Part III of our preview of Saturday’s Oscar De La Hoya/Floyd Mayweather Jr. superfight will focus on arguably the most intriguing part of the matchup. Boxing’s most dysfunctional family and how they just can’t seem to stay out of trouble, or each other’s way.
Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s father, Floyd Sr., and uncle, Roger, were both very good fighters in their own right. Roger became both the WBC super featherweight and super lightweight world champion, while Floyd Sr. once fought Sugar Ray Leonard and was considered a top welterweight contender. Both men have become excellent trainers, handling world champions. Sounds like a nice story right? Eh, not so much, the two brothers can’t stand each other and haven’t been on speaking terms for quite some time.
Floyd Jr. was trained by Roger when he fought his first professional fight, in 1996, because Floyd Sr. was imprisoned at the time after being convicted of drug trafficking in 1993. When he was released from prison in time to train his son for his fight against Sam Girard on Feb. 28, 1998. He would continue to manage and train Floyd Jr. until he was fired as manager early 2000, and replaced by James Prince. A few months later, the rift between father and son had grown so contentious that Floyd Sr. was also fired as his son’s trainer. Floyd Jr. brought his uncle Roger back as trainer, later saying that he loves his father but has better chemistry with his uncle, because his father put too much pressure on him to be perfect. Roger has trained Floyd Jr. ever since. Floyd Sr. has since moved on to train several other champions, including Oscar De La Hoya.
Floyd Sr. and Roger’s feud stems from Roger publicly taking credit for all of Floyd Jr.’s success, and his rise to the undisputed pound-for-pound best in the world. But despite the rocky relationship Floyd Jr. has with his father, Floyd Sr. categorically refused to train his prized pupil (De La Hoya) to fight his son. He claimed he wanted no part of it. Incidentally, several months later he told De La Hoya he would train him for the bout if he was given $2 million. De La Hoya stopped laughing long enough to name Freddie Roach his new trainer.
During Floyd’s April 8, 2006 bout against Zab Judah, Mayweather was cruising to an easy when. Then at the end of the tenth round Judah clearly, intentionally, hit Mayweather below the belt and followed that up with a rabbit punch. Richard Steele, the referee, called time and as he was asking Floyd if he was alright, Roger entered the ring and approached Judah, clearly looking to fight him. He was restrained by Steele, at which point Judah’s father and trainer, Yoel Judah, entered the ring and took a swing at Roger. Zab then went after Roger as well, before the ring was cleared. Roger was ejected, and the Nevada State Athletic Commission fined him $200,000 and suspended him for a year. Roger would then be incarcerated on an assault charge, which forced him to miss the beginning of Floyd Jr.’s training camp for the De la Hoya fight.
In stepped Floyd Sr. who took over training duties until Roger was released because he said it would be a great way for he and his son to re-connect. Floyd Sr. continued to hang around once Roger came back, and the tension in the Mayweather camp was palpable. And apparently it heated to a boil last week, when Floyd Sr. walked out on the camp. He claimed that his son had been lying on TV when he would say he had a tough upbringing and he also claimed his brother had been lying as well.
Roger had this to say about his brother, “I don’t train Floyd based on his daddy. I fought more fights (72 to 36) than my brother has, so I don’t have to ask his opinion. Floyd got to where he is because of me, not because of what (Floyd Sr.) did. He set the groundwork, but I’m the one who got him on pay-per-view.”
Those comments were made when Floyd Sr. was still hanging around the camp. But he finally left and vented about it Sunday, “Do you know how much of you life it takes to make a fighter? Little Floyd right now would be sitting in a grave somewhere selling drugs if it wasn’t for his daddy. Now his daddy is the villain? No, the villain is that Black Mamba (Roger’s nickname as a fighter). Roger Mayweather that backstabber. Roger is a liar. He wants to take credit for something I already did.”
Floyd Sr. then washed his hands of his son entirely. Here’s what he had to say, “Man, let me tell you, I don’t want nothing to do with no son like that. I was in there maybe a couple of weeks. And it wasn’t nothing but (expletive). All he wanted to do was use his daddy. ‘Oh, daddy, you a great trainer. I’m going to make sure you get a check.’ I haven’t received anything yet. Not a dime, not a penny. It’s sorry to say but I never thought I would have a son like this. I thought I was getting back with my son, but my son is full of (expletive).”
Talk about a freaking dysfunctional family geez. I wouldn’t be shocked if halfway through the fourth round Floyd Sr. and Roger go at it on the ring apron. Seriously, these guys should have their own reality show. It’d be a combination of “Being Bobby Brown,” “I Love New York” and “The Contender.” In other words, the greatest show ever.