American Patrick Day died in October as a result of a traumatic brain injury he suffered when he was knocked out and two professional fighters perished within a week’s time in July from damage sustained during their bouts.
CNN reported that between 1890 and 2011, 1604 boxers died as a direct result of injuries sustained in the ring, according to a survey carried out Manuel Velazquez. That’s an average of 13 deaths a year.
Australian boxer Dwight Ritchie died in a training accident early this month following a sparring session.
“You have got to know when to hang it up. I had a great career,” he said, throwing cold water on the prospects of a rumoured rematch against Manny Pacquiao or Canelo Alvarez next year.
Mayweather, who won the first of his 12 world titles in 1998, first announced his retirement in 2007 but quickly returned to the ring.
He retired again in 2015 only to come back to defeat mixed martial artist Conor McGregor in 2017. After that battle he said his professional career was truly over.
He is, however, still open to participating in exhibition matches like the one he did in January, where he demolished Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in less than three minutes.
“I’ll still travel and do exhibitions. I make great money doing exhibitions — between $10 and $30 million,” he said of the fights, which have no bearing on his professional record.
“I think I make more doing that than most fighters make fighting.”
Despite the rise of mixed martial arts and other combat sports, Mayweather said boxing reigns supreme because of its rich history and ability to produce legendary champions.
“I never call myself a celebrity,” he said.
“I’m a legendary icon because when I’m long gone they will still be talking about me.”
Mayweather said that when he boxed McGregor, it was the most money any MMA fighter had ever earned for a single fight.
“We gave the MMA sport a boost,” he added.
“Eventually I will move on to build my brand in MMA but for right now I’m in boxing, and boxing will always be at the top as long as I’m involved.”