Floyd Mayweather has announced that he is effectively retiring with his KO defeat of Ricky Hatton. Mayweather says he won’t fight in 2008 or 2009, and whether he will fight after that is up in the air. After the fight Mayweather repeated his mantra, “I’m going to retire from boxing, not let boxing retire me.” As a practical matter, no fighter is likely to retain the speed, sharpness, and endurance that made him a champ after two years of inactivity. If he doesn’t continue to train vigorously, in addition to sparring, Mayweather will lose the skills upon which he has built his career, namely his speed, quickness, coordination, reflexes, balance, and flexibility.
Hatton, meanwhile, was quick to announce that he will not retire. “Oh yeah,” he grinned, when asked after the loss whether he intends to continue to fight. Unlike Mayweather, Hatton loves the sport of boxing and loves to fight. Not that he couldn’t afford a rest: Hatton’s tools, chiefly strength, toughness, and endurance, are less prone to deterioration than Mayweather’s.