What would the Mayweather family be without a little friction? In recent years, what we have mostly heard about is Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s flareups with the law, including one that landed him in jail for 87 days last year.
But with this upcoming fight against Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero, there could well be some conflict in the corner.
Floyd Mayweather Sr. has been brought back into the camp as the chief second, although Roger Mayweather, who is Floyd Sr.’s brother and, by virtue of that, Junior’s uncle, makes the claim that he is still the force guiding the preparation for the man who is considered by many to be the world’s top pound-for-pound fighter.
The return of the father in the position of primary voice in the corner is actually a noteworthy event, when you consider that this would be the first time in thirteen years (save for one occasion) that Roger has not occupied that role. And while he is not on the sidelines for this one, Roger is not exactly happy with the present state of affairs.
His insistence that he is, in fact, the actual trainer is evidence to that effect.
“Floyd’s training with me. He don’t train with his daddy, he trains with me. Even now,” he told reporter David Mayo of the Grand Rapids Press. “he’s training with me. He ain’t training with his daddy, he’s training with me.” Roger points out that he does most of the work with the fighter inside the ring, so his actual function, and by way of that, influence, hasn’t changed.
As far as who is going to shape the strategy that will be employed against Guerrero, there is the response from Floyd Sr. “Ain’t nobody gonna get in front of me and tell Floyd anything different than what I tell him. What I say is what’s going to happen.” It doesn’t matter to him whether Roger is the first assistant in the corner or not (which, for the record, he is, as Leonard Ellerbe, who doubles as CEO of Mayweather Promotions, is stepping aside from his corner role).
Roger was the more accomplished fighter of the two brothers, winning world championship in both the junior lightweight and junior welterweight divisions. Floyd Sr. was a world-rated welterweight who once fought Sugar Ray Leonard. There has been an uneasy relationship between him and his son for quite some time. At the beginning the father was the trainer and teacher, but then he went to prison for three years starting in 1994, and after he came back to take over again, the falling out happened, and Roger replaced him in 2000.
Anyone who has seen Floyd Jr. in HBO’s “24/7” series has noticed the animosity he has had toward his father, and it has at time blown up inside the gym. There was a seven-year period during which the father and son did not talk at all. Floyd Sr. has not been idle as a trainer; in fact, he has worked with a number of notable fighters, including Chad Dawson, Joan Guzman and Ricky Hatton. He also, of course, trained Oscar De La Hoya for five years, and was even willing to train him to fight Floyd Jr. in 2007, but he was turned down by De La Hoya when he asked for $2 million as his fee.
Through the years there has been some discord between the brothers, as you might imagine, and Roger speculates that bringing his brother on board is one way that Floyd Jr. can help the two mend fences.
It certainly doesn’t sound like the new association is off to a rousing start.