"It's so funny that people see Lil Floyd and they see how successful he is and his ability to do what he does, but Floyd was able to do that stuff at 5 or 6 years old. That's why he's so good. I would tell anyone that was in an ear shot of being able to hear me that my nephew is going to be one of the best fighters ever to put on a pair of gloves; forget about Ali, forget about Ray Robinson and forget about all of them. He might be better than all of those guys. I saw it. I saw the potential at 6 years old. He was like a phenom. He was further than...it's kind of like if you seen a young Sammy Davis or a young Michael Jackson. You knew something was special about that kid because he wasn't like everyone else," stated world-class trainer Jeff Mayweather as he recalled the early foundations of his family's history in the sport. In this unique series, relive tales about members of the Mayweather boxing family and gain insight into the legacy of the first family of boxing. Check it out!
ALSO CHECK OUT THE CHRONICLES OF MAYWEATHER PT. 1: "IT ALL STARTED WITH FLOYD SR."
PC: On one of the 24/7 episodes, it was revealed you were the peacemaker in getting Floyd Sr. and Roger in the same room and speaking again. How did you arrange that and what was it like for you to see them in the same room with no friction?
JM: Basically, what happened there at that time, Roger was going hard at Floyd and Floyd was going hard at Roger. It was so much negativity that it was breaking down me and my mother more than anything, so I said, "This gotta stop." First I wrote an article about it. Then after that, I just told them, "This gotta end." So I talked to both of them and talked to my mom. My mom was coming out here anyway, so she came out and it was just us. I even tried to get in touch with Lil Floyd at that time, and at that time, me and Lil Floyd wasn't even speaking. I was trying to heal everything. It was too much time that had passed. At some point in time, somebody gotta man up and say, "Wait a minute! This is ignorant." Like I said, it was breaking my mother down more than anything, so I called everyone together for a dinner in her honor. It worked out fine. I wrote an article after that just saying it wasn't what people really think, but because of our name in boxing, we're under a microscope. They will take anything negative and turn it into a story and a lot of the times, not knowing if there is any truth to the matter.
PC: What was it like to train a fighter opposite your brother? You trained Steve Forbes when Big Floyd was in Oscar's corner. What was that experience like for you?
JM: To me, it was kind of like I've arrived. I was like, "Wait a second. Wow!" I've always looked up to Floyd as one of the top trainers in boxing. And then it was like, I'm going up against my brother. I was going to do everything that I could to try and beat that dude (laughing). It was a great experience; a great experience that just said I have arrived. Here I am standing in the corner across from my brother, who I feel is a great trainer, and now I'm about to match wits with him.
PC: Lil Floyd is now one of the biggest stars in boxing. You are a successful trainer and so are Roger and Big Floyd. Talk about the overall influence the Mayweather family has had on boxing?
JM: One thing is this, it's so funny that people see Lil Floyd and they see how successful he is and his ability to do what he does, but Floyd was able to do that stuff at 5 or 6 years old. That's why he's so good. I would tell anyone that was in an ear shot of being able to hear me that my nephew is going to be one of the best fighters ever to put on a pair of gloves; forget about Ali, forget about Ray Robinson and forget about all of them. He might be better than all of those guys. I saw it. I saw the potential at 6 years old. He was like a phenom. He was further than...it's kind of like if you seen a young Sammy Davis or a young Michael Jackson. You knew something was special about that kid because he wasn't like everyone else. At that time, watching him was kinda like, "Wow! This is amazing!" I remember saying to myself, "He's going to go to the Olympics and win the Gold and soon become world champion after that." All of the stuff that he's done, I already knew it was going to happen. He could be the best fighter ever in the sport of boxing, and I think he still has a stake at that claim. That fight with Manny has to be solidified because, I don't care how good you are, there is always gonna be somebody that says you weren't good enough because you didn't fight this guy or that guy. Every fighter could never fight everyone. I think also because of the fact that Floyd decided he was gonna play the bad guy, that's gonna kinda hurt his credibility as being one of the best. I mean, there is no doubt that he is one of the best ever, but where he is gonna fall, at the end of the day, no one knows yet because he still has fights left in him. His place as being one of the best is already secured if he stopped fighting right now.
PC: I think the Mayweather family may be one of the most misunderstood families in the history of boxing. What do you feel the biggest misperception of your family is?
JM: It's one of those situations, like I said, Lil Floyd took the role as the bad guy, so since he's taken the role as the bad guy, that's kind of pushed on to the rest of us. Roger is tough. He don't care if the cameras are on or the cameras are off; he got that attitude like, "Fuck you!" He's going to say whatever he feels and because he's that way, a lot of people perceive that as being disrespectful or think he's crazy. Big Floyd is flashy and he's bodacious. He's going to tell you he is the best this and the best that. He's kind of like the Ali of training and that's just him. And then me myself, I'm the complete opposite of both of them. My thing is this, don't get me wrong, if I took that route, I would be much bigger. I would be as big as they are if I chose to run my mouth a little bit and be a little more flamboyant, but that would be me not being myself. That's not the real version of me.
My thing is if I work hard, then eventually, my blessings will come. I think that's kinda where I'm at now. I have about 10 fighters. I have one of the best stables of fighters in boxing period. I've been blessed because they all sought after me. I didn't go trying to sell myself to anyone. These people found me some kind of way and here we are. I have about 10 fighters and most of them are undefeated and on the cusp of breaking into the top 10 and probably fighting for a title this year. I have some very good fighters. I also have a few fighters that were established that I picked up also. I have Sam Peter, who was a former world champion, I have Celestino, who was a former world champion, I have Kevin Johnson, who hasn't made it here yet, but he will be in camp. I also have a new heavyweight from Romania who is 6'7" and about 250. He has an extensive amateur background. He has almost 400 amateur fights. The kid is only 22 years old. We are gelling really well and I think great things are going to come from him. I also have Mickey Bey, who was supposed to be on the 2004 Olympic team, but got sick and wasn't able to travel. He is 16-0 and soon to be fighting for a world title. Celestino will be fighting for a world title again soon; maybe not right away, but he will be there again. And I have Brandon Gonzales, who is 14-0 and getting ready to break into the top 10. I have another kid that's 5-0. I have a great stable of fighters. I have other fighters that I haven't even mentioned that are very talented fighters. I've been blessed. I've kind of let my talent as a trainer define me and who I am. That's been the case. I don't feel like I have to yell I'm the greatest trainer. I just had to get some TV exposure so people can sort after me. I feel truly blessed. At the end of the day, I gotta be me. I know there would be more opportunities if I was acting and doing this and that, but that's not me. If I can't be myself in whatever I'm doing, then I don't want no parts of it.
ALSO CHECK OUT THE CHRONICLES OF MAYWEATHER PT. 1: "IT ALL STARTED WITH FLOYD SR."
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrLouis1ana ]