Roger Mayweather: ďThe only reason why the fight with Manny Pacquiao ainít happening is because Pacquiao ainít taking a mother f*cking drug test!"
by Geoffrey Ciani - This weekís 95th edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio featured an exclusive interview with boxing trainer Roger Mayweather, who recently led Tim Coleman (18-1-1, 5 KOs) to an impressive third round knockout victory against Patrick Lopez (20-3, 12 KOs). Mayweather is best known for training his nephew Floyd Mayweather Junior (41-0, 25 KOs) who is widely viewed as the best pound for pound fighter in boxing. Mayweather spoke about his nephew and the prospects of Floyd having a fight against Manny Pacquiao. He also provided insight and opinions on his own professional boxing career and various aspects of the current boxing landscape. Here is the complete transcript from that interview:
JENNA J: We have something else for you, and that actually will be our third guest. Thatís who we have right now. He is the uncle and trainer of Floyd Mayweather Junior. He is the one and only Roger Mayweather. Howís everything going today, Roger?
ROGER MAYWEATHER: Everythingís fine. How are you?
JENNA: Iím doing fine. Weíre happy to have you back on the show. Iíd like to start things off, Roger, and congratulate you. You trained Tim Coleman to an impressive win over Lopez. How did you feel about his performance?
MAYWEATHER: Oh, I knew what he was going to do. I trained Tim when he was a little kid. I trained him before when he was a kid. You have to know a fighter. You have to know what the fighter is going to do and what chances the fighter is willing to take. Thatís what makes the fighter good. Just because somebody trains him doesnít mean anything, because itís how you train him. You have to get the best out of the fighter, and he has to be the one thatís willing to take the risks. All you got to do is show him how to take it, and thatís it.
JENNA: Now he went into that fight with only four career knockouts, and he went out there blasting. What do you think changed between his fight with Mike Arnaoutis and the fight with Patirck Lopez?
MAYWEATHER: With the fight between him and the other guy, if he would have been with me with the other guy he probably would have knocked him out, too. You see, people donít understand how boxing goes. Just because you have somebody in your corner, that doesnít mean you make him a fighter. That doesnít mean you can make him do something. You have to train him to do something. You have to train him do whatever he does and thatís what makes him better. You donít make him better because youíre somebody in his corner whoís popular. That donít mean sh*t. That donít make no difference at all.
Remember one thing. You take my nephew. My nephew beat the best fighters in the world. Now my nephew wasnít really trained with me. He was trained with his daddy. Right? His daddy started him off, but I have chemistry with my nephew and I know what I can make my nephew do, and what he canít do. My brotherís a great trainer, but itís a matter of making him be popular to the public because the public is the one whoís going to pay the money to see you. Thatís what the fightís about. As long as youíre that guy who brings interest to that ring, then people are going to pay to see you.
Even though Tim had four knockouts, I knew Tim was a better puncher than his knockout ratio says because I used to train him when he was an itty-bitty kid. So it was no big thing.
JENNA: Now you mentioned your nephew. People thought that he was going to fight again in 2010, but he decided not to. Now they are looking towards 2011 with a possible fight against Amir Khan. Do you like that match-up for him?
MAYWEATHER: With who?
JENNA: With Amir Khan, against your nephew.
MAYWEATHER: Amir Khan? Amir who? (laughs)
GEOFFREY CIANI: (laughs)
MAYWEATHER: You know what Iím doing? Iím doing exactly what youíre friend is doing. Itís a joke as far as Iím concerned. Whatís Amir Khan going to do to my nephew? You know I worked with Amir Khan before. Doesnít Freddie Roach train Amir Khan?
JENNA: Yes, Freddie Roach trains Amir Khan.
MAYWEATHER: Well if Freddie Roach trains Amir Khan, the last time Freddie Roach trained a fighter my nephew fought, that fighter got his ass whopped. You know who that was, donít you? That was De La Hoya. (laughs) I donít worry about dudes like that. He canít train anybody for sh*t. Heís really used to taking punches upside his head. I know, because I used to box him and I know what he can do. He has no defense at all, so I donít worry about that, but if heís going to fight my nephewówho said that?
JENNA: Theyíve been talking about it in the news that this is the fight that would be more likely than Manny Pacquiao coming up next year.
MAYWEATHER: Alright, well hey, if thatís the case itís all good. It doesnít matter. I mean Amir Khan canít do anything with my nephew at all, period. Heís going to do what he does best.
JENNA: Well letís say your nephew doesnít fight Amir Khan. Do you think a fight with Manny Pacquiao can still happen in the first quarter of 2011?
MAYWEATHER: Well, I donít know. The only reason why the fight with Manny Pacquiao ainít happening is because Pacquiao ainít taking a mother f*cking drug test! Thatís all. So if he only takes that test, the fight is going to be on but if he doesnít take the testóhow are you going to fight somebody if you donít even take the test, anyway? I donít even know how he got away with it all this time with not taking the test. Nobodyís testing his ass. I donít even know how he got away with that. Manny Pacquiao, he sure canít whop my nephew, period. I donít even worry about that. I donít even worry about what Pacquiao can do. I know what Pacquiao can do. I know exactly what he can do. You know Pacquiaoís been knocked out twice at 105 pounds? You know that, donít you?
JENNA: Yeah, I know heís been knocked out at the lower weight classes.
MAYWEATHER: Heís been knocked out twice at 105 pounds. Then how the hell is he beating the guys at 145 pounds then when heís been knocked out twice at 105 pounds? Are you going to tell me a guy that small can create that much strength from 105 pounds? Please. Please! Everybody knows what that is.
JENNA: He was taken out with body shots in those weight classes.
MAYWEATHER: Whoa, okay. Hold on a second. If he was taken out with body shots and he didnít get hit in the head, now heís getting hit in the head with guys at welterweight. Right? Okay, guys are at welterweight and they canít even knock him out, but heís been knocked out twice at 105 pounds. You imagine that heís that strong since he was 105 pounds? Heís still small.
JENNA: Oh no, heís still small but he could have been weight-drained. Thatís a possibility.
MAYWEATHER: He ainít doing no weight training. Listen, that guy ainít getting no weight training. I already know what heís got in him. Iím not even worried about that. I know what heís got in him anyway. It doesnít matter, but he ainít going to beat my nephew regardless, period. If he was going to fight my nephew, they would have fought already. All this time doing all this talking, itís been damn near two years. He would have fought him already, doing all that damn talking. You know why they havenít fought? Because his ass ainít never took a test, thatís why. Other guys fought Pacquiao, they didnít look at what he got in him. They just looked at his size. They didnít look at what he got in him, they just looked at his size. They look at his size and go, ďOh, Iíll whop him, boom, boom, boom, boom!Ē
Look how big De La Hoya was? But he made De La Hoya drain down to 144 pounds, anyway. Itís the same thing that he did with Ricky Hatton. So De La Hoya was walking around at about 180 pounds. Okay, meanwhile heís fighting at 144 pounds. Ricky Hatton probably weighs about 180-90 pounds too, but heís fighting at 144 pounds. Please. Thatís not even a welterweight fight! A welterweight fight is at 147 the last time I checked. How is a guy fighting at catch weights at 144 pounds and heís supposed to be the welterweight champion?
JENNA: Roger, but that fight was contracted at 147 pounds.
MAYWEATHER: No, uh-uh, no. Iím telling you what the catch weight was. It may be 147 pound weight they say, but they have a catch weight where they canít weigh over 145 pounds. I donít care what the contract says. Itís a 147 pound fight. That ainít what it says in his contract. They got to weigh 144 pounds. Thatís not a welterweight fight, anyway. A welterweight fight is 147. Floyd didnít whop De La Hoya at 147, anyway. He whopped him at 154, period.
JENNA: Well Roger, Manny Pacquiao has an upcoming fight. His upcoming fight is against Antonio Margarito at 151 pounds.
MAYWEATHER: Heís going to get his ass whopped, too. No, no. Heís got to weigh like 150 pounds I believe, donít he?
JENNA: 151 is what itís contracted at.
MAYWEATHER: I know heís got to make some weight. I knew the man had to make that weight. I knew that. Well weíll see what happens with him. Itís the only way weíre going to know.
JENNA: So how do you see that fight going? Heís going up. Youíre saying he should never be battling these guys at 147. Now heís going up to 151 against a guy whoís been a natural welterweight his whole career.
MAYWEATHER: Wait, wait, wait! 151? What weight class is that?
JENNA: I will admit, that is a catch weight, but Antonio Margarito is a natural welterweight.
MAYWEATHER: Like I told you, everybody Pacquiao has ever truly beaten, heís fought them at a catch weight. He fought Cotto at a catch weight, he fought De La Hoya at a catch weight, he fought Ricky Hatton at a catch weight. Every fight heís fought, he fought them at a catch weight, period.
JENNA: The Joshua Clottey fight was at 147.
MAYWEATHER: Listen, listen, listen, listen. When you say a catch weight, a catch weight is when the guy weights in, boom. Thatís what weight he has to weigh when he weighs in. Boom, like that. Then they canít go over a certain weight before the fight happens. Thatís how Pacquiao fights them dudes at that weight. Oh, you got to weigh 144 pounds. He didnít fight De La Hoya at 147. He fought De La Hoya at 145. Thatís what the weight was. It wasnít 47. It was 45. Same thing with Ricky Hatton too, he will never fight dudes at 147 pounds. They are 147 pounders, but he never fought them at 147. If he really wanted to fight De La Hoya, he should have fought De La Hoya at 154 because De La Hoya fought at 154 way long before he came back down to 145 pounds.
JENNA: Well Roger, I will agree there that 154 pounds was Oscarís natural weight, but the Ricky Hatton fight was fought at 140 pounds. That was Ricky Hattonís natural weight for most of his career.
MAYWEATHER: Wait, wait, wait, wait. No, Ricky Hatton was no 140 pounds. He was 147 pounds.
JENNA: No, it was for the junior welterweight championship at 140 pounds.
MAYWEATHER: But Ricky Hatton already fought my nephew at 147 pounds! Sh*t! (laughs) Like I told you, those fights were fought at a weight, boom. They were fought at a weight that them dudes canít even make, period. He fought them at a weight. All he does is fight fighters at a catch weight. He never fights them at their real weight. It donít make no difference. Iím not saying heís a bad fighter, though.
JENNA: We were talking about Manny Pacquiao versus Antonio Margarito, that fight being at a 151 pound catch weight. I wanted to get your thoughts. What do you think the result is going to be for that fight?
MAYWEATHER: Well Margarito wanted a million dollars. Thatís what he wanted. He wanted a million dollars. I donít know if heís going to get the million dollars, but if he gets that million dollars then I already know whatís going to happen. I already know whatís going to happen. (laughs) I already know whatís going to happen. If he gets that million dollars he knows what heís supposed to do. He knows what heís supposed to do if he gets that million dollars. I donít know if heís going to get it, but If he gets that million dollarsówhen was the last time Margarito fought, anyway?
JENNA: He fought back in May.
MAYWEATHER: In May? In his last fight he fought Shane Mosley, didnít he?
JENNA: No, he fought a fringe contender by the name of Roberto Garcia at 154 pounds.
MAYWEATHER: Yeah, well heís tall so, but anyway, I really canít give you no really outlook as to Pacquiao fighting Margarito, because Margarito is a very tall guy, a very rangy guy. Heís very I think like this. This is what I thinkóif Margarito gets that million dollars, he already knows what heís supposed to do. If he gets that million dollars. If he donít get that million dollars, then there may be a change in plans, but if he gets that million dollars he knows what heís supposed to do. I donít even got to say what he needs to do. He knows what he needs to do if he gets that million dollars. If he donít get that million dollars, there may be a change in plans.
JENNA: Thereís a lot more money if he takes out Manny Pacquiao, a lot more millions.
MAYWEATHER: A lot more money, but well. Hey listen, there is only one person whoís going to control him. Yeah, heíll make more money if he beats Pacquiao. Sure, he will make more money with him. But do you think theyíre taking that fight because this is something easy? This is an easy fight for Pacquiao? This could be a dangerous fight for Pacquiao, fighting a guy this tall, this rangy, and he could punch a little bit. He ainít got much skill, but he can punch a little bit. I feel like to me, if he gets that million dollars he knows what to do. Thatís what Iím saying. It may not be what Iím saying, but Iím just saying if he gets that million dollars he knows what to do.
JENNA: Are you suggesting that maybe Margarito would take a dive?
MAYWEATHER: I ainít saying nothing. I ainít saying Margaritoís going to take a dive. All I said is heíll know what to do. Like I said, if he donít get that million dollars itís going to be a different case but if he gets that million dollars heíll know what to do. He ainít no fool. Sh*t. What good is Margarito winning? It doesnít benefit him at all. Theyíre promoted by the same guy. So listen, they made the fight for a reason. Why would you go way out of your way to make a fight with Margarito when he was suspended from boxing. Tell me?
JENNA: There are not many other fights out there for him and itís a chance to win a belt in another weight class. Thatís why he moved up.
MAYWEATHER: At what weight class is he fighting?
JENNA: Itís at junior middleweight.
MAYWEATHER: Listen, what did I just tell you? What did I just tell you a minute ago? Didnít I tell you he only fights dudes at catch weights? Didnít I just tell you that? How does he weight 151 then? Thatís not a junior middleweight title. The junior middleweight title is at 154 pounds last time I checked.
JENNA: Antonio Margarito was a welterweight.
MAYWEATHER: No, no, no. Listen, I already told you that. You canít tell me what I just told you. He fought all those guys at catch weights. Thatís what I just told you. How can the weight be 151 pounds when the weight class is 154 pounds? Tell me?
JENNA: Because neither man is a junior middleweight.
MAYWEATHER: There ainít no such thing as no new junior middleweight. That just tells you that he never fought a guy at a regular weight class, period. And I told you that when I first started talking to you on the phone. He ainít never fought a damn one of those guys at a normal weight class at a147 or 154 pounds. He ainít never did it, period.
JENNA: He did it against Joshua Clottey. Roger, he did against Joshua Clottey.
MAYWEATHER: I donít even think he fought Clottey at welterweight. He fought him at a catch weight, too. He ainít never fought a damn one of those fighters at their natural weight class, period. And then when he does fight them, they canít weigh over a certain amount after they eat and they better not come in over a certain high in weight. Thatís what it is. How is he fighting Margarito at 151 and talking about fighting for a world championship at 151 pounds? What weight class is that? Do you know of a 151 pound weight class? No. I donít know one, and I know you donít know one.
JENNA: I know thatís not a weight class, but all Iím saying is that Antonio MargaritoÖ
MAYWEATHER: Wait, wait, waitÖ
JENNA: Wait, wait, waitÖ
MAYWEATHER: When I first got with you on the phone, I said he has never, ever, fought a fighter at their regular weight class. Thatís what I told you from the beginning. He ainít never fought a guy at 147. He ainít never fought a guy at 154. Please. He ainít never fought a guy at a weight class. The only thing heís ever done is make catch weights. Thatís all he did. Hereís a weight, boom! And theyíll sign for it because they want the money. Theyíll sign for the fight because they want the money, but he hasnít ever fought no guys at their normal weight class and they canít weigh a certain much after they eat. He ainít ever beaten nobody at his regular weight class, period.
JENNA: Well I have to correct you there for one second. Joshua Clottey weighted 147 when he weighed in.
MAYWEATHER: I donít know what Joshua Clottey weighed. I know what Cotto weighed, I know what De La Hoya weighed, and I know what Ricky Hatton weighed, and he ainít never beat them at no regular weight class. De La Hoya walks around at probably about 177-180 pounds and he made him weigh 144 pounds. How the hell do you beat a guy for a 147 pound title when youíre fighting at 144 pounds? The guy walks around at 180! Sh*t! Please. He ainít never beat nobody at the weight class where the weight class says itís supposed to be. Remember, if he fought De La Hoya at 147óhe fought him at 144óbut if he fought him at 147, and you tell him how much he can weigh when he walks in that ring, then hey! That already tells you, he ainít fighting them at their regular weight. You canít weigh over 150 pounds if you fight me. That means sh*t. You can barely damn near eat, but he ainít got to worry about that at 147. He can fight my nephew at 147 with no problem, and heíll get his ass whopped at 147, period. It wouldnít make no difference. Pacquiaoís fighting dudes at catch weights. I just told you he was fighting Margarito at 151. What weight class is that?
JENNA: Let me ask you this, Rogerósince Antonio Margaritoís not a natural junior middleweight, then whatís the difference with them fighting at 151 pounds?
MAYWEATHER: Wait, wait, wait, wait. Stop, stop. He is a junior middleweight. The dudeís six feet tall.
JENNA: But he fought almost his entire career at welterweight.
MAYWEATHER: Heís probably more of a middleweight than he is a junior middleweight, but that ainít the case. The case is, Pacquiao is fighting for a 154 pound title. How can you fight for a 154 pound title when the guy donít even weigh 154 pounds? Tell me?
JENNA: Itís been done before.
MAYWEATHER: Let me tell you, one of the greatest Hispanic fighters ever fought guys at their natural weight. Do you know who that was?
MAYWEATHER: Right! Duran came up for 135 pounds, boom! He fought Ray Leonard at 147 pounds. There was no catch weight. It was at 147 pounds. He beat him at 147 pounds. He fought Marvin Hagler at 160 pounds. He fought a split decision against Marvin Hagler at 160 pounds. At the time he was 37 years old, he fought Iran Barkley at 160 pounds and he beat Iran Barkley at 160 pounds. There was no such thing as a catch weight. What the f*ck is a catch weight, anyway? You donít fight no fighter at a catch weight. You fighter at the weight that he is, you look at Henry Armstrong. Yeah, Henry Armstrong won the title at featherweight, he won the title at lightweight, he won the title at welterweight, and he fought a draw for the middleweight.
You canít tell me about boxing. I know everything about boxing. Iíve been around boxing since I was a little kid. So there were no catch weights when they fought. How is a catch weight when youíre trying to fight a guy at 154 pounds, oh but you got to weigh 151! Please. Oh you weigh 147, but you got to fight at 145 and you canít weigh over this much after you eat. Please! You ainít fighting a guy at his natural weight class. A guy fights you at 147, okay! You canít weigh no more than 147 when you weigh in on that scale. Thatís it! Okay then! But hereís a guy fighting dudes at catch weights. Oh you have to weigh 151 pounds. What weight class is that? I donít even know what 151 pounds is!
JENNA: All Iím saying is that Margarito fought 90% of his career fights at 147.
MAYWEATHER: But the question ainít about where Margarito fought. Weíre talking about the weight classes theyíre fighting at. Thatís what weíre talking about. So if Margarito is off anyway. Margarito probably naturally weights about 160-170 pounds, or probably more than that. Thereís a guy who donít kill himself to make that weight, anyway. But hey, it was no pain when Shane Mosley fought him at 147 pounds. Shane fought him and knocked his ass out at his normal weight. What difference does it make? If Pacquiaoís that good he should fight the guy at his normal weight class. Right? If heís that good, ainít he? Okay, then. That just goes to show you, making all these guys drain down in weight classes and after they weigh in they canít weigh a certain amount, boom! They canít weigh a certain amount after they eat, boom!
JENNA: Roger, how do you view his win over Ricky Hatton? Ricky Hatton was the Ring Magazine junior welterweight champion.
MAYWEATHER: Wait, wait. Ricky Hatton fought my nephew at 147 pounds.
JENNA: Then he went back down, and he won a fight.
MAYWEATHER: Yeah, itís the same thing De La Hoya did. My nephew fought De La Hoya at 154 pounds. Now remember, when De La Hoya walked into that ring he weighed 160-something pounds when he walked in that ring. He fought him at 154. My nephew weighed 147 when he fought De La Hoya.
JENNA: And I give Floyd all the credit in the world for that win. His win over De La Hoya was more impressive than Pacquiaoís.
MAYWEATHER: Catch weights, heís there telling you, ďIíll fight you but you have to weigh 144 pounds and after you eat you know you canít weight over 150 pounds, not if Iím going to fight you.Ē Thatís how it goes.
JENNA: Roger, weíre also joined by my co-host Geoff Ciani.
CIANI: Hey Roger! Howís it going? Itís a pleasure to have you back on the show.
MAYWEATHER: Whatís up, man? How are you?
CIANI: Iím doing good. Roger, I wanted to change things up here a little bit and I wanted to talk about your career as a boxer. When you won your first title you were 14-0. You went over to Puerto Rico and you beat Samuel Serrano in his own country to win the title. Iím wondering if you could tell us a little bit about what that experience was like, what that fight was like, and what it was like to win you first major title?
MAYWEATHER: Well I only came to Vegas for one reason. I came to Vegas for one reason, because the guy that I knew had seen me fight before. He said, ďYou know you can be world champion.Ē Like that, he kept saying I could be world champion. I never doubted in my mind that I could be a world champion. I just hadnít had a chance to fight for a title so how would I know. So the guy said, ďIím going to take you to Las VegasĒ and I said, ďWhat?Ē He said, ďI want to take you out to Las VegasĒ. Thatís how I got out here. So, boom! We go to Las Vegas.
In my second fight, I was scheduled for ten rounds. So my second professional fight was scheduled for ten rounds. It was a ten round main event fight. I fought a guy with like 70-80 fights. I had two fights. This was my second professional fight. His name was Jaime Nava. He fought Leroy Haley. He fought all kinds of fighters. Remember, I had only one professional fight. So after I fought him and people said, ďMan, you only had one professional fight?Ē I said, ďYeahĒ. They said, ďYou have fire to fight for a guy like that with only one professional fightĒ. Yeah, I had one professional fight, thatís it. But I guess the experiment I got with him made me that much better. I was pretty much experienced anyway, because I had brothers that boxed, I had cousins that boxed, and I used to work with them all the time. So when I fought Jaime Nava youíre putting on an experiment that you had in your earlier days in boxing.
So I won, and I kept winning, and after that in my tenth fight I fought the number two guy in the world. I fought Ruben Munoz. By like my seventh or eighth fight I fought the number three guy in the world, I fought Kevin Lampkin. Then I fought a guy named Adriano Arreola. All of these dudes had way more fights than me, but I never worried about how many fights they had. I just worried about trying to get where I needed to go as far as boxing. I wanted to become world champion and thatís what I set my mind out to do when I came to Las Vegas. Shortly after that, probably a year and one month, fifteen months, I won the world championship and I had already beaten about six guys in the world rankings. So, thatís how it goes. Everybodyís different. Everybody takes different paths to get where they need to be. I figured I was born to be a world champion, and hey, so I did it.
CIANI: So what was that experience like going to his home country and winning the title there?
MAYWEATHER: Oh, I never had fear about where I was fighting, because only one person can fight and thatís the person Iím fighting. Thatís the only one person that can fight for him. Thatís him. So when I went to Puerto Rico, I donít know. Itís funny, because I never really feared about where I was at, who I was fighting, when I was fighting. All I figured was thisóthis is my opportunity to become what I said I was going to become from the beginning, and I was the second guy from my hometown to win the world championship and that was 89 years later that I won the world championship. So it was an experience. It will sound cocky to you if I told you that I was never even truly worried about me fighting in Puerto Rico, and I wasnít. I was never really worried about fighting in Puerto Rico because there is only one guy I can fight. There is only one guy Iím fighting and thatís Sammy Serrano. Since Iím fighting him, thatís the one that can beat me. Iím not worried about the rest of the guys. Heís got to beat me and I donít truly believe he can beat me. So that pretty much was basically it. It gave me experience and it gave me a chance to see the world a little different, but then as I went on, of course I fought in other guyís backyards and I had the same types of experiences. I was just a little bit older, thatís it.
CIANI: Now Roger, looking back on your career, what would you say in your opinion was the fight where everything came together and you had your best overall performance inside the ring where you were working on all cylinders?
MAYWEATHER: Well I had a couple of them days. I had a couple of them days where everything worked like clockwork. I fought for a minor title. I fought for the Nevada State ESPN championship. I fought a guy named Carlton ďTwo GunĒ Sparrow. At the time Carlton was like 18/19-1. I was like 8-0, but we were the two hottest prospects at the time out here at Las Vegas. There werenít many fighters that were known out here in Las Vegas, but me and him were known. So obviously they made the match. Itís going to be a hell of a fight and itís going to be something that people want to see, and of course it was something that people wanted to see. But that was one of the fights, like you said, where I was running on all cylinders. That was it. That was just one of them, but that was one where everything came together. Everything came together, and after fighting him I became the ĎProspect of the Monthí. It was all an experience. So you go through the good and the bad, because thatís what boxingís about. Youíre going to go through some good times. Youíre going to go through some bad times. Thatís all a part of boxing.
CIANI: A lot of observers out there feel that if Julio Cesar Chavez was never out there at the same time you were fighting, that your legacy would be even better than it is. Youíre a two division champion.
MAYWEATHER: (laughs) Hey, the only thing that Julio Cesar Chavez was gifted with was that God gave him something he didnít give me. He had a granite chin. If he didnít have that, I would have knocked him out, too. I would have knocked him out too, but hey, he was blessed with what he had and thatís part of boxing. Every time you go up to bat, you ainít going to hit a home run. Of course I thought I was, but I didnít. It still was a great experience for me because I fought the best known Spanish fighters at that time. The best known Spanish fighters, I fought them back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back. So it was an experience for me, but at the same time it won me over more fans because I fought against two different Spanish languages. I fought a lot of Puerto Ricans. I fought Sammy Fuentas, too. I fought Joey Rivera. I fought them as well, and then I turned around and fought the Spanish fighters, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, and I fought the best black fighters pretty much.
So I had a chance to see them pretty much all, and I think that I realized that to be a fighter, you have to challenge all creeds, all colors. It doesnít make a difference what they are. It was an experience for me. I did what I knew how to do, and I did what I thought God put me here for. I wanted to be world champion. I knew all about boxing, but I wanted to be world champion. I wanted my name to be in the history boxes for being a world champion. Thatís why I came out here to Las Vegas. Iíve been here ever since. Whatís funny about me with boxing, I used to train fighters when I was a little-bitty kid. Thatís why I knew when I quit boxing, boom, I would have another career. I would have another career doing something I like to do, and thatís training fighters. I was training fighters when I was like eleven or twelve years old. Iím only really doing what I like to do. My experience is what I like to do.
CIANI: Now how hard was it? You said you knew you would always have another career when you were done boxing because you had been training fighters for so long, but how hard was it for you to make that decision that it was time to make that transition from fighter to fulltime trainer?
MAYWEATHER: Well what happened is with me, I trained my nephew to go to the 1996 Olympics. So I knew after coming out of the amateurs that he was going to turn pro. Of course he was going to turn pro. So he wouldnít let anybody else train him. He wouldnít let a guy like Emanuel Steward train him, Angelo Dundee. He wouldnít let them. My nephew knew where he learned his boxing skills from. So his father was locked away, and the only person there was meóme and Jeff, so he said, ĒIím going to train with youĒ. No problem. So he trained with me and my nephew was, when his daddy came out, his son was probably like 16-0 with 15 knockouts like that, boom. Then he got back with his dad. He got back with his dad when he first won the title. He fought Genaro Hernandez and he fought another guy, and I think he had about five title defenses at the time. Then my nephew said, ďI want to train with youĒ. I said, ďYou train with your daddyĒ. He said, ďNo, I want to train with youĒ. I guess the chemistry for him and his father wasnít working, plus itís hard to train your kid, your son. Heís a man now, so you canít train him like a kid.
He said, ďI want to train back with youĒ. Okay, well he came back with me and they started talking about the fight with him and Diego Corrales. Well, boom. They said weíre going to give him a tune-up fight first because he was laid off about seven or eight months. They gave him the fight with Emanuel Augustus, boom. Then Diego Corrales, boom. Ever since that time, boom. We won all them world championships after that. It was an experience, but for me training fighters is kind of easy for me because I used to do that when I was a kid. Iím only doing what I love to do. I love boxing. I love training. I like making fighters better, and thatís what itís about. I had a chance to train a lot of great fighters. I trained the best in the sport. I trained Laila Ali, too. She won four world championships with me. I trained Vernon Forrest, too. I trained him to go to the Olympics. I had the experience to be able to do things that I really wanted to do. Thatís part of boxing. Thatís part of loving what you do.
CIANI: Another question I wanted to ask you is a question I like to ask a lot of our guests, and thatís the story about how they first started using their boxing nicknames and Iím wondering if you could tell our fans out there a little bit about the story and how you first started using moniker ďThe Black MambaĒ?
MAYWEATHER: Well itís funny. Itís funny because how I got the name ďThe Black MambaĒ. People tried to call me different things. I donít want that name, I donít want that name. I had ďThe Black MambaĒ before I had the name ďThe Mexican AssassinĒ. But people, when I walk around the Spanish folks, they say, ďThatís ĎThe Mexican Assassiní right thereĒ. (laughs) But I wound up getting ďThe Black MambaĒ because I was watching a TV show one day. Iím watching this TV show and theyíre talking about this snake. Iím looking, and he was black. I guess he was a dark skinned snake and he blends in with the ground. So he comes up, the Black Mamba, and when he strikes itís one strike and he is very deadly and heíll put his venom in you and you can die in like a second. Iím looking and I said, ďThatís me right there. Thatís me because thatís what I like to doĒ. So, thatís pretty much how I came up with the name ďThe Black MambaĒ, because I just figured it was a small deadly black snake and it represented me. So thatís me, right there, ďThe Black MambaĒ. Itís funny because when I go around, the people of Spanish culture donít call me that. They say, ďYouíre ĎThe Mexican AssassiníĒ. (laughs) Thatís what they say, because I fought a bunch of them. You know how that goes. Itís all a part of the sport. But I liked them both. Regardless of the case, I liked them both because both of them had a part to do with me and that was part of it.
Iím going to get back on the phone with you all again. Weíre going to talk some real talk. The last time I was talking to the lady, she said that Amir Khan wants to fight my nephew.
JENNA: Yep, thatís the rumor.
MAYWEATHER: That probably is the rumor, too.
JENNA: He said it publicly that he wants to fight Mayweather.
MAYWEATHER: Of course! You know what though, thatís the only thing that makes sense to him. Itís better to fight Floyd, because if thatís where youíre going to make money at then thatís what you need to do. Thatís why youíre in the sport, to make money. A whole bunch of people want to fight Floyd. People want to take fights when they were probably going to get knocked out, but theyíre getting paid, too. Iím not saying thatís what he thinks, but he probably thinks that, too. Hopefully weíll see that happen, though.
JENNA: One thing I did want to ask you Roger, is you fought two guys that are currently on the 2011 Hall of Fame ballot. You mentioned one of them before, Julio Cesar Chavez. Also Kostya Tszyu is on there. I just wanted to get your opinion of both of those guys as fighters.
MAYWEATHER: No, no. I fought three guys that are legends in boxing. Not Kostya Tszyu. I fought Pernell Whitaker.
JENNA: No, but he isnít on this yearís Hall of Fame ballot. I was talking about this yearís.
MAYWEATHER: Oh, heís going to be on the Hall of Fame ballot. Sh*t. He won more titles than Kostya Tszyu did. He won more titles than Julio Cesar Chavez did. He did it like my nephew. He won titles from 135 to 154, Pernell Whitaker did.
JENNA: Pernell Whitaker was an amazing fighter, without a doubt.
MAYWEATHER: There ainít no way in the world he ainít going to be in the Hall of Fame. The guy won titles from 35 to 54.
JENNA: Correct, but heís actually already in the Hall of Fame, Pernell Whitaker.
MAYWEATHER: Yeah, I was going to say there ainít no way in the world he ainít going to be in the Hall of Fame. He beat Julio, anyway, to be honest. They called it a draw but he lost. Styles make fights, though.
JENNA: What did you think of Julio Cesar Chavez as a fighter?
MAYWEATHER: Chavez to me, he had a big heart and he had a good chin, but not so much greater boxing ability. With greater boxing ability, he didnít need it. He just could take it. One thing about him, he could take it. Like I said, he had a great chin. He was determined. He was determined because of the way he fights. To me he wasnít so much skilled. He was more tough than he was skilled, but he had a great chin and thatís what his legacy is pretty much going to be about because I had him hurt in both fights. In both fights I had him. I had him going in both fights, but he sucked it up and he took it. If you want to talk about what a great chin he had, yeah, he had that. Thatís what he was able to stand up with. I guess God blesses us all with something.
JENNA: Well Roger, we have just a couple of more questions before we let you go and I wanted to go back to my co-host Geoff, quickly.
CIANI: Hey Roger, one of the fights that Iím really excited about coming up is Bernard Hopkins versus Jean Pascal. Pascal, of course, just beat the guy that your brother used to train, Chad Dawson. I was just wondering if you could give us your take?
MAYWEATHER: Oh, Iíve seen that fight! That guyís a good little boxer. Heís a good little boxer. Thatís going to be a very close fight. I think itís going to be a very close fight, but the guyís got youth. How old is Bernard Hopkins now?
CIANI: Heís 45 or 46, I believe.
MAYWEATHER: Huh? Well, like I say, if heís that old sometime, somewhere, someplace, you find out how old you truly are. I believe it will be a competitive fight, but itís not going to be an easy fight for Bernard Hopkins. The guy can punch a little bit and heís got good hand speed. I saw him when he beat Chad Dawson. Heís a good little fighter and he has very good hand speed, so like I said it ainít going to be an easy fight for Bernard. Where are they fighting? Over there or over here?
CIANI: Itís in Canada.
MAYWEATHER: Oh yeah. Bernard Hopkins is going to fight on smartness. Thatís what his ability is because heís been in there with the best fighters in the world in that weight division, but still, the guyís got youth and the guy ainít scared to challenge Bernard Hopkins. Thatís what heís really going to have to do in order to win the fight. The guy has to pressure Bernard Hopkins and make him fight to his pace. If he doesnít do that, he ainít going to win. The guy ainít going to win if he sits back and thinks Iím going to do this and Iím going to do that. He ainít going to win. The only way that he has a chance to win, is he has to set the pace. He has to set the pace for Bernard Hopkins because Bernard Hopkins is much older than him. Thatís the key. For me, if that was my fighter, that would be the key to beating Bernard Hopkins. You have to attack him and be first because of the age thing.
JENNA: Roger, I have just two more questions for you, and I was wondering, your nephew is currently 33 years old. He turns 34 in February. How many more fights do you see him fighting professionally?
MAYWEATHER: Well maybe heíll fight one more fight, he may not, though. (laughs) I donít know. I canít say. I donít see him fighting that many more fights, but I do see him fighting a couple of more. If he fights one or two more fights, thatís fine with me. My nephew is getting up in age, but heís youthful because he doesnít drink, do drugs, stuff like that. He lives like an athlete. He likes to run around, play basketball, all of that kind of stuff. So I think heís got, if he decided to come back, heís got two years in him. He said Bernard Hopkins is 45, didnít he?
MAYWEATHER: Well heíll be 36 then. So 35-36. By that time heíll probably end his career in boxing.
JENNA: Do you think before he retired, before he leaves the ring, weíll ever see a fight between him and Manny Pacquiao before itís all said and done?
MAYWEATHER: I hope so. Of course I want to see it. I want to see what you all want to see. I train him, but I want to see exactly what the people want to see. The only way that fight wonít happen between him and Manny Pacquiao is if Manny Pacquiao donít want to take the test. Other than that, boom, the fight will happen. How can you turn down that kind of money? That would be crazy. Thatís what Iíd like to see.
JENNA: I have one final question for you, Roger. Boxing in the last year has been a little bit in decline, in the last ten years really. What do you think the sport needs in 2011 to get back and be rejuvenated to the point where it was back in the 80s and 90s?
MAYWEATHER: Youíre going to have to have what sparks boxing. Youíre going to have to bring in some young fresh talent thatís going to rejuvenate the boxing world. Something like the same way with Mike Tyson. You got to have something in there that people want to see. You have a tremendous boxer, a tremendous puncher, something that people see that they think is amazing and something that canít be whopped. Thatís what people tune in to and thatís what boxingís about. Thatís what itís going to take, another guy like that.
JENNA: Well Roger, it was an absolute pleasure having the chance to interview you. We thank you for your time. We wish you all the best of luck with the fighters that you train.
MAYWEATHER: Well, weíll have to wait until the next one. We have to make another one, now!
JENNA: (laughs) You got it, Roger!
MAYWEATHER: (laughs) Thank you.
CIANI: Thank you, Roger.
MAYWEATHER: Alright, you have a good day. For sure!
For those interested in listening to the Roger Mayweather interview in its entirety, it begins approximately one hour and thirteen minutes into the program.
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Article posted on 14.10.2010
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