The boxing all-time great was scheduled to take on Don Moore in an exhibition fight
Floyd Mayweather will not hold an exhibition bout in Dubai this weekend after United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan passed away aged 73.
All-time boxing great Mayweather retired from the squared circle with an unblemished 50-0 record in 2017, but was set to take on former sparring partner Don Moore on a helipad atop the luxurious Burj Al Arab hotel this Saturday.
According to TMZ, however, the event has been called off and will possibly be re-arranged in the future after the UAE suspended all work "in ministries, departments, federal and local institutions, and the private sector" for the next three days due to the passing of the Sheikh, who was Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour's half brother.
"Sending my condolences to the entire UAE. RIP Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed," Mayweather wrote in a tribute post on Instagram.
And while the ex-five-division champion has not addressed the cancelation directly, he had been looking forward to the meeting with Moore and had promised punters: "you've never seen a boxing event like this."
"I'm going to continue to break barriers on May 14," he also vowed. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime event and I'm a once-in-a-lifetime fighter. There's no one else in the sport who could headline an event this over the top. I'm going to give the fans what they paid for."
Also scheduled to feature on the Dubai card were UFC legend Anderson Silva taking on Bruno Machado, former boxing world champion Badou Jack facing Hany Atiyo, and Delfine Persoon fighting Elhem Mekhaled for the WBC women's super featherweight title.
Mayweather's fight was set to be his first since last summer when he met YouTube prankster Logan Paul in Miami's Hard Rock Stadium. And despite not getting any younger at 45, Mayweather has no intention of hanging his gloves up - or, as he put it, retiring from "getting money" via lucrative exhibition bouts.
"I love displaying my talents for the whole world and doing something new that interests me," Mayweather said to The Mirror this week.
"Boxing is entertainment, and that's what I'm all about. I worked hard to accomplish more than anyone during my career, and now I'm going to enjoy the fruits of my labor while still giving fans something exciting to watch."
"They always say the sky is the limit, well I feel like I'm pushing the limit in the entertainment world once again, going up and literally fighting in the sky. These are the kind of opportunities that I'm always going to jump at," he stressed.
Blasted by some for entertaining the showdown with Moore, Mayweather claims that boxing critics are "upset that I am able to still milk and finesse the sport of boxing by throwing exhibitions" after "leaving boxing on my own terms."
"Sixteen minutes and I am able to get eight and nine figures from the fruits of my labor," Mayweather bragged to Fight Hype.
"Once again I am not hurting for my money, I am far from hurting for money. I didn't retire from getting money," he said.