LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Floyd Mayweather did exactly what was expected of him when he outclassed mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor in their crossover bout on Saturday to secure a final victory in an illustrious career that ends with an unmatched 50-0 record.
The 10th round technical knockout not only enabled to Mayweather to depart boxing on a winning note but allowed the American to pull clear of heavyweight legend Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 mark for most wins without a loss or draw.
The 40-year-old was lured out of a near two-year retirement for the fight and a shot at the record with what could amount to a $200 million payday but Mayweather was adamant that no amount of money would tempt him back into the ring once more.
”Rocky Marciano is a legend and I look forward to going into the Hall of Fame one day,“ Mayweather said in a post-fight interview. ”This was my last fight tonight. For sure.
”I didn’t have to come back.
”We do foolish things sometimes but I am not a dam fool. If I see an opportunity to make $300 million in 36 minutes why not. I had to do.
“But this is the last one, you have my word on it.”
The victory over McGregor was the culmination of a 21-year journey that took Mayweather from the grit and grime of Grand Rapids, Michigan to the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas, and from childhood poverty to a billionaire lifestyle.
If the pay-per-view projections are accurate and Saturday’s fight becomes the most lucrative of all time, Mayweather will pocket $200 million to put him among the world’s highest paid athletes like Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan.
”I come from poverty, I come from the inner city,“ explained Mayweather. ”Now when I get with my billionaire buddies, I don’t get with them and say ‘I am happy to hang in your house’ or ‘I‘m happy to ride in your jet’.
“I say ‘teach me how you did it so I can have the same thing’.”
Now the student is ready to become the teacher with Mayweather saying the next chapter of his life will be as a trainer, like the father who taught him.
Along with his real estate investments and Las Vegas gentlemen’s clubs, he will spend time focusing on his boxing business and uncovering the next Floyd Mayweather to groom for super stardom.
”I just want to help young fighters,“ he added. ”My dad is a trainer he taught me the sport. Everything he taught me from day one is still with me.
”Trainers help make fighters better and teach fighters about becoming a superstar, not just in the ring but outside.
“Hopefully I can find the next Floyd Mayweather.”
Reporting by Steve Keating in Las Vegas; Editing by John O'Brien