Roger Mayweather: Floyd Mayweather’s Key to Victory?

For most of Floyd Mayweather Jr’s professional career, the figure who’s manned his corner has been his uncle Roger Mayweather. Since his nephew’s emergence as a PPV and crossover star over the last several years, Roger Mayweather has become a polarizing figure due to his outspoken nature and controversial comments on other fighters. Whether it’s […]

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For most of Floyd Mayweather Jr’s professional career, the figure who’s manned his corner has been his uncle Roger Mayweather. Since his nephew’s emergence as a PPV and crossover star over the last several years, Roger Mayweather has become a polarizing figure due to his outspoken nature and controversial comments on other fighters. Whether it’s dismissing Shane Mosley’s boxing acumen or taunting Manny Pacquiao, Roger Mayweather is never at a loss for words. Today, the man Floyd Mayweather proclaims as “the best trainer in the world” took a short break from training to discuss Floyd’s strategy and focus going into the biggest fight of the year. Thanks for taking a break to conduct this interview; I know time is of the essence. We’re about 2 weeks away so training in winding down at this point. What are you focusing on with your nephew Floyd to finish up camp?

Roger Mayweather: Oh no problem we’re just training in the gym. Well, it’s the same things I’ve trained my nephew on from the beginning. So it’s not broken up [in focus] between the first few weeks or the last. It’s all about giving him things that will help him win. That’s the sport of boxing; picking a fighter like Mosley apart, and that’s what a good trainer does. Shane has told me that he expects the fight to be technical, which leads me to believe he may not rough up Floyd on the inside as expected. If he makes it a boxing chess match, do you think that greatly diminishes Shane’s chances at a victory?

Mayweather: Now you know he ain’t going to box my nephew! He knows he isn’t going to do that. That’s bulls**t. What’s he’s going to try and do is use his physicalness to overcome my nephew’s boxing ability. That’s what his job is. You start talking about [straight] boxing; it would be a one-sided fight. He ain’t going to use his boxing skills. If that turns out to be true we could get a great fight since Floyd is very good on the inside like he showed in the Hatton fight.

Mayweather: Yeah, true. Mosley’s gonna fight to the best of his ability. Whatever he can do, that’s what he’s gonna do, whether that’s physical or not. But it’s going to boil down to the same thing, who can make the adaption in the ring? It’s going to be no different from any other fight. We’ve seen Shane fight a few times; he’s had some good performances. The Margarito fight was a good performance. But that ain’t Floyd Mayweather so that doesn’t make any difference. You predicted Mosley would win that fight by “ass-whipping,” and you were right on with that prediction. A criticism Floyd has of Mosley is that he loops his shots too wide and you can see everything coming. Do you see any improvement in that area in the Margarito fight now that he’s under Naazim Richardson?

Mayweather: He’s been like that since the beginning so he’ll be fighting the same way. A fighter just can’t say “well I’m going to stop looping my shots.” Not at this stage of the game, don’t matter who the trainer is. Has Floyd had any problems adjusting to the Olympic drug testing he mandated for this fight? He looked fine on HBO 24/7, but I wondering if there were any behind the scenes procedures that weren’t covered.

Mayweather: Y’know, everybody talks about the drug testing, but it wouldn’t be a problem if a motherf**ker takes it now would it? If you don’t want to take it than something got to be wrong, right? If a guy don’t want to take that test that shows something is wrong with him, anyway! His job is to take a drug test and a physical. Eye test, he’s supposed to do all that! It ain’t that nobody said he has to do that, he has to do it anyway if he wants to fight. How a guy gonna fight someone and won’t take no test? I think everyone knows who you are referring to and since there is a defamation suit pending I’ll be careful in my questioning. Do you think Floyd was unfairly criticized by the media and fans when the Pacquiao fight couldn’t be made?

Mayweather: Floyd ain’t got s**t to hide and don’t have a problem taking a damn test. Listen, that’s why he’s the one who said take the test! S**t, he ain’t doing nothing! Only person worried about it is the motherf**ker who won’t take it, and you know who that is. I ain’t even got to tell you who it is. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be talking about no f**king test. The only person talking about no is doing illegal s### anyway.

So it ain’t about so much the test. If someone is doing illegal s**t and winning on it, that’s a foul on boxing. This is supposed to be a clean sport. In track Ben Johnson took steroids, what did they do to Ben Johnson after he had won the gold medal? They took that motherf**ker because he didn’t really win it! Alright then, ain’t no different in boxing. If a guy got something is his system, how did he really win?

It’s like a guy fighting you and you beating him, and the guy knocks you out. And then they unwrap the guy’s hand and he has a motherf**king cast on it. And you look up and say “Whoa! The guy hit me with a f**king cast!” [Laughs]. Ok.

Mayweather: That’s the reason why he knocked your ass out! So you disqualify his ass and that’s all there is to it. It should be no different than any other sport. So from your example it would seem you feel steroids or performance enhancing drugs are a big problem in boxing.

Mayweather: The big thing about boxing now is steroids! Motherf**kers be illegal wrapping and s**t, but steroids is the main thing. I’m not saying all boxers, but most of them do. They use steroids and some other s**t. They may not call it steroids but it’s just like steroids and gives the same results. How much of the media do you hold responsible for addressing this issue?

Mayweather: Yeah the media is to blame! How you gonna talk about how good a fighter is and that fighter is using steroids? A guy uses illegal substances, and he’s fighting, and they’re pushing him in the sport of boxing, hell yeah that’s a problem. This kind of stuff isn’t supposed to happen, but obviously it is. It wasn’t no big thing when Ben Johnson won the 100 yards, but then he tested positive [for steroids]. It’s ok to win as long as you ain’t got illegal stuff in your system.

If you get caught you should be barred from boxing. If I walk to the ring with brass knuckles on my hand and fight a guy, knock him out, and destroy his career, what is supposed to happen to me? You should be banned from boxing and face criminal charges.

Mayweather: Ok, you a motherf**ker taking steroids or any other substance that shouldn’t be in his system; he should be banned from the sport. That’s all there is to it. If you got to win with drugs you shouldn’t be in boxing anyway. Drugs are for people not in boxing. Drugs are for drug addicts! You know a few drug addicts, don’t you? I’ve run across a few in my time.

Mayweather: And they a#### don’t need to be in the ring! Let’s switch to your own career, as a lot of younger readers may not be familiar with what you did in the 80’s and early 90’s as the Black Mamba.

Mayweather: Oh yeah, that’s true. You won titles at junior welterweight (140 pounds). When you look at that division now with guys like Timothy Bradley and Amir Khan, do you think those young fighters could have given you a good scrap on your heyday?

Mayweather: S**t, my nephew was at 140 too! You got some good fighters there; you had [Miguel] Cotto there for awhile. I think De La Hoya fought there, too. Shane Mosley would’ve been a good fighter at ’40. You got some good guys today. But I mean I don’t think they could compete in the era that I was in, because at 140 pounds you had Aaron Pryor, Pernell Whitaker, Raphael Pineda, Howard Davis, Julio Cesar Chavez, Vinny Pazienza, there was a lot of guys. With me it would have been a hell of a contest today with any guy, you can believe that! 

I still believe the 2000’s don’t compare to the 80’s. You had too many great fighters in the 80’s. You had Tommy Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard at 147. Iran Barkley fought in the 80’s. You had so many guys that were good I don’t believe this generation right now could compete. There were too many good fighters. You mentioned a lot of guys just now that were successful at junior welterweight. Which fight would you consider your best performance?

Mayweather: People always say when you win the title that is your best performance, but I don’t really say that. My better performances is when I came back at 140 and I was fighting bigger guys and not really known there. That is always difficult, but when I won the world championship I won it in somebody else’s backyard. That solidified my place as a fighter. [Writer’s Note: Mayweather won the WBC junior welterweight title with a 6th round TKO over Rene Arredondo on November 12, 1987] It didn’t matter if I was on their home turf or not, I fought them. I always believed I could win. You fought a few Hall of Famers. Who would you consider the best fighter you fought out of Kostya Tszyu…?

Mayweather: Oh I already know who the best fighters I fought were. I fought 2 of the best ever; 1 was Pernell Whitaker, and number 2 was Julio Cesar Chavez. I fought them all, but when I look back and think about how good they were, it goes down to Julio and Pernell. They’re both Hall of Famers because of the kind of careers they had. I’m glad I had the chance to compete with them. Thanks for your time today Roger and good luck on May 1.

Mayweather: Alright man, thank you.

Writer’s Note: Catch more of Roger Mayweather this Saturday on part 3 of HBO’s 24/7 Mayweather-Mosley. The fighters square off May 1 on HBO PPV.