"It all started with Floyd Sr. It all started with him...he was the first person to get started with boxing. I'm not sure how it got started, but I do remember an incident he had in high school. He had an incident with a teacher. I don't know what provoked it or anything like that, but a teacher actually called him out; like he wanted to fight Big Floyd. He's a grown man and he's trying to fight a kid that's 16 or 17 years old at the time. So basically, after school, and you will have to talk to Floyd to confirm it as far as how everything happened and how everything evolved, but I know him and the teacher got into fisticuffs after school and he beat the teacher up pretty bad. My sister jumped in too and was hitting the guy with her shoes and things like that, but for the most part, this was a grown man, a teacher, who was supposed to be a pillar of that community, calling out a child. That's what he did and then he got his ass whooped," 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!
PC: So we know about Big Floyd, yourself, Roger and Lil Floyd, but is there a Mayweather that came along in the sport of boxing before any of you guys that we don't know about?
JM: No, it all started with Floyd Sr. It all started with him. He was, I wouldn't say he was a troubled kid, but...to be honest, because of our age difference, he's like 10 years older than me, so I really didn't have a strong bond with Big Floyd. I watched him come up in boxing and things like that. Of course now that I'm older, our bond is closer now than it was when we were back home in Michigan. I'm a man and he's a man, so it's a different level of respect for him now, but he was the first person to get started with boxing. I'm not sure how it got started, but I do remember an incident he had in high school. He had an incident with a teacher. I don't know what provoked it or anything like that, but a teacher actually called him out; like he wanted to fight Big Floyd. He's a grown man and he's trying to fight a kid that's 16 or 17 years old at the time. So basically, after school, and you will have to talk to Floyd to confirm it as far as how everything happened and how everything evolved, but I know him and the teacher got into fisticuffs after school and he beat the teacher up pretty bad. My sister jumped in too and was hitting the guy with her shoes and things like that, but for the most part, this was a grown man, a teacher, who was supposed to be a pillar of that community, calling out a child. That's what he did and then he got his ass whooped. I don't know if that's what started Floyd boxing or if he was already boxing at that time. That's the part I don't know, but I just know that story and I kind of equate it to boxing because I know that he had either just started boxing or he started boxing right after that, but I'm not really sure.
We used to have street fights because we would have a pair of gloves and do little fights in front of the yard and stuff like that. People would walk by and of course if a person walking by wanted to get a piece, Floyd would jump on him. That's one of the things we did as we was growing up. Me, myself, personally, I only got into boxing because me and Roger were close and whatever Roger did, I did. I was kind of like a follower and looked up to him because he was older than me, not so much because of what he was doing. It's just one of those things that, as a sibling, sometimes you see what your other siblings are doing and they are a little older than you are, so you follow suit. That's kind of what happened with me and Roger. Now, Roger was notorious. Oh my God! Roger was bad, bad, bad! Roger stayed in trouble.
PC: What's the age difference between you and Roger?
JM: I think we're 3 years apart. We were close. Like I said, Roger was out there. He didn't care. He loved trouble. I followed him and we did a lot of dumb stuff, and I was involved because I was with him. It may not have been my idea, but I was with him. Don't get me wrong, Roger was one of those kids that was very mature for his age. He used the knowledge that he had in a negative way rather than a positive way. Even at 16 or 17 years old, Roger was actually, in a sense, promoting fights. We had a gym in which, what he would do is find two guys that were in the Golden Gloves that weren't fond of one another. They would be talking trash up until the fight, and then maybe something happened in the Golden Gloves where they didn't get a chance to fight each other and Roger would actually put on a show in the gym that we had. He was like a small version of Don King. He would have entertainment. He would have my sisters, because they liked to make clothes and model and stuff like that, he would have a modeling show. They would sell food and do concession stands, and all of this is when this dude was 17 years old. When I look back on it now, I'm like damn, Roger is brilliant. He had a brilliant mind at that young age. If that was something that he wanted to get into, he probably could've been successful. He probably could have been another Don King. Like I said, he didn't just put on a boxing show. He put on entertainment; an event. And then he would match other kids from the gym or sometimes kids from other gyms. He did this quite often and people used to look forward to it. It's just funny to me now that I'm older and look back. I'm like, "Wow, damn, that was amazing." But then he had this other side where he was bad, bad, bad!
I've told this story one time, but I remember when we were coming back from football practice and there was this sporting goods store and we used to always walk past it. There was always this one guy in there and he was a man; he was older than us. He was a young man, but he was older. He had this sporting goods store and Roger said, "Go get that bat over there." Like I said, I followed Roger around and we...I never really got in trouble too much because we didn't used to get caught, but Roger created so much trouble and so much havoc. I was basically his puppet, so I went and got the baseball bat and he told me to hold down the dude with the bat. So I hold down the dude and they had about 5 or 6 other young kids in there and they were all just taking what they wanted. I'm a kid; I didn't know what I was doing, but we actually robbed the man. We robbed his store. There were other incidents. One time, my mother was out driving home and she saw some kids throwing bricks at cars, and guess who it was?
JM: Exactly (laughing). There were countless incidents with Roger to where he found his way into trouble. He never really got himself caught up. I honestly don't think Roger ever went to juvenile for what he did. There was so many things that he did. I guess as a kid, I wasn't even thinking about what we were doing. I was just a part of it because I was there.
PC: What's your relationship like with Roger right now?
JM: Me and Roger are really close. As a matter of fact, he was over here the other night watching the fight. Me and Roger talk almost every single day. He still feels he needs to be my protector, even though we are both grown men. Don't get me wrong, Roger has done a lot for me throughout life. He brought me down here to Vegas and got me a manager. Whenever I was finding myself on hard time, he looked out for me. There is the other side. He is a good guy. In a lot of ways, he is a good guy. At the time when he was still young, he had that criminal mind. He had the criminal side and the business side. Even now, we go to breakfast almost every other day. He goes into this IHOP and the second he walks in there, everybody knows who he is. It's kind of funny. The people in there know me too now, so when I go in there, I get special treatment as well.
It's like now, me and Floyd, since he's been out here, especially when he first got out here, I helped him a lot to try to learn Vegas and things like that. He depended on me a lot. It originally started when Lil Floyd got signed. Floyd was originally gonna sign with Shelly Finkel and at that time, I was already here and Roger was here. I just so happened to be looking at KO Magazine, which I don't even think that publication exists anymore, but I was reading an article in that publication and it was basically Bob Arum talking about the Olympic hopefuls at that time. He spoke so highly of Floyd out of everybody that was there. Out of all of the people at the Olympics, he didn't say anything about David Reid winning the Gold Medal. He said the guy that has the most promise and the most talent that's going to be a star in boxing was going to be Floyd Jr. He said that a long time ago. And here it is, I'm in Vegas and his office is right down the street from where I live. At that time, Big Floyd was incarcerated, but we still were in communication and he would call me from time to time. It was one of those situations where him and Roger had their share of hard times and stuff like that. They really didn't get along when all of this was in the process of happening. I was just really getting my career started. I was probably like one or two years into my own career.
Lil Floyd comes out here and his dad says, "You're going to train him." I was like, "No, I'm not. I don't know shit about training nobody." I never had intentions of training a fighter anyway. I never thought in my life I would be training fighters and now here it is. I now have a passion for it. Sometimes, that's just how life works and you end up doing what you were trying to avoid. So that's kind of what happened with that. So Big Floyd was incarcerated and he was like, "We gotta get Lil Floyd a trainer. We gotta get him a trainer." I said, "We don't have to get him a trainer. Roger can train him. You trained Roger when Roger was coming up. All of the things that you taught Roger, he can teach your son." The way I figured it was Lil Floyd is not gonna be messed up because somebody done came in and changed everything. By the time Big Floyd got out, he could just come in and take over from where Roger left off. Even in getting that deal done with Top Rank, I took Lil Floyd in and they gave him a real good deal. They gave him the exact same deal that they had gave De La Hoya previously. So he got a good deal and also, because Big Floyd was incarcerated, I asked of them, I said, "Well, I don't want Lil Floyd worrying about his dad while he's incarcerated so I ask you guys to send him $1,000 a month while he's incarcerated." In jail, that's like a million dollars. So basically, Lil Floyd didn't have to worry about his dad in terms of taking care of him while he was fighting or anything like that. It was just a matter of Big Floyd getting out and stepping in and finishing what Roger had started.
ALSO CHECK OUT THE CHRONICLES OF MAYWEATHER PT. 2: "FLOYD WAS ABLE TO DO THAT STUFF AT 5 OR 6 YEARS OLD"