Mayweather Sr., who turned to training after his own boxing career was cut short when he was shot in the leg during a family dispute, once almost took a job training Oscar De La Hoya against his son. But the Mayweathers have reconciled and Mayweather Sr. has been in his son’s corner for the last four fights.
And on Saturday, the 62- year-old Mayweather Sr. will shepherd his now-grown namesake into the ring at the MGM Grand Hotel to take on Filipino icon Pacquiao in a fight that will go a long way to determining who was the greatest fighter of their era.
Carrying on a family boxing tradition has brought Mayweather Jr (47-0, 26 KOs) fame and wealth, but the kind of turbulence that surrounded his upbringing is also still a part of his life. But he has multiple convictions for assaulting women, serving two months in jail in 2012 for a hair-pulling, arm-twisting attack on a former girlfriend as two of their children looked on.
Unlike othe rmillionaire athletes, Mayweather Jr, 38, has never been suspended or sanctioned by one of boxing’s governing bodies over domestic violence incidents. His latest legal trouble unfolded last year when some fellow boxers, who work out at his Las Vegas gym, sued him over training conditions which allegedly included making fighters go 31 rounds without a break. Mayweather Sr. missed seeing his son fight in the 1996 Olympics, where he lost in the semi-finals, because he was in jail. Mayweather Jr. credits his father with leading him down the boxing path to a record purse of more than $150 million.
At least for now, the Mayweathers have also patched up things inside and outside the ring.
“He might have felt it was my fault, I might have thought it was his,” Mayweather Sr. says. “He’s still my son.”
Mayweather Sr. boxed for 11 years until his wounds from the shooting and a lung disease that he says he caught in prison made it impossible for him to continue. He fought as a welterweight contender in the 1970s and 1980s, losing by a 1 0th round technical knockout to Sugar Ray Leonard in 1978.
“I fought Sugar Ray Leonard with one hand. I had a hairline fracture in my hand,” he said.
But while revered by his son as a boxing “wizard,” his counterpart in the opposite corner this weekend— Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach—is less impressed.
“The dad gets too excited in the corner, doesn’t give good direction,” Roach said.
“I’m very happy he’s there, to be honest with you.” (MT)