LAS VEGAS, Sep 13- Floyd Mayweather equaled Rocky Marciano’s perfect 49-0 record Saturday and then confirmed that now was the time to quit — because he has nothing else to accomplish.
The unbeaten pound for pound king, 38, showcased some of his brilliant best in easily outpointing a game Andre Berto at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Pundits and rivals in the welterweight division said before the fight that they believed Mayweather, the highest-earning sportsman in the world, would carry on to go for the magic 50-0.
Critics accused Mayweather of bigging up the quit talk to sell tickets for a fight against a rank outsider that had failed to capture the public interest.
But Mayweather — widely acknowledged as the best boxer of his generation – was adamant it was time to let someone else grab the limelight.
“I’ve been in this sport 19 years, been a world champion 18 years, broke all the records,” he said, moments after collapsing to his knees in the middle of the ring.
“My 49-0 record is a part of boxing. Records are made to be broken,” added Mayweather, who has retired once before.
“Hopefully someday we can find the next Floyd Mayweather.
“Now it’s time to spend time with my family and children, make sure they get the proper education.
“I’m leaving the sport with all my faculties; I’m still sharp and smart.
“I’ve accomplished everything in this sport, there’s nothing else to accomplish.”
Mayweather, who says he made at least $70 million from the bout, reiterated his belief that he is the “best ever” because he is always “one step ahead of any fighter.”
“I’ve had a great career. Very comfortable, made great investments — I am ‘A’ OK,” he told a press conference where he was in effusive mood and talked at length about his career and plans for the future.
That includes devoting himself to young fighters in his stable at Mayweather Promotions.
– ‘Go the Floyd Mayweather way’ –
But he could not resist a dig at critics who have questioned his personality, his defensive style of boxing and those who have highlighted incidents of domestic violence that saw him spend time behind bars.
People choose not to see the good side of him, he said, insisting that his persona was all part of a grand plan — to ultimately win and make money.
“They say, ‘All he can do is hold, run, he’s cocky, arrogant, no one likes him, he cannot write or read’ — and you all believe that,” he said, adding his substantial wealth means he can easily afford to give up the fight game.
“If you believe it you are dumb for believing it.
“They believe that and I was able to accomplish what I did.
“I think you all need to go the Floyd Mayweather way. I know no one who made upwards of $800 million from the sport.”