Editor’s note: This article was originally published at MMAJunkie.com
Floyd Mayweather has no problem making his intentions clear.
The 45-year-old Hall of Famer is coming off a knockout win over Mikuru Asakura in an exhibition bout Sunday in the Super RIZIN headliner in Saitama, Japan. It was his fourth exhibition bout since retiring from professional boxing in 2017 with a record of 50-0.
At the Super RIZIN post-fight news conference, Mayweather was asked if he’d fight former rival Manny Pacquiao, who was in attendance. Mayweather said he wouldn’t face Pacquiao or any high-level boxer – just YouTubers or MMA fighters.
“I retired from the sport, and I didn’t let the sport retire me,” Mayweather said. “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. 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.”
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But it’s not just about refusing to take bigger risks against legitimate threats in the ring. Mayweather is not afraid to admit he’s not the same fighter he used to be.
Despite dominating in his exhibition bouts, Mayweather knows his days of high-level boxing are in the past. He sees this part of his career more as entertainment and not competition.
“That’s what it’s about, excitement and the people getting a chance to just see a glimpse of me,” he said. “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.”