By Chris Robinson
I have ran across a lot of interesting characters in the sport of boxing during my two years in Las Vegas, but very few have been as outspoken or entertaining as former two-time champion and trainer Roger Mayweather.
At the moment Roger is deep into training camp with his nephew Floyd as they prepare for the challenge of Victor Ortiz on September 17th. The undefeated Mayweather will look to grab the WBC welterweight championship from Ortiz inside of the MGM Grand and for Roger, this is simply business as usual.
Not too long ago I crossed paths with Roger and decided to get his take on how well he expects the Mayweather-Ortiz ‘Star Power’ Pay-per-view to sell and also got his thoughts on the November 12th Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez trilogy showdown, also on Pay-per-view, and how well he thought that card would draw.
Roger has often been critical of Pacquiao, a potential opponent for Floyd in the future, but feels that his third tussle with Marquez will do big numbers because of the intrigue in a fight with Mayweather.
“I think people are going to buy it because they both are fighting on pay-per-view and everybody wants to see a fight between the two,” Roger told me candidly. “If they are fighting on pay-per-view, they are both going to have outstanding sales. I don’t know who is going to draw the most, but it’s going to be pretty much a sellout by the pay-per-view buyers.”
Pacquiao and Marquez engaged in two memorable battles in May of 2004, a contest that ended in a split-draw, and March of 2008, an altercation that Pacquiao walked away from the winner via split-decision. Roger can’t help but seen another hotly-contested fiasco the third time around.
“They fought two close fights the first time and I believe the fight will be close the third time. I can’t see him stopping Marquez. I can’t see nothing but another classic fight between the two and I don’t believe Marquez will get stopped,” Roger continued.
Mayweather’s May 2010 victory over Shane Mosley generated an estimated 1.4 million sales and I questioned Roger if he felt the Ortiz fight could surpass those numbers.
“It could be,” said Roger. “Because people still want to see a Pacquiao fight and this is the kind of fight here that is going to draw them to a Pacquiao fight because Floyd is fighting Victor Ortiz and Pacquiao is fighting right after him. People are going to talk more and more and more about Pacquiao and Floyd after these fights happen.”
No surprise that Roger has always held true to his belief that Floyd is the biggest attraction in the sport, but he admits that part of the interest is from people who want to see him fail.
“He always got people who want to see him lose. People want to see Pacquiao lose too. But Pacquiao has already lost, Floyd has never lost. But the point is, the fans’ fight is between Pacquiao and Floyd. That’s what’s going to draw the fans. People keep asking about ‘When is Floyd going to fight Pacquiao?’. They’re going to see.”
Short and sweet remarks from Uncle Roger and for a man who has had some outlandish takes in the past, perhaps it was best this time around.