Is Mayweather really retired?

By Tom Donelson
Updated: July 20, 2008

IOWA CITY, Ia. — ESPN’s Teddy Atlas has his own theories on whether Floyd Mayweather is truly retired. Atlas’ own view was that Mayweather’s retirement dealt more with having to deal with his father in Oscar De La Hoya’s corner than De La Hoya himself.

Is Mayweather afraid of De La Hoya? Not really, for he won their last fight and there is little to suggest that one year later, De La Hoya would not suffer the same fate. The stake is not about winning or losing or for that matter, his legacy for that is now established.

Floyd Mayweather may have been the best pound for pound fighterover the past decade and moved himself into the great catagory.Instead, his reputation is more at stake.

For many years, Mayweather was always that other fighter, not the main man and when you add his personal life drama outside the ring. He was not a fighter that many boxing fans or pundits cared for.

Not the least of his trouble, Floyd’s father added fuel with his own unique personality that often overshadowed his son.

Now that Mayweather has finally reached the point in his career that he has gained acceptance; the family drama that is the Mayweathers threatened to undo it all.

With Floyd Sr. parading in De La Hoya’s corner, Mayweather saw not a fight but a family circus that he could do without.

The one thing is that neither Mayweather or De La Hoya needed the money but for Oscar, his career is about over. What De La Hoya seeks or sought with Mayweather was his legacy fight to end his career.

He came close to beating Mayweather in their first fight and he felt that he was the man who could finally eliminate Mayweather’s zero.Which is why De La Hoya brought back the man who worked with him over the past several years and his fight with Steve Forbes was nothing more than a prep for Mayweather.

Only Mayweather decided that he did not want to be part of the circus coming to town. Oscar De La Hoya needs Mayweather more than Mayweather needs him.

De La Hoya does not need Mayweather for a big gate. He’salready a big draw and would be the big draw in this fight. De La Hoya needed Mayweather to buttress his own legacy.

De La Hoya has always been a very good fighter, at times a great fighter but his legacy often fell short of other greats like Sugar Ray Leonard. Mayweather has obtained the legacy that De La Hoya seeks.

He doesn’t need to beat De La Hoya for his own legacy, he already done that. And while this fight would net both men eight figures, Mayweather has options.

Those options include sitting out and seeing how the welterweight shapes up. If Cotto gets past Margarito, then Mayweather may have one big payday in front of him; an undefeated fighter with great pull among many boxing fans.

Mayweather will come out of retirement for that and he will wait until De La Hoya does his swan song. For the first time in his career, Mayweather is now holding all the cards and others must seek him out.

Why waste it on family drama in a fight that adds little to his own legacy?