By Chris Robinson
Having a conversation with trainer Roger Mayweather can certainly be a trying experience, as the outspoken former champion has a way of changing the discussion at any moment while also being a little hard to decipher because of his foul dialogue and sometimes-raspy voice.
The Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas is presently as hot as it ever has been as Roger is currently in the process of helping guide his nephew Floyd Jr. through another rigorous camp ahead of his May 5th challenge for Miguel Cotto’s WBA junior middleweight crown.
During some down time from training, I held court with Roger but wasn’t quite sure in what direction our dialogue was going to head.
Roger just so happens to be training one of the sport’s biggest cash cows, as Floyd made well over twenty-million dollars each time out during his most recent victories over Shane Mosley and Victor Ortiz without even factoring in pay per view upside.
Despite being a two-division champion and appearing in thirteen world title bouts himself, Roger admits that he never made close to that kind of money, recalling a payday of roughly $900,000 to be his largest ever. Asked if he is surprised that fighters today are making such a killing compared to his days on top, Roger had mixed feelings.
“Floyd’s been a champion in six divisions, so I could see why Floyd is making that money because Floyd’s never lost,” Roger stated. “But I can’t see why Cotto is making that money. Why? He aint done sh*t. What has he done? I didn’t make the kind of money that these motherf***ers make. I had good money, but I didn’t make the kind of money that these mother***ers make, but that’s how everything goes.”
Obviously unimpressed with Cotto’s abilities and accomplishments, I had to ask Roger how he would have stacked up against Miguel in his prime.
“Hell yeah I’d take him, hell yeah,” said Roger. “I’ve knocked out champions in their hometown. I’ve knocked out champions where he’s from. I’ve known Cotto since he was little. Because people were telling me how he was a great amateur and all this and that. I met him when he was young, very young. I won the world title in Puerto Rico. I won the world title in 1983.”
Roger was referring to the first time he tasted championship glory when he scored an 8th round TKO over Samuel Serrano in San Juan, Puerto Rico in January of 1983 to capture to WBA junior lightweight crown. Whether or not he was introduced to a young Cotto at the time is something to be questioned, however, as Miguel was only two years old at the time.
Getting back to discussing his financial highs during his fighting days, you could tell Roger loved the finer things in life.
“I bought a lot of cars,” said Roger, who once told me he had seventeen automobiles at one time. “I bought a lot of clothes, I like that fancy sh*t. I like jewelry, I like nice jewelry, I like nice cars, I got every kind of mink there is.”
Asked if he wishes that he would have spent his money more wisely back then, Roger was quick to say otherwise.
“No, no, no. I invested my money well,” Roger claimed. “I still live off of my money and I make money anyways. I live off my money and I send my kids all to private school and I buy everything that I want for my child. As long as I have money to do the things that I want to do and I don’t have to work to do it, that’s alright. I don’t have to go work job, I can pretty much do what I want to do.”
Taking it a step further, Roger pointed out that he is doing so well training Floyd Jr. that he has a healthier income annually than some of the sport’s top prizefighters.
“I make good money with my nephew anyways,” said Mayweather. “I train my nephew and I still make more money than most mother***ers in the sport of boxing, period. I make more money than them and I’m talking about world champs.”
Asked if he ever noticed that more women flocked to him upon knowing how deep his pockets ran, Roger kept it crass, as always.
“F*** them,” Roger said sharply. “Hey, it’s about that I live life the way I really want to live it. And that’s why I came out [to Las Vegas] to box anyways, because I figured that way was going to be the only way that I can do the things that I wanted to do. And I love boxing and I’ll always be a part of boxing.”
Floyd Jr. is another story altogether, as he is never one to be shy about the lavish lifestyle he is living, from rolling around in Bentleys to putting down hundreds of thousands in bets on various sporting events. But, as Roger points out, when you work hard, you deserve to play hard too.
“He makes a lot of money, he has to spend a lot!” Roger coined. “Anytime a guy makes eighty, ninety million dollars, sh*t, what is he going to spend it on? You aint going to die with the money. As long as he leaves things with his children and that when he walks away from the sport, that he still has money and that he doesn’t have to go back in the ring and say ‘Well, I’ve got to fight to get the money’. You know what I’m saying? As long as he does the things he’s doing now, I think he’ll have a wonderful end to his career.”
With money also comes the reality that you will likely have people trying to use you or con you whichever way possible. Roger has run across his share of opportunists in his day but never let them get close enough to make a real difference in his life.
“Sure I did. Everybody tries to think you’re a sucker or you’re a fool. You may not be, but that’s just the way people are. They’ll come up with something that you need to do that you got to spend your money to do it. Motherf***er, why don’t you spend your money to do it? You’re talking all this sh*t I need to do, why don’t you spend your money to do it? Alright then, that’s generally how it is,” stated Roger, wrapping up our brief talk.
Minutes later and Roger would turn his attention back to boxing, diving into another heated training session with Floyd Jr. amidst a gym chalked full of fellow pugilists and spectators.
And despite having his share of detractors because of his crude nature, you can’t deny that Uncle Roger has seen nearly all aspects that the sport of boxing has to offer.