by Chris Robinson
Throughout any given year, you can find outspoken trainer Roger Mayweather inside of the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas on a constant basis doing what he loves best.
A former two-division champion in the junior lightweight and junior welterweight divisions in the 1980’s, the 51-year old Mayweather now seems to get great satisfaction in guiding the next generation of upcoming prospects.
Having walked away from the sport following a ten-round unanimous decision over journeyman Javier Francisco Mendez in Reno, Nevada in May of 1999, making the move to a full-time trainer was an easy transition for Roger.
“I was training kids when I was a kid,” Roger noted. “I trained little kids like when I was a little kid. It wasn’t no big thing to me. How to train fighters, it wasn’t no big thing.”
I then asked Roger if he could elaborate on how he goes about honing his pupils' skills.
“It’s how you learn,” Roger stated. “How you learn is what makes a fighter. The way the fighter learns is by what he does in repetition. How to catch punches, how to block punches. How to roll with punches, how to slip punches. That’s the key about boxing.”
Just as he achieved great heights while fighting actively, so too has Roger been on a memorable ride as a trainer, largely in part due to his work with his nephew Floyd, the man regarded as the sport’s premier talent.
For over a decade, Floyd and Roger became accustomed to winning on boxing’s biggest stage, capturing numerous titles and accolades while being involved in some of the sport’s most lucrative events.
When asked what exactly he tried to teach his nephew during their early days together, Roger pointed out that Floyd was already well-schooled by the time they first linked up.
“My nephew knew about boxing,” Roger said, pointing towards Floyd’s time with his father Floyd Sr., who began training him practically since he was a baby.
“My nephew won the national golden gloves when he was fifteen,” Roger added. “He boxed in my family. I knew what he knew.”
This past Thursday, Floyd took to his personal Twitter account to unveil some big news, as he showed off a photo of himself and his father along with the following message.
“Me & my trainer (my dad) back working together getting ready for May 4th”
Upon hearing the news of Floyd’s potential change in trainers, it was only natural to wonder how Roger would react to the situation.
Showing some genuine respect for everything he’s shared with Floyd, Roger pointed out that he will still have his back no matter what the circumstance.
“He can work with his Dad if he wants to,” Roger stated. “I support him. I’ll support him always.”
For Roger, the beat goes on.
As mentioned earlier, he’s inside of the gym on a daily basis, working with a rotating list of ambitious pugilists.
One connection of Roger’s that has stood out recently has been his work with middleweight prospect J’Leon Love (14-0, 8 KO’s).
Hailing from Inkster, Michigan, just outside of Detroit, Love became familiar with the Mayweather camp when he served as a sparring partner as Floyd readied for his clash with Miguel Cotto this past May.
Love hit it off with everyone in the building during that memorable camp and he has since become one of the key figures in the gym.
“He’s an easy guy to work with,” Roger said of Love. “He knows about boxing and he’s easy to work with because he’s got skills. What my job is to do with him is to keep his hands busy. My thing is to keep him busy.”
Asked if he sees championship potential in the 25-year-old hopeful, Roger affirmed as much and pointed out that everything lies in Love’s hands.
“He’s a well-schooled guy,” said Roger. “A very good boxer, a very good thinker. He can be champion of the world; all he’s got to do is, he’s got to just keep applying his tools. That’s all. Keep applying his tools and keep working.”
Love returns to action this Saturday night in Detroit in a Showtime-televised bout with Derrick Findley.