By Chris Robinson
Despite having a relationship that has proven itself to be chaotic and full of turmoil at times, Floyd Mayweather Sr. will always have a place in his heart for his son, Floyd Mayweather Jr.
And while the younger Mayweather found himself in a debilitating skirmish on Saturday night with Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand, his father was watching intently. Mayweather would emerge with a hard-fought unanimous decision and the WBA junior middleweight belt after twelve heats but was left with a bloodied nose and a bruised face that told just how taxing the fight truly was.
Reflecting on the bout, Mayweather Sr. feels his son handled himself accordingly but seems to think he might have let an opportunity slip away.
“I feel that he performed well,” Floyd Sr. stated during our conversation on Sunday evening. “It was a tough fight but I can say my son performed well and to tell you the truth about it, I think in the eleventh round or the twelfth round, I don’t know exactly what round it was, where he got him hurt, Floyd could have stopped the fight there. Floyd could have stopped Cotto then. He really hurt him. He had an opportunity. He could have stopped him, I believe that truly.”
Asked if he had any slight worries seeing his son with a bloodied nose late in the fight, Floyd Sr. shrugged off such notions.
“It’s part of boxing. All that is part of the game, man,” Floyd Sr. said.
It’s well known that Floyd Sr. was the driving force behind his son’s initial foray into the sport, as he introduced him to the game as a practical infant and worked with him countless years before Floyd Jr.’s Uncle Roger took over the ship.
Asked if he would have come up with a different game plan for a fighter like Cotto, you can sense that Floyd Sr. was struggling to hold his words back.
“There’s a lot of things I would have done different,” Senior admitted. “But I’m going to extort anything that I was going to do about things, because the fight is over and whatever I’m using for anybody, I don’t spit it out. But I tell you this right here; there’s a few things I would have did different but overall I think my son put on a courageous fight and he won the fight, there’s no question about that. Cotto put up a hell of a challenge.”
Having turned 35 years old in February, Mayweather Jr. mentioned at last night’s post-fight press conference that he is unsure of his future, even noting that retirement may be an option at this point.
Floyd Sr. doesn’t know how things will play out but doesn’t seem overly-excited about Floyd Jr.’s career given the amount of quality opponents that he feels aren’t around.
“People get old fast in boxing.” said Floyd Sr. “Boxing is not a long game. It seems long, but it’s not long. Lil’ Floyd said he’ll fight for two more years and I don’t question it. Let’s see how it goes. Right now I don’t see any challenges for him right now and I’m talking right at this particular moment. Possibly, within a two-year period, maybe Alvarez can be a challenge for him. I don’t know.”
During his training camp for his bout with Victor Ortiz this past September, and as seen on HBO’s airwaves, Floyd Sr. got into a heated debate with his son, one that ended with the two cursing and screaming at one another. It was a raucous scene and a telling sign of the still-apparent tension that exists between them.
For Floyd Jr.’s training for the Cotto fight, Mayweather Sr. stopped by the gym unexpectedly and it appeared that the rift was starting to die down a bit. But Floyd Sr. explained that it wasn’t exactly his intentions to make peace with his visit.
“I didn’t come down there to see Floyd,” Mayweather Sr. explained. “I came down there to bring a young lady down there that wanted to see Roger. I took her down there to see Roger and I was not going in there. She went in and she said one of his people, a guy, they call him 53, Miguel I think his name is; he told me that Floyd told me to come in. And I came in.”
Lil’ Floyd also exchanged some heated words with HBO analyst Larry Merchant on air after his victory over Ortiz, making for quite the scene. However, Mayweather has seemed to make peace with Merchant, as he apologized to him after his victory over Cotto.
Floyd Sr. feels a bit shocked that his son would reach out and show sympathy to Merchant while overlooking his own father.
“Did you see him on TV? I’m going to tell you something like this right here. Because he never apologized to his Daddy for anything that he did. Now, Mr. Larry Merchant here. ‘Oh, I apologize’. Come on, man. For whatever reason, he wanted me to see that. But this stuff don’t bother me man,” Floyd Sr. stated.
Such is the way with the Mayweathers. Here’s hoping father and son can find a way to work things out.