There’s a code to decipher when Floyd Mayweather Jr. speaks.
Though his words may be heartfelt at that instant, his position is subject to change based on any event in the boxing world or even the break of a new day.
It’s been more than eight months since Mayweather, 38, announced he would retire with a 49-0 record after a 2015 campaign that included his record-setting victory over Manny Pacquiao and a farewell triumph over Andre Berto in September.
The completion of those convincing efforts earned Mayweather the Boxing Writers Assn. of America fighter-of-the-year-award, a trophy he came to collect for a third time Friday at Copacabana restaurant.
In both a discussion with the Los Angeles Times and a reflective, insightful 34-minute acceptance speech, Mayweather revealed his answer to “the question I get all the time,” and how he’s spending retired life.
“As of now, I’m happy with being retired,” said Mayweather, who pocketed more than $300 million in beating Pacquiao. “A lot of fighters have to box. I don’t have to box. I don’t get the urge to go to the boxing gym. My urge is giving back to the sport now, helping [promote] the young fighters.
“People have to realize, when I look at my Uncle Roger [his former trainer, riddled with health issues] and even Ali, boxing is wear and tear. And when I look at it, I’m really thankful I was a defensive fighter. I have all my faculties, a sharp mind, and I know who I am.”
Minutes later, up on the stage, Mayweather spoke of the contentment of steadily gathering millions of dollars in real-estate profit, but let it be known, “For the right price, I may come back.”
He credited his 10-year relationship with his manager, Al Haymon, who operates the 200-fighter Premier Boxing Champions stable that will work “hand in hand” with Mayweather Promotions, for building wealth beyond the estimated $800 million he earned for boxing.
“I think about this every day,” he said. “It’s not how much you make in the ring, it’s how much you have when your career’s over.
“I had a dad [trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr.] who taught me boxing and a father [Haymon] who taught me business. I couldn’t go wrong.”
This was not the overly cocky or angry Mayweather. On Friday he even spoke approvingly of the business handling of the sport’s most popular active fighter, Mexico’s Canelo Alvarez, by Mayweather’s longtime rival Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions.
Instead of accepting an Alvarez showdown with unbeaten middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin in three months, Alvarez announced last week he’ll fight less well-known junior-middleweight champion Liam Smith on Sept. 17 and delay Golovkin until September 2017.
“Golden Boy’s making the right decision because that’s their cash cow right now,” Mayweather said. “If Canelo loses, who do they have to bank on? They have to be smart. This is a business. People want to say, ‘He should fight him.’ It doesn’t work like that.
“People said I was scared, a coward, to fight Manny Pacquiao. Everyone can have their own opinion. I always said, ‘If it’s meant to happen, it’ll happen.’ At one particular time, that fight was worth $60 million. I waited until the time was right, when things were on my terms and we were the A side and we could do things our way, we turned that into a $600-million fight.”
With all that cash and a recent life of leisure on worldwide vacations with friends, Mayweather said, “I’m comfortable.”
But the familiar tugs are expected to pull at him.
Pacquiao, who looked sharp beating Timothy Bradley in April, is said to be mulling whether his new tasks as a senator in the Philippines will allow him to fight again.
And Lou DiBella, promoter of Saturday’s World Boxing Assn. welterweight title victory by unbeaten Keith Thurman at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, said the talent-rich division could also prove enticing.
“Anyone who heard Floyd’s speech, it doesn’t sound like he’ll be rushing back, but there’s a terrific group of welterweights now, and in a year, year and a half, when there’s one guy standing, that’s a lot of incentive for Floyd Mayweather to come back for one big check,” DiBella said.
Follow Lance Pugmire on Twitter @latimespugmire