By: Sean Crose
Whether he was in the ring fighting, or in his nephew’s corner offering instructions, there was no one quite like Roger Mayweather, who died on Tuesday at the way too young age of 58. Known by younger fans as the sometime trainer of his famous nephew, Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Roger Mayweather was born in Grand Rapid’s Michigan and began his own pro career back in 1981 with a victory over Andrew Ruiz in Nevada. In less than two years, Mayweather managed to get himself a world title by winning the WBA Super Featherweight belt from Samuel Serrano, stopping the defending champion in his home island of Puerto Rico in 1983.
Mayweather went on to compile of record of 59-13 throughout a professional career that lasted nearly 20 years. During that time, the Michigan native battled a whose who of big name fighters. Rocky Lockridge, Julio Caesar Chavez, Vinnie Pazienza, Pernell Whittaker, Livingston Bramble and Freddie Pendleton all faced off in the ring against the man called Black Mamba. Along the way, Mayweather picked up world titles in the super featherweight and super lightweight divisions. His career lasted until 1999, when he stopped fighting at close to forty years of age.
The rise of his brother’s son, however, meant that Mayweather would once again be a notable name in the business. For Roger was – on and off – frequently his nephew Floyd’s trainer, leading the all time great through battles against the likes of Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton, among others. Floyd eventually placed his father, Floyd Sr, in his corner as a result of Roger’s failing health. As a trainer, Roger Mayweather could be controversial, once getting himself suspended and for an in-ring melee with Zab Judah and Yoel Judah after Zab had employed dirty tactics against his nephew.
News of Mayweather’s death has presumably struck Floyd, Roger’s nephew and protege, hard. Coupled with the loss last week of Josie Harris, Floyd’s former longtime girlfriend (and mother of his children), the loss is a huge blow to one of boxing’s most famous families.
“We are saddened with the recent news of Roger Mayweather’s passing” Mayweather Promotions stated Tuesday afternoon on social media. “Our hearts go out to the Mayweather family and we will keep you in our thoughts and prayers. We thank you all for the outpouring of love and support during this time. Roger’s spirit lives on with us forever.