Wladimir Klitschko, Timothy Bradley, Juan Manuel Marquez, and, yet again, Tyson Fury.
Over the last month or so, we’ve seen some of the biggest names in boxing hang up their gloves. The sport is particularly cruel to its aging athletes, and there are countless examples of fading greats overstaying their welcome. There are few things worse than seeing a former star being beaten to a crisp by a younger, hungry fighter, so when they finally decide to call it quits, the feeling is usually bittersweet.
2017 is bound to see a few more exits. Here are some names to keep an eye on.
He’s retired a few times before, but we always knew it was just for show.
However, after the McGregor fight, it’s very likely that “Money” Mayweather will take his millions and leave the ring for good. In all likelihood, he’ll be a couple of hundred million dollars richer with a landmark 50-0 record by the end of August.
With nothing left to prove, there’s no reason for him to keep fighting. Of course, that’s assuming he defeats McGregor. In the odd chance he loses, I can’t imagine him leaving on such a low note.
Here’s a fighter we wish would retire.
Over his illustrious career, Roy Jones Jr. has dominated at middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight, and heavyweight. A six-time, four-weight champion, he’s established himself as one of the greatest fighters of all time.
But those days are well behind him. Now, he takes on little-known club fighters and loses to boxers he would have demolished in his heyday. The 48-year-old has spent far too long in the sport, and it seems like he’s finally coming to terms with his decline. He’s hinted that 2017 may be his last year.
With two of his fiercest rivals, Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez, recently announcing their retirement, Pacquiao must be aware that his moment in the sport is coming to an end as well. The eight-division world champion recently lost his WBO welterweight title to Jeff Horn, a little-known Australian boxer.
While the decision victory to Horn was controversial, Pacman was undeniably a shell of his former self during the fight. He was sluggish and lacked his trademark speed and power.
He’s activated his rematch clause and will probably face Horn again in November. After that, the Filipino Senator and future Hall-of-Famer may finally decide to focus on the many other things he has going on.
The undefeated middleweight champion has been seeking a big-name opponent for his whole professional career and he’s finally found one in Canelo Alvarez. The pair will meet in September for the most significant (though definitely not the biggest) fight of the year.
If Golovkin wins, the lifelong middleweight may decide to walk away on a high. At 35, he’s definitely showing signs of slowing down and his aggressive fighting style has led to a lot of punishment over the years.
Photo credit: Inbound Pass (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0]
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