent months, Dallas Mavericks owner and HDNet Fights founder Mark Cuban announced that Mayweather was looking to get involved in MMA. It was unclear at the time as to whether he was looking to become a competitor or get involved in an ownership capacity.

But the timing of Mayweather’s announcement is very curious. UFC President Dana White revealed earlier this week that a huge announcement is planned for this coming Thursday. I speculated in a column earlier today that I believe it will have to do with network television. But what if I’m wrong and the announcement had to do with Mayweather signing a contract to fight for the UFC?

Sounds a bit far fetched, doesn’t it? Well, the idea of Mayweather walking away from a $20 million payday is equally far-fetched. For him to walk away from that kind of money likely means he’s walking towards something that could be even more lucrative. I’m just not 100 percent sure what it is.

25 COMMENTS
  • Matt McEwen says:

    Part of me can see Mayweather jumping into MMA, and I’d love to see how he’d be able to do, but I don’t think it will happen.

    I’m not sure how much of it is show, but he strikes me as a guy with too much ego to put himself in a position to get beat up. Of course, the other side of that coin is that he might have too big an ego NOT to try something where people think he’ll get his ass kicked. Or his ego could be all for show…who knows?

    The jaded part of me says this is just a way to get more money out of the eventual rematch with De La Hoya. It woudn’t be the first time a boxer did sometihing along these lines to get a bigger payday.

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  • Erik W. says:

    OK, I have to break my self-imposed silence. (It was a stupid bet made at like 3 am after a lot of beer anyway.)

    1. Mayweather has very, very brittle hands. Given that we have to assume he has no submission skills, I don’t know if his hands can stand up to striking in 5 ounce gloves.

    2. He’s fought most of his career at 140 or lower. He’s had three fights above that mark. I don’t think the major announcement would be that he’s signing on to join the WEC at 145.

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  • bjjdenver says:

    Never going to happen and it’s kind of silly to even think it. He walked away from a $20 mil fight to get paid a tenth of that in mma??

    Most of this is speculation based on his comments made about mma in order to drum up viewers for his boxing ppv.

    The only way I see him involved in mma, would be as part of a promotional group.

    He didn’t even show up for the finale fights of his Iron Ring team.

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  • Sam Cupitt says:

    Well considering this isn’t the first, second or third time Floyd Mayweather has “retired” from boxing I very much doubt that he is or has.

    He just likes to be noticed and claiming he has retired in between fights just keeps his name prevalent in fight circles.

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  • Jackyl says:

    At this stage it’s not about the money with Mayweather. He has already raked in several big paydays and has plenty of money. If he does get involved in MMA it would be to prove he can hang. We still have yet to see a pure boxer like Mayweather in the cage. One thing I have always thought about is the fact that he is so fast. It could be dificult to get in to take him down. Also he knows how to throw a punch. More than anyone if he hits you on the button with 5oz gloves, you’re done.

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  • Zack says:

    People with serious cash don’t ever want to stop making serious cash. That’s a truism that you can take to the bank. Crack is less addictive than money. PBF won’t be doing this without some other back end piece of the pie that gets him beyond what he would have made boxing.

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  • jball says:

    Just a though…..could this be the big announcement that “The Dana” has coming next Thursday? The signing of Mayweather?

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  • jball says:

    Whoops, Never mind, didn’t read the last part. They already mentioned it….. Sorry

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  • Adam says:

    “There has to be something else we don’t know about?”

    I don’t think there is except that if Mayweather had lost maybe 1 or 2 fights in his career. He may not be retiring. Think about it. He’s never lost a professional bout (or amateur?). The pressure must be huge. Pressure like that has probably made him think about his legacy and he wants to keep it intact without a loss.

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  • el boxeo says:

    its a scam…

    mayweather wants to be dlh LAST opponent.. and since dlh will fight his last fight in dec… pbf is just ‘retiring” for a couple of months till dlh fights another bum in sept ….. and then pbf will come out of retirment to fight dlh in his last fight…

    its a pretty calculated and smart marketing move to be honest…

    cause lets say floyd beats dlh in sept… well dlh last fight in dec will still be bigger than any fight floyd would have lined up….

    if dlh would say that this sept fight would be his last.. then pbf takes him out in the finnally

    no way pbf would ever set foot in mma… impossible… if pbf ran from real welters like cotto / margartio there is no way he be willing to get in the octagon with guys that use 4 oz gloves and there is no where to run in the octagon….

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  • C-Pop says:

    agreed, the big announcement is that randy couture and dana white agreed that the gonzaga win was because of a fluke broken nose and that lots of top of the feed chain fighters can decision tim sylvia, but he will step up and fight the winner of the griffin/jackson match.
    also, anyone else want to see bj penn drop down to 145 and destroy faber as much as i do? Would make “versus” history.
    peace.

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  • […] Tamara from UFCMedia.com is hinting that Mayweather has been in contact with the UFC this week and Sam Caplan from FiveOuncesOfPain.com ponders the same idea. […]

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  • Justin C. says:

    I don’t know Mayweather’s background… but if he has no ground skills,…it’s way to late to learn them at this point. Without a ground game, in MMA he’s dead in the water….

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  • […] Caplan with Five Oz. ironically posted an article earlier today speculating that perhaps the big surprise could be Mayweather joining the UFC. But the timing of […]

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  • Two Toes says:

    Here’s a good article from a writer that actually knows something about the economics of boxing. Sums up his retirement quite nicely.

    http://www.boxinginsider.com/columns/did-hbo-pull-plug-on-oscar-floyd-rematch/

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  • Nick Merra says:

    Know this….Floyd Mayweather is not “hungry” enough to sign with the UFC and also “succeed” with them. Let’s say Dana White signs this guy – which would surprise me big time……Yes, a big name. But Floyd Mayweather would find out “quick” that he is in way over his head….If he signs, he will soon regret it and probably get hurt and “run” back to boxing where they play paddy cake – paddy cake for a living…

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  • Merra, I totally agree. He is not tough enough or hungry enough. He thinks he is the “man” but he is sorely mistaken if he thinks he is going to come into the MMA world and dominate like he has in the boxing world…

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  • walter b. says:

    the question of his hands holding up to 5 ounze gloves is a good one.another question is whether mma competitors heads can hold up to a real pro boxers hands with 5 ounce gloves.you would see knockouts from jabs.ground game would be questionable.could they get close enough.his hands would be much faster with 5 ounce gloves also.chuck liddel is supposed to be a great striker.good sprawl..doesnt let it go to ground.chuck looks amatuerish compared to pro boxers.it would be interesting

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  • Andrew says:

    Sam, I laughed when you speculated this, but it might hold some water. I know people question why would Mayweather walk away from a 20 million dollar fight against De La Hoya when he would be making about six figures in UFC. It really does not make sense but then again let’s just say he signs with UFC, I do think he would only earn six figures to fight in UFC, but is there a possibility that he could earn the same amount of money or even half of that in sponsorship money fighting in UFC as if he were to fight Oscar?

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  • Sam Caplan says:

    Another thing people are overlooking is the intangible element. Floyd has an ego. He sees the attention that mixed martial artists are getting and he could feel he is the superior athlete. Perhaps he’s made his money and wants to try and make history as the first-ever world class boxer to cross over into MMA full-time. You never know. Hopefully, on Thursday we’ll have a conclusive answer as to what Dana has up his sleeve.

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  • The House says:

    Just a random thought ( and I really emphasize random) But wasn’t the big conversation months ago over what would happen if there was a Sherk / Mayweather fight? Now that the question of Bj and Sherk has been answered, wouldn’t the next part of the conversation start with favorite pics of a Bj / Mayweather super magical super duper (neverevereverreallygoingtohappen) fight? My pick is for Baby J by triangle while licking type A (arrogant) blood from gloves.

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  • THORAZINE says:

    FUCK… you’re all HIGH thinking Mayweather will fight MMA… not in a fuckin’ million years… he doesn’t have that kind of mentality… he has more mouth than guts. Boxing… sure… MMA.. NO FUCKIN’ WAY!

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  • Jackyl says:

    #11 This is off topic but I have seen comments about this a few times and have to call it out. Randy Couture didn’t just decision Tim Sylvia, he beat his ass all over the cage for all five rounds. He came out of retirement for the fight and a lot of people picked him to lose. Same thing with Gonzaga, everyone said the younger and stronger Gonzaga was going to beat him. Fluke broken nose or not…..he got his ass kicked. Strait up. Randy schooled him. Part of the allure of Randy Couture is that you want to see if the old dog can still pull out the bag of tricks. What was so impressive about his last two wins were that he didn’t just win, he won decisively.

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  • Will says:

    Mayweather may be a good boxer but he is no fighter thats for sure. And his respect for mma is none, evidence from the mma show he was on on BET”Iron Ring”. If he ever stepped in the ring or cage with an MMA fighter he would get his ass beat.

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  • BadVibes says:

    The Mayweather signing has already been denied by Dana White. In addition White says that it is not a television deal. Bloggers get so carried away by off the wall rumors like this… its rediculous!

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