Thursday, July 9, 2015

Mayweather might bid farewell to boxing on free TV: Report

Consensus welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. — still basking in his record-breaking pay-per-view fight against Manny Pacquiao — is reportedly considering making his scheduled late-summer bout the fighter's last — and on free TV.

Mayweather insisted after the May 2 defeat of Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas that he'd return for a 49th and final fight in September, and an industry source told on Wednesday that a short list of opponents is being pondered for a Sept. 12 event that could be broadcast live on CBS.

An announcement is possible as soon as the end of the week, the source said.

“Absolutely,” he said. “One-hundred percent serious.”

The 38-year-old Mayweather signed a six-fight deal with Showtime Networks — a wholly-owned subsidiary of the CBS Corporation — in February 2013 and has since defeated Robert Guerrero, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Marcos Maidana (twice) and Pacquiao.

That relationship between Showtime and CBS has always made a Mayweather fight on the broadcast network a possibility and what better way to say goodbye to the fight game than a free gift to his fans.

The Pacquiao fight generated 4.4 million buys for a joint Showtime-HBO production and made Mayweather — who pocketing more than $200 million from the bout — the highest paid athlete in the world.

A Mayweather win in September would leave him with a record of 49-0 — which would tie him with legendary heavyweight Rocky Marciano's remarkable run before his untimely death.

It's hard to believe Mayweather would leave that milestone hanging but a source suggested Mayweather's retirement was likely because of diminished passion for the sport and the business.

"After five more fights get me to 49-0, guess what?” he once said. “I think we may stay in the sport. We may just stay a little longer."

But later pulled back, saying “We don't know. Only time will tell. Hopefully, I'll keep my fingers crossed, but by that time I'll be 40 years old.”

Meanwhile, veteran matchmaker/businessman Rick Glaser thinks it'll be at least 2016 before Mayweather finally hangs up his gloves.

“Highly unlikely (he retires in September),” Glaser told

Still, fighting on free TV would be nice.

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