Washington: Floyd Mayweather teasingly hinted Saturday that he might be tempted to return to the ring, but said only a “nine-figure” payday could lure him out of retirement.
The 39 year-old Mayweather, who walked away from boxing eight months ago with a perfect 49-0 record, was on hand as a promoter of Badou Jack’s majority draw with Lucian Bute in a super middleweight world title fight at the DC Armory in Washington.
He told Showtime television interviewer Jim Gray that he’d had talks with CBS and Showtime, and while he said he’s happy in retirement he also didn’t entirely close the door on a return to the ring.
Would that be for the money or a chance to take his record to a round 50-0, Gray asked.
“Both,” Mayweather said.
“Yes, I’m happy to be where I’m at,” Mayweather said. “Everyone is asking, asking me, ‘Is Floyd Mayweather coming back?’ Right now, I’m happy on this side, but I’ve been talking with CBS and Showtime and you just never know. But for now, I’m happy on this side.
“If I came back, of course, it would have to be a nine-figure payday and probably a championship fight and a nine-figure payday,” he said.
Gray didn’t ask about a possible rematch with Manny Pacquiao, whom Mayweather beat last year in the most lucrative bout in boxing history.
He walked away after out-pointing Andre Berto in September, and until Saturday had given no indication that he might change his mind.
Pacquiao won the fight billed as his farewell, beating Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas earlier this month before turning his attention to his race to gain a seat in the Philippines Senate.
“I’m now a full-time politician,” Pacquiao said this week.
Jack retained his World Boxing Council super middleweight world title with a majority draw against former champ Lucian Bute on Saturday - and said he’s ready for Briton James DeGale.
Sweden’s Jack was disgusted with the judges after battling a determined Bute for 12 rounds at the DC Armory, convinced he’d clearly won.
“Bullshit” was his assessment after one judge scored it 117-111 in his favor and two others made it 114-114.
The outcome let Jack retain his title and stay on course for a unification fight this year with DeGale, who retained his International Boxing Federation super middleweight title with a unanimous decision over Mexico’s Rogelio Medina on the same card.
“I thought I won the fight,” said Jack, who took his record to 21-1 with 1 drawn and 12 knockouts. “He’s a hell of a fighter. He deserves a lot of credit. He’s a great guy and a great champion, but I won the fight.”
Indeed Jack was crisp and accurate, but Romanian-born Canadian Bute was game, piling on the pressure in the final three rounds.
He walked quietly to his corner after the final bell, but indicated he didn’t think a draw was out of line.
“It was a close fight,” said Bute, who took his record to 32-3-1.