Mayweather Free to Get Back in Flow

Loose Ball: Released from jail early for good behavior, "Money" can return to the ring.

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Courtesy of Floyd Mayweather's Instagram

(The Root) -- Floyd Mayweather Jr. is no longer serving time in a Las Vegas jail. But the clock is ticking for the undefeated boxer.

He's not getting any younger, at age 35, and neither is his main rival, Manny Pacquiao, who's 33. If the superstars ever plan to meet in the bout that has boxing clamoring, they need to do so before they're shells of their former selves. Pacquiao showed signs of deterioration in June during his last fight -- albeit a terrible decision -- when he failed to put away a fighter with broken foot.

Mayweather, who was less than two weeks into his sentence when Timothy Bradley beat Pacquiao, spent 63 days in jail on a domestic-battery charge. He began his stint on a high note, shortly after improving to 43-0 with a unanimous decision against Miguel Cotto in a world super-welterweight title bout.

Since then, Forbes magazine has reported that "Money" Mayweather was the world's highest-paid athlete of the year, with earnings of $85 million in just two fights. Mayweather also missed his fiancee Shantel Jackson's private birthday bash last month but made his presence felt through gifts, which reportedly included a $30,000 Balenciaga alligator bag, diamond-encrusted jewelry and a jewel-studded pair of stiletto shoes.

Boxing fans want just one gift from Mayweather: a bout against Pacquiao. Promoter Bob Arum said it's unlikely that Mayweather will be the opponent in Pacquiao's next fight, scheduled for Nov. 10, but there's hope for next spring. A sign of optimism is Mayweather's recent alliance with rapper 50 Cent, whose associates met with Arum last week in Las Vegas.

"As soon as things settle down, we'll sit down and try to make a deal," Arum told the Los Angeles Times. "50 Cent thinks it can be done. He's a very intelligent guy who's done very [well] for himself."

50 Cent was part of the entourage that greeted Mayweather outside the jail Friday, before the boxer slid behind the wheel of a blue Bentley sedan and drove off. Mayweather looked fit, sporting a new head of hair, when he shared a picture on Instragram shortly afterward.

"Thanks for all the support and God Bless to everyone who wrote me," he tweeted.

There's no word on how long before he returns to the ring, or whom he'll face first. But now that Mayweather is out of jail, the countdown to Pac-Man can begin.

Deron Snyder's Loose Ball column appears regularly on The Root. Follow him on Twitter and reach him at BlackDoor Ventures, Inc.

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