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Is Mayweather In Danger of Losing His Skills If He Stays Out Much Longer?

Floyd Mayweather JrBy Chris Williams: It’s now approaching a year and a half since Floyd Mayweather Jr. (39-0, 25 KOs) last stepped in the ring and at present it doesn’t look as if he’s going to be getting back into boxing anytime soon from the sounds of it. At 32, Mayweather may be pressing his luck by not getting back before it’s too late. Most smaller fighters like him are usually past their prime by their 30s, and though he’s a special case, the time off is most certainly not helping him stay sharp.

And, by the time he does decide to come back, many boxing fans will have forgotten who he is and he’ll lose relevance – and probably make much less than he would have if he had stepped back into ring six months ago. I doubt he’ll want to fight for less than what he’s gotten in the past, but the longer he stays away the more likely he’s going to have to settle for that.

Unlike famous fighters like Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, Mayweather didn’t have a long career before retiring. Indeed, just when he was picking up a lot of new fans with his wins over Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton, he made a huge mistake by retiring from the sport. With only that small window of time where he was picking up fans to go by, how can he expect that people will be still craving to see him fight years from now?

If he decides on coming back this year or even two years down the line, he’s going to have to deal with some welterweights with a lot of power and decent skills. Clearly, his boxing skills will be better than the fighters that he faces, but he won’t have the youth, stamina or power needed to fall back on in the later rounds of the fight and I can see him taking a lot of punishment in order to get a win.

That’s the X-factor. Mayweather has never really had to take a lot of punishment, so it will be interesting to see how he adapts to the changes in his body which will pretty much guarantee that any win that he gets from now on will have a huge price tag attached to it. If he comes back against a legitimate welterweight and not a smaller fighter like Ricky Hatton, Mayweather will be getting hit hard and won’t be able to stand sideways throwing short pot shots to win.

If he tries that stuff with Miguel Cotto or Shane Mosley, Mayweather will be eaten alive even worse than Antonio Margarito was by Mosley. That’s why it’s imperative that Mayweather get back in the ring as soon as possible to prevent an De La Hoya type beating in the future. Of course, there’s some opponents out there that I think Mayweather can still beat without getting hit a whole lot, but those are fighters that don’t presently hold belts in the welterweight division.

I would hope that Mayweather doesn’t challenge a light welterweight like Hatton again, because that would be in real bad taste given that he already beat him easily in 2007. Maybe if Hatton had fully redeemed himself since then against top fighters in the light welterweight division, maybe then I could see it. Hatton hasn’t, though.

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