Floyd Mayweather is hanging up his gloves with a spotless record intact.
The flamboyant American said he is done chasing a place in boxing history after pounding Andre Berto in their welterweight showdown in Las Vegas on Sunday.
“You’ve got to know when it’s time to hang it up, and it’s my time to hang up,” Mayweather said.
“I have nothing else to prove in the sport of boxing.”
But whether he will be enshrined on the same pedestal as Sugar Ray Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis and Roberto Duran is for history to decide.
Mayweather is likely to be remembered for his defensive genius bordering on boredom which sometimes left boxing fans feeling short-changed.
In May, he decisioned Manny Pacquiao in a highly anticipated showdown that failed to live up to the hype.
Although he dominated the Filipino, Mayweather failed to convince the fans that he earned every penny of his staggering US$180 million pay day.
Later, it emerged Pacquiao had been fighting injured and last week Mayweather was accused of taking an illegal intravenous injection before their fight.
Saturday’s tedious outing against a lowly regarded opponent cemented Mayweather’s record at 49-0, matching that of the late great Rocky Marciano.
But fellow boxers have doubts about Mayweather’s legacy.
Former world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield said Mayweather’s legacy was all about the “numbers” game, with the American bowing out as boxing’s richest ever prize fighter after setting records in the sport when it comes to annual earnings, pay-per-view buys and gate receipts.
“Mayweather has made more money than anybody else in the game of boxing,” Holyfield, who has been crowned world heavyweight champion a record five times and watched Saturday’s fight at the MGM Grand, told Reuters.
“But he has done things his own way, which has been good but has been bad, too.”
Overall, Mayweather believes that he has been misjudged by the media and the public.
“I’ve had a great career,” he said during a post-fight news conference that lasted almost an hour. “I’m very comfortable and I’ve made great investments. I’m A-okay.
There is still the chance Mayweather’s career is not yet over, with the doubters pointing to his unexpected U-turn when he came back from a 21-month retirement to fight Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez in September 2009.
Mayweather’s trainer and father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., is less sure and has cautioned his son — if he does return — to do so no more than six months after Saturday’s fight because of his advancing age as a boxer.
“When your mind is telling you, ‘I don’t want to do this no more,’ you better not do it no more. Because if you continue to do it, you’re going to get hurt.”
In case Mayweather decides on another last hurrah, he is on notice from Pacquiao about a rematch.
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