Heightened speculation has surrounded Floyd Mayweather’s boxing future since his retirement in September despite the former undefeated champion's adamant claims that he won't return to the ring. But the best boxer of the last decade says a top prize fight is there for him if he wants to make a comeback.
This year marks the first time since 2011 that Mayweather won’t be fighting on the first Saturday of May. The weekend will instead be highlighted by the middleweight title fight between Canelo Alvarez and Amir Khan, though Mayweather claims he could upstage the bout should he challenge burgeoning welterweight Danny Garcia.
“You know, I can easily put a halt on [Canelo-Khan] if I chose to call Mr. Garcia, (Danny) Garcia’s dad,” Mayweather told FightHype this week. “If I chose to call him and say, ‘You know what, sir, you’re a hell of a trainer. Your son’s a hell of a fighter, he’s an undefeated champion, I’m an undefeated champion, and I think it would be great for me and your son both to make a lot of money.’
“You know, since Danny Garcia is undefeated and he's very explosive, he's a very good fighter, and he really represents Puerto Rico the same way that Trinidad did. Even though he's from Philadelphia, he represents the red, white, and blue for Puerto Rico. I'll go over to the MGM Grand and say, 'You know what? We need a venue also,' and we'll see."
Mayweather defeated Andre Berto in September to end his career at 49-0. Garcia has had two fights since moving up to welterweight, beating Robert Guerrero on Jan. 23 to improve his career record to 32-0.
Much of the discussion surrounding a Mayweather comeback centers around a potential rematch with Manny Pacquiao. Mayweather defeated Pacquiao by unanimous decision on May 2, and the bout shattered pay-per-view records, leading many to believe the iconic boxers would want to meet again.
Pacquiao, who is set to face Timothy Bradley on April 9 in what will likely be his last fight, has found himself in the public eye for the wrong reasons. After stirring up controversy by making derogatory remarks about same-sex couples, sports apparel giant Nike announced Wednesday it is terminating its endorsement contract with the famed welterweight.
"We find Manny Pacquiao's comments abhorrent," Nike said in a statement. "Nike strongly opposes discrimination of any kind and has a long history of supporting and standing up for the rights of the LGBT community."
There have been conflicting reports as to how long Pacquiao has been with Nike. International Business Times contacted Nike on Wednesday, but a company spokesman did not reply. Nike had previously cut ties with cyclist Lance Armstrong and NFL player Adrian Peterson for morals clauses.
On Monday, Pacquiao told Philippines TV5 network: "It's common sense. Will you see any animals where male is to male and female is to female?
"The animals are better. They know how to distinguish male from female. If we approve [of] male on male, female on female, then man is worse than animals."
Pacquiao's comments immediately found their way into a Mayweather interview. To little surprise, Mayweather did not defend his rival.
“We should stay positive. We should let people live their lives the way they want to live their lives. I don’t have nothing against anyone,” Mayweather told TMZ. “To each his own.”
Pacquiao, who serves as a congressman in the Philippines, apologized Tuesday in a Facebook post, but reaffirmed his stance on the issue. "I'm sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I've hurt. I still stand on my belief that I'm against same sex marriage because of what the Bible says, but I'm not condemning LGBT. I love you all with the love of the Lord. God Bless you all and I'm praying for you."
I'm sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I've hurt. God Bless! pic.twitter.com/bqjRcWqp8R
— Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao) February 16, 2016
This week's comments are not the first time Pacquiao has been outspoken about same-sex marriage while referencing the Bible. In a May 2012 interview, Pacquiao, a practicing Evangelical Protestant, called gay marriage an "abomination."
"God only expects man and woman to be together and to be legally married, only if they so are in love with each other."
"It should not be of the same sex so as to adulterate the altar of matrimony, like in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah of old," he said.