Floyd Mayweather Jr invokes race in conversations about retirement ahead of exhibition fight
Legendary boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. is undefeated in his professional career, winning 50 fights and 15 world titles.
At 46, he still takes part in exhibition matches, with his latest fight against the grandson of American crime boss John Gotti set to take place next month.
Mayweather spoke with Fox News Digital on Thursday about the June 11 fight with John Gotti III, which will take place at the FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Florida.
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“When you’re getting ready for an exhibition, it’s totally different,” Mayweather explained of his training. “Because when everything is on the line for a fight, it’s about feeding your family. It’s about being victorious. It’s about history.”
“As far as when you’re doing an exhibition, it’s about entertaining the people,” he continued. “Of course, even in a regular fight, it’s about entertaining, but it’s a little different. When I’m training for an exhibition, it just keeps me in shape, keep me working out, my cardio.”
Mayweather’s last professional victory came in August 2017 against MMA legend Conor McGregor, a fight he won in the 10th round via TKO. Since then, he’s competed in several exhibitions, most recently against former Bellator MMA fighter Aaron Chalmers in February.
Mayweather was also asked about why he continues to fight in exhibition matches while in retirement.
He said he does it to keep in shape, among other reasons, but also called out those who he says won’t pose the same question to “White Americans.”
“They want to question when Blacks continue to go out and have fun,” he said. “If I was taking harsh punishment, or I was taking a beating, or I could barely walk and talk, then I can see me not going out there to entertain.”
He continued: “But we don’t ever question when Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, the Waltons — when White Americans, Caucasians, go out there and make money and make billions, we don’t ask why they don’t retire.
“So I am retired. I’m just keeping my body in shape, having fun, doing what I want to do.”
Mayweather went on to say that his endeavors outside the boxing ring still keep him busy, but he participates in exhibition matches mainly to stay in shape and stay “ambitious.”
“I do what I want to do because I want, not because I have to,” he asserted.
Gotti is an MMA fighter and pro boxer. He is 2-0 in his boxing career and 5-1 in mixed martial arts.
Fontainebleau Miami Beach is hosting “Fight Week,” which begins June 8 with a pre-fight press conference with Mayweather and Gotti. The official weigh-in will take place June 10.