If the potential mega-fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao is ever going to happen, it appears it will have to take place sometime soon. The two greatest boxers of their generation have indicated that they won’t compete in the ring beyond the next year.
Mayweather has long maintained that he won’t continue boxing into 2016. His record-setting $200 million, six-fight contract with Showtime runs through the end of 2015, and the undefeated boxer has stated that he won’t sign a new deal.
"My next fight is in May and my last fight is in September, so a year from now will be my last fight,” Mayweather told reporters, prior to his Sept. 13 bout with Marcos Maidana.
Every Mayweather fight in the last two years has taken place on the first Saturday before Cinco De Mayo and the second Saturday of September. He has two bouts left on his deal.
The boxer did briefly retire earlier in his career. After defeating Ricky Hatton in Dec. 2007, Mayweather announced his retirement, foregoing a rematch with Oscar De La Hoya. Less than two years later, Mayweather was back in the ring, facing Juan Manuel Marquez,
Even if Mayweather has a change of heart, Pacquiao appears to have his heart set on retirement in the near future, as well. According to a Daily Mail report in August, PacMan has expressed his desire to call it quits in 2016, as he explores the possibility of running for another office in the Philippine government.
“There’s a big possibility that I will run for Senator,” Pacquiao told DZMM. “UNA (United Nationalist Alliance party) asked me to join its slate and I am grateful they picked me.”
Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer, discussed the possibility of his fighter retiring last year. After losing consecutive bouts to Timothy Bradley and Marquez, Roach said Pacquiao might step away from the sport if he were to lose a third straight fight. However, Pacquiao went on to defeat Brandon Rios, Bradley and Chris Algieri over the course of the next 12 months.
If Mayweather retires at the end of his contract and remains undefeated, he’ll finish one victory shy of 50 wins for his career. If Pacquiao has two more fights and wins them both, he’ll be one win short of 60 as a pro.