Floyd Mayweather Jr. opened the door a little further on a possible comeback when he sent a message to Gennady Golovkin, the undefeated middleweight champion who is riding a streak of 22 straight knockouts. Mayweather told Golovkin he must fight unbeaten super middleweight champ Andre Ward first.
Golovkin, a Kazakhstan-born 34-year-old known as "GGG," has a 35-0 record, while Ward, 32, is currently 29-0. Mayweather, of course, announced his retirement last year at age 38 after compiling a 49-0 career record, tied with Rocky Marciano for the best career undefeated record of all time.
Loved having @GGGboxing in for an interview! He's VERY confident he'd knock @FloydMayweather and more!https://t.co/l2mcLaZMfMBut few, if any, boxing experts and fans take Mayweather's retirement seriously, believing that with Mayweather retiring and returning on three previous occasions in the last 10 years, a comeback to the ring is only a matter of time.
— TMZ Sports (@TMZ_Sports) April 20, 2016
And in a recent interview, Mayweather gave a clue as to how long that time might be.
"Listen, if I want to fight someone, believe me, I'll call you up," Mayweather told the Fight Hype boxing news site. "As of right now, let me rest. All I'm saying is let me rest. Let me rest. Please let me get 365 days of just rest."
Watch the Fight Hype interview with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the video below.
Mayweather last fought on September 12, 2015, when he cruised to an easy, unanimous decision victory over Andre Berto in Las Vegas. So it appears that Mayweather may be eyeing a return to the ring sometime in the fall of 2016.
But Mayweather ruled out a fight against Gennady Golovkin in his assumed return, dismissing the Kazakh knockout artist as "easy work." Instead, Mayweather told Fight Hype he has only one opponent in mind.
"If I did think about coming back, there's only one name I'm looking at and that's Danny Garcia. I have to say Danny Garcia because you look at Danny Garcia, he's undefeated and he's a world champion," Mayweather said. "If I'm going to fight a guy, it's going to be a world champion."
MUST WATCH!!! @GGGBoxing to @FloydMayweather: "Please, show me the easy work"What do you think?#boxing #boxeo pic.twitter.com/ce4g6VGpAaGarcia, a 28-year-old out of Philadelphia with a 32-0 record, defeated Robert Guerrero on January 23 and won the then-vacant World Boxing Council Lightweight Championship.
— TheSweetScience (@TSSboxingnews) April 20, 2016
Of course, Golovkin is also an undefeated world champion, recognized by four of the sanctioning bodies — but in the middleweight division.
Ring Magazine ranks Golovkin as the No. 3 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Andre Ward is ranked fourth. Danny Garcia does not rank in the Ring pound-for-pound top 10.
Mayweather is no longer ranked, due to his announced retirement.
But Golovkin, who on Saturday knocked out American Dominic Wade — also previously undefeated at age 26, but with only 18 fights and 12 knockouts — in the second round at Staples Center in Los Angeles, responded to Mayweather's characterization of him as "easy work."
VIDEO: Gennady Golovkin earns 32nd KO as he stops Dominic Wade in the second round: https://t.co/DhzdtsE2cJ pic.twitter.com/gm4acVd48w"He said 'oh, easy game.' Of course I am? I love easy work! Please, bring, show me easy work. I love easy money, I love easy work. Please give me easy work," Golovkin told interviewer Max Kellerman. "I don't like ping pong. I like true fighter."
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) April 24, 2016
Golovkin has long complained that other fighters are afraid to face him. A fight between "GGG" and Mexican star Saul "Canelo" Alvarez had reportedly been in the works for May of 2016, but Alvarez instead took a fight with speedy but light-punching British star Amir Khan.
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Alvarez says that he still plans to take on Golovkin, but he's not sure when.
"It's in my future plans. It's definitely in my future plans. I want to have that fight. I want to give that to the fans," Alvarez said recently.
"When you hear stuff about GGG, like I said before, I told GGG what he had to do if he wants a fight with me," Floyd Mayweather Jr. said, talking about his possible comeback fight, and whether it would come against Gennady Golovkin. "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."
[Featured Photos: Al Bello/Getty Images]