Floyd Mayweather Jr. returned to the boxing ring Sunday for an exhibition bout in which he knocked out Japanese MMA fighter Mikuru Asakura in the second round of the Super RIZIN headliner in Saitama, Japan.
Although only an exhibition, the bout played out like a real fight, with some reporters questioning whether Floyd was preparing to make a comeback against Manny Pacquiao, who was in attendance at the post-fight presser.
But rest assured, the 50-0 boxer is still retired and has no plans to fight any former world champions or high-level boxers, admitting he’s not the fighter he once was and is only interested in fighting ‘YouTubers or MMA guys’ going forward.
“I retired from the sport, and I didn’t let the sport retire me,” Mayweather, 45, said at the Super Rizin post-fight press conference (h/t Danny Segura of MMA Junkie). “I’m always going to put myself in a position now to where I, just like I was doing – fighting at the highest level. I was dictating and being in control.
“I’m not going to go in there with no former fighters, former world champions, putting more abuse on my body. I retired for a reason. I’m here to have fun and enjoy myself – sometimes three rounds, sometimes eight rounds, with guys that are going to help me entertain people.”
“I’m not going to take punishment to the point to where I can barely walk or barely talk,” he added. “Manny had a great career, but boxing retired Manny, Manny didn’t retire from boxing. There’s a difference. Of course, if I were Manny Pacquiao, would I be chasing an exhibition with Floyd Mayweather to get a payday? Absolutely I would. But at this particular time, I love fighting guys that are 15-0, 8-0 – guys that are older like myself, or YouTubers or MMA guys. I will continue to do what I do and dictate and control.”
“That’s what it’s about – excitement and the people getting a chance to just see a glimpse of me. I already know I’m not what I once was as far as what I’m talking about. I’m not ‘Pretty Boy’ Floyd or ‘Money’ Mayweather. But I’m still able to go out and entertain the people.”
Floyd will return to the ring for another exhibition bout on Nov. 13 against YouTube star Deji Olatunji at Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai.