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Emotional Mayweather set to retire

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LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Floyd Mayweather Jr. outclassed Carlos Baldomir to win the WBC welterweight championship on Saturday before saying he would retire after one more fight.

Two of the three judges gave Mayweather all 12 rounds, and the third scored the bout 10 rounds to two in his favor.

"One more fight, then that's it for me," Mayweather told an emotional news conference in which he repeatedly broke down in tears.

"Every time I fight, it's blood, sweat, and tears, because I love the sport. It's not just a job," he added, citing wear and tear on his body and the desire to leave on top as the main reasons for his decision.

Baldomir, the larger man and defending champion, stalked his opponent for much of the bout, but Mayweather used his vastly superior hand speed to pot-shot Baldomir, stepping to one side and out of range before his opponent could land a punch.

When Baldomir was able to trap Mayweather against the ropes or in a corner, the American challenger was able to anticipate his Argentine opponent's slow, looping punches, and either slip them or block them with his shoulders, arms, and gloves.

"I didn't fight my fight," Baldomir told reporters. "He was too fast. I couldn't catch him, and when I did, I wasn't strong enough."

The pace of the bout slowed over the final few rounds, with Mayweather apparently content to land one punch at a time, causing the crowd to boo the lack of action.

"I thought could knock him out down the stretch, but I hurt my hand," said Mayweather. "He's very resilient, very strong."

Although Mayweather, widely regarded as the best fighter in the world, pound-for-pound, was acknowledged to be by far the more talented of the two, the question entering the bout was how he would fare against such a large opponent.

Baldomir had fought every one of his 58 contests as a welterweight. Mayweather, in contrast, was fighting at welterweight for just the third time.

He turned professional in 1996 as a super featherweight, 17 pounds lighter than the welterweight limit of 147 pounds, and won his first world championship at that weight in 1998.

He subsequently added titles at lightweight and junior welterweight, before stepping up to welterweight for the first time in November last year.

Baldomir was largely unknown outside Argentina until this year, when he scored an upset victory over Zab Judah to win the world title in January, and defended it with a knockout of Arturo Gatti in July.

"It's been a great year," he said. "I beat Judah, I beat Gatti, and I went up against the pound-for-pound king. I've done a lot, achieved a lot."

Mayweather is now hoping for a lucrative bout against Oscar De La Hoya, which could be the richest non-heavyweight fight in boxing history.

"I believe (De La Hoya) will want to fight me after tonight," said Mayweather. "If he wants to make the fight, he knows where to find me." De La Hoya had previously said that if he and Mayweather met it would be his last fight.


An emotional Mayweather speaks to the media after his victory over Baldomir.

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