LAS VEGAS –In the middle of the last decade, few trainers were as hot as Floyd Mayweather Sr. Hall of Famer Oscar De La Hoya regularly called him the best trainer in the world, and the success of De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather Jr. caused numerous top-level fighters to seek him out.
But as what is expected to be the richest and most heavily hyped boxing match in history moves inexorably closer, the elder Mayweather has been painfully silent. Nor is he looking for a bounce from the fight to pick up other fighters.
He told Yahoo Sports on Wednesday that he’s nearing the end of the line and won’t take on any new fighters. He’ll likely walk away when his son does.
The colorful Mayweather Sr. also chose not to respond to the verbal jabs Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach has thrown at him in the buildup to their hotly anticipated welterweight bout on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden. Roach made the media rounds not long after Mayweather-Pacquiao was signed and took numerous jabs at Mayweather Sr. Roach said Mayweather Jr. would be better off with his uncle, Roger Mayweather, in his corner than he will be with his father.
“My whole thing is, Floyd’s not going to have his best cornerman in his corner because there’s no question in my mind that Roger is the better trainer,” Roach said. “Floyd got 90 percent of his wins with Roger working with him. Roger is way better. I think Floyd Sr. is a terrible cornerman, I really do.”
Long-time Mayweather Sr. followers were expecting fireworks at the March 11 news conference in Los Angeles, the first time Mayweather Sr. would have come face-to-face with Roach after Roach’s unprovoked attacks. But not only did Mayweather Sr. not blast Roach, he didn’t bother to go to the podium to speak.
On Wednesday, he told Yahoo Sports that his son’s work in the ring will speak volumes for him.
“He’s not going to get under my skin now,” Mayweather Sr. said of Roach. “I’ve got the right thing to do now. I don’t have anything to say. All I can say is that after this fight, he ain’t going to be getting no more accolades or awards or whatever else they’re giving out. He won’t be a part of none of that.
“I still make the poems and all that stuff, but you know what? I’m going to kind of lay back with Freddie Roach. He can say what he wants. What I have to say to Freddie Roach is, if you want to talk, go for it.”
There have been reports, mostly unattributed, of course, coming from Mayweather Jr.’s camp that Mayweather is having difficulty with the left-handers he is facing in sparring. Roach told Yahoo Sports on Tuesday that he heard “some of those guys are beating the [expletive] out of Floyd.”
Mayweather Sr., though, said his son has beaten eight southpaws among the 47 professional wins on his record. That’s proof enough, he said, that left-handers don’t cause a special problem for his son.
But he didn’t want to go much further than that because he said he has no need to boast. The truth, he said, is staring fans in the face.
“People can say anything they want,” Mayweather Sr. said. “They can talk every day, but the truth is, ain’t nobody doing [expletive] to Floyd. They can say whatever they want, man. They’re trying to talk to win the fight. They’re not going to win the fight by talking. You can’t do that. You’ve got to put your mitts up, get on your toes and do what you know.”
Mayweather Sr. said he’s been humbled by the way his son has matured. The two clashed frequently in the first half or two-thirds of Junior’s career, but things have been much smoother between them recently.
But even when they were publicly feuding, Senior always predicted greatness for his son. But for all the grandiose expectations he had for his him, Junior has surpassed them.
“I had high hopes and I always believed my son was going to become a hell of a fighter, you know?” Mayweather Sr. said. “But I’m going to be honest with you. I could never have imagined he’d become the biggest athlete in the world ever. Doing what he is doing, this is all my thoughts and hopes and wishes come true.
“You say things you were wishing for and that you believe and then they come true, but even more. The Lord has shown me something really great.”
The elder Mayweather, 62, said he’s not going to stay in boxing much longer. He’ll be with his son until the end and then that’s likely going to be it.
“Right now, today, even before this fight happens, I don’t need to work no more right now,” he said. “We got this fight and then another fight, and I’m going to be honest with you. I don’t think I’m going to be around the game that long no more. It will be pretty much the right time when my son gets through.
“See, a lot of people think I’m just going to keep on training and training, but man, I’ve done my job. I plain went out and done my job. If I don’t make another champion, I’ve done what I’m supposed to do.”