Steve Marcus / Las Vegas Sun
Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013 | 2:01 a.m.
The ageless wonder has an end date.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. obliterated an elite fighter 13 years younger than him Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, effectively turning back the clock once again. But he won’t extend the hands of time, no matter how tempting it may be after turning in perhaps the greatest performance of his career in a majority-decision victory (117-111, 116-112, 114-114) over Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
“I’ve only got 24 months left,” Mayweather stressed after the win. “That’s it.”
The 36-year-old Mayweather is as firm as the hand wraps he wears in the ring when it comes to fulfilling a proclamation made earlier this year: He won’t fight into his 40s.
As well as it worked for the bout against Alvarez, he also won’t make another rapid, four-month turnaround. He won’t have to. Mayweather has the remainder of his career, which spans four more fights, to fulfill a landmark deal with Showtime, scheduled in his head.
He wants to fight on the first weekend of May 2014 in an event he branded “Cinco de Mayweather” Saturday night and then once again before the end of the year. He’ll repeat that in 2015 and vamoose from fighting.
The lone detail left lingering in all of this is an important one: The opponent.
“I don’t know what the future holds right now,” Mayweather said when asked who left made sense for him to fight before retirement. “I’m not a psychic.”
He’s apparently not a wizard either, which is disconcerting because casting a spell appears the only way Mayweather could find a true competitor at this point.
In Alvarez, Mayweather was in a bout that featured the shortest betting lines — he was just less than a 3-to-1 favorite — of anyone he’s faced in the last half decade. Mayweather responded by defeating Alvarez, who was previously unbeaten at 42-0-1, arguably in a more convincing fashion than any of those foes.
Despite a draw score from judge C.J. Ross that Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer justly described as “ a disgrace,” many media members scored all 12 rounds for Mayweather. The Sun liberally awarded one frame to Alvarez.
Mayweather’s 45th straight professional victory to keep his perfect record intact was that lopsided. There’s a reason a dearth of options existed for his next challenger in the aftermath.
“I’m really not prepared to say any names,” Schaefer admitted. “We’re just going to have to see what’s out there and put together another big fight again.”
The most-discussed possibility was the fighter who warmed the canvas and crowd for Mayweather before the Alvarez encounter. Danny Garcia defended his light welterweight title for the fourth straight time in a unanimous decision over Lucas Matthysse.
Garcia has knocked off a list of royalty including Zab Judah and Amir Khan at the 140-pound division Mayweather used to dominate. Despite the millions he could make in a bout against Mayweather, the undefeated 25-year-old wasn’t pushing for the task after celebrating yet another upset victory over Matthysse.
“At the end of the day, I’m just a fighter with a big heart,” Garcia said. “If Golden Boy and them guys want to do, then I’ll do it.”
The only fighter’s name to come out of Mayweather’s mouth was Manny Pacquiao when pressed if it was a bout that interested him. He said it wasn’t a fight that was on his radar at the moment, which was no surprise given the well-documented issues between Mayweather and Top Rank promoter Bob Arum along with Pacquiao’s two-fight losing streak.
But it was also evident that Mayweather wouldn’t back down from any potential challenges. At an age where most in boxing have exited their primes, Mayweather explained experiencing more vitality.
“I feel a lot better now,” Mayweather beamed. “I’m more mature.”
“When I was young, we’d go to the boxing gym, go shopping, go to the club, go to the strip club. When I was older, things changed. I’m more of a homebody.”
He’s going to resort to those homes in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Miami for now. And maybe sprinkle in a couple vacations too.
His fighting future isn’t eternal, but it’s imminent.
“We’ll have to see what we can do for Floyd for his next fight,” Schaefer said. “The good news is when you’re the pound-for-pound king, the list of guys that want to fight you never seems to get shorter. It always seems to get longer.”