Floyd Mayweather Jr. walked out of jail shortly after midnight on Friday, looking as fit as ever. The heavily muscled photo he tweeted of himself after arriving at home made him appear as if he had been preparing to compete for Mr. Olympia.
His appearance made a mockery of the testimony of his doctor, Robert Voy, who said in June that unless Mayweather was granted an immediate release from the Clark County Detention Center, his fighting career would be in jeopardy because of a lack of nutrition.
It's clear that in the two months he served after pleading to a domestic violence charge, Mayweather was doing more than curling up in his bunk with a book while snacking on Chips Ahoy.
The question that boxing fans care about, of course, is not the paid-for testimony given by his doctor but when he'll fight again and whether he'll ever reach the same level he had before being jailed.
Mayweather, who is the top-rated fighter in the Yahoo! Sports rankings, is a brilliant athlete who could, if he wanted, fight again in November and not miss a beat.
No one in a position to know – not Mayweather, not new business partner 50 Cent, nor Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe – is talking publicly at this stage.
More than likely, though, Mayweather will take the rest of the year off and concentrate on a spring 2013 return.
The first weekend in May is a always a big date for boxing and Mayweather has been a regular on that weekend. Plus, Mayweather is now partners with rapper 50 Cent in a promotional company, TMT Promotions, which is in the midst of applying for a license in Nevada.
Mayweather won't do anything until TMT, which is short for "The Money Team," has its license and its doors are open for business.
If he doesn't fight again until May, he'll have had an entire year on the sideline. It won't be the time off, though, that would impact him as much as his advancing age.
Boxers, even those as great as Mayweather, are more vulnerable as they age. Mayweather will turn 36 on Feb. 24 and was hit more in his last outing, a May 5 victory over Miguel Cotto, than he had been in any fight since perhaps his 2002 matches with Jose Luis Castillo.
He's had layoffs of six months or more in 15 of his 43 professional fights. He's been sidelined a year or more between bouts twice. He can handle layoffs.
Hall of Famer
Tyson beat Peter McNeeley and Buster Mathis in non-title fights, then stopped Frank Bruno to win the World
It wasn't until he faced Evander Holyfield on Nov. 9, 1996, that Tyson didn't appear to be a human wrecking machine. He lost to Holyfield that day, not because he'd had a long layoff earlier in the decade but because Holyfield was the better fighter.
The jail time shouldn't have impacted Mayweather at all physically. The question that should be asked is whether Mayweather can be the same at 36 as he was at 26.
The one difference between Mayweather and Tyson is that Mayweather is a boxer who relies on timing, agility and quick reflexes. Tyson was a power puncher and power is usually the last thing a boxer loses.
Unless Mayweather chooses to speak up about the resumption of his fight career, everything is speculation. He'll undoubtedly want to spend time he missed with his family, and so it's unlikely that he'd want to put himself through a rigorous training camp right away.
Mayweather is notorious for being a hard trainer and when he's in fight mode, he throws himself into it fully.
There of course will be the incessant speculation about when he'll fight and if it will be Manny Pacquiao.
Those expecting answers quickly, though, are bound to be disappointed. Expect to hear from him as 2013 dawns.
He's out of jail, however, and that means it's business as usual once again with "The Money Team." Expect to see him at NBA games and in plenty of night clubs and vacation hotspots over the next few months.
Just don't expect to see him in the boxing ring again until Cinco de Mayo 2013.
- Sports & Recreation