At the end of a tough, long night, Floyd Mayweather Jr. was left staring at a June 1 jail sentence and a boxing landscape that he seems to believe cannot deliver another quality opponent.
The unbeaten 35-year-old champion late Saturday said he's leaning "80-20" toward retirement.
"If it was my last fight, I gave them a bang," Mayweather (43-0) said after his unanimous-decision (118-110, 117-111, 117-111) triumph over Puerto Rico's Miguel Cotto (37-3) at MGM Grand.
"There's really no one for me to fight anymore."
Well, there's Manny Pacquiao, but with the sides divided over money, ego and whatever else they can think up as leverage, who else is there?
The obvious backup to Pacquiao seemed to be Mexico's 21-year-old Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (40-0-1), who dominated Shane Mosley by unanimous decision Saturday.
But Alvarez's promoter, Richard Schaefer, said after the fight he'd just booked the rising star and World Boxing Council super-welterweight champion to headline a Sept. 15 pay-per-view bout at MGM Grand.
With Mayweather's jail term on a domestic-violence conviction expected to stretch into August -- even with time reduced for good behavior -- that's not enough training days.
"I don't have to fight if I don't want to," Mayweather said. "They say to save the best for last, and if this was my last fight, it was a hell of a fight."
Mayweather's swollen face and nose proved that, after he and Cotto spent an hour Saturday exchanging punches in a bout that was more competitive than the scoring indicated.
Mayweather had high praise for his beaten foe's abilities, which shined most in a gritty eighth round that left the crowd cheering on its feet.
On a possible Pacquiao fight, Mayweather said, "It's not going to happen."
Mayweather's point is that Pacquiao doesn't deserve a 50-50 split of revenues, because he contends the Mayweather brand generates more pay-per-view buys. Mayweather earned a record $32 million guarantee Saturday, and that figure will climb.