LAS VEGAS -- Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s welterweight title defense against Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena marks the beginning of his apparent exit strategy as an active fighter.
The fight kicks off the start of the mega deal that he signed earlier this year with Showtime/CBS -- dumping career-long TV home HBO -- that calls for up to six fights over the next 30 months. The contract could be worth $200 million-plus, a nice way for Mayweather, already the highest-paid athlete in the world last year (with earnings of $85 million), according to Forbes magazine, to add to his wealth.
During the buildup to the fight with Guerrero (31-1-1, 18 KOs), the 36-year-old Mayweather (43-0, 26 KOs) has often made reference to the 30-month term of the deal as though when the deal was up, he'd be done fighting.
"In 30 months my career is over," he said. "I want to rack up my six victories and hopefully do commentating and keep the sport of boxing alive. That's what I'm focused on."
He later added, "Well, you know, I only have 30 months left, so I want to just help clean the sport up. After this fight I've got five more fights. That's all I got to do, finish putting them stamps on my legacy."
When asked if he meant he would retire after the 30-month deal was up or if he would simply look for a new deal, he hedged on the end of this contract being the end of his career.
"I don't know yet. I don't know," he said. "By 30 months I'd be knocking a door (of age 40), but I really don't know," he said. "We just have to see how these next six fights play out."