Floyd Mayweather Jr. continues to insist that he has no plans to come out of retirement — but if he really means it, why did he issue a challenge earlier this week to undefeated middleweight knockout specialist Gennady Golovkin?
That’s the question that has boxing fans scratching their head this week, after Mayweather gave an interview in which he appeared to set one specific condition that could lead him to fight the 34-0 Kazakhstan native known as “GGG.”
Golovkin has a fight scheduled against mandatory challenger Dominic Wade on April 23.
— Gennady Golovkin (@GGGBoxing) March 23, 2016
The 49-0 Mayweather was interviewed by the boxing news site FightHype, taking to the site to throw cold water on rumors that he will emerge from retirement for another fight against Philippines great Manny Pacquiao — whom Mayweather defeated in a lopsided unanimous decision in May of 2015.
Pacquiao is scheduled to fight his third fight against American Timothy Bradley in an HBO Pay-Per-View bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on April 9.
The new rumors of a Floyd Mayweather Jr. rematch against Manny Pacquiao started earlier in the week when Mayweather’s trainer and father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., seemed to drop a hint about the fight in an interview of his own.
But the younger Mayweather quickly quashed that notion.
“When they talk about me fighting Pacquiao, totally false,” he told FightHype. “It doesn’t matter what my father says. My father can only express his opinion on what he feels, but I’m letting every know as of right now, I’m not interested in fighting anyone. I don’t want to hear this anymore, Floyd Mayweather-Pacquiao. That’s over with. That chapter is over with.”
But Golovkin’s trainer, Abel Sanchez, said on Tuesday that when Mayweather says “anyone,” his own fighter, GGG, is not just “anyone.”
“He just seems to be fixated on Golovkin,” Sanchez said in a boxing podcast interview “I’ve seen three or four pieces in the last couple of weeks where he’s talking about beating Golovkin. It looks like he’s laying the groundwork for something, whether it’s Golovkin or somebody else. Floyd is laying the groundwork for a comeback.”
To see what Mayweather would be facing if he did return to fight GGG, watch highlight of Golovkin’s “greatest hits” courtesy if HBO in the following video.
It is true that in the 39-year-old Mayweather’s FightHype interview the “retired” multi-division champion did not completely deny that he would accept a comeback fight against Gennady Golovkin, 33. In fact, he said, “I’ll fight him,” which may be the most definitive statement he has made about returning to the ring since announcing his retirement last September.
But Mayweather was careful to set a very specific condition.
“I told Triple G what he had to do if he wants a fight with me,” Mayweather said. “He’s gotta call out Andre Ward, beat Andre Ward, and then I’ll fight him. I haven’t seen him call out Andre Ward yet.”
Mayweather may believe that he has set the bar too high for Golovkin, who fights at the middleweight limit of 160 pounds, to meet. Andre Ward now fights at light heavyweight, 175 pounds, making his debut in the division on Saturday by cruising to an easy unanimous decision over Cuban Sullivan Barrera.
— HBOboxing (@HBOboxing) March 27, 2016
Mayweather himself has never fought at a weight higher than the 154-pound Super Welterweight limit.
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Retired Champ Hints [Sort Of] That He’s Not Done In Ring After All
In February, Mayweather dropped another hint that, as most boxing fans and media members expect, he will eventually come out of retirement for at least one more fight, which if he wins, it would be his 50th without a loss, a record for an undefeated career. In that interview, Floyd Mayweather Jr. said that he would consider fighting not Gennady Golovkin — but 28-year-old, 32-0 WBC welterweight champion Danny Garcia.
[Featured Photos By Patrick McDermott/Al Bello/Getty Images]