Boxing


Jeff Mayweather Talks About Floyd, Klitschko vs. Briggs and More

28.06.06 - By Rizwaan Zahid: Mayweather - A famous name in the boxing world. Floyd Mayweather currently ranked number one pound for pound fighter in the world, along with his father Floyd Mayweather Sr., trainer of Oscar De La Hoya, and even Roger Mayweather, trainer of Floyd Jr, have all received some recognition and praise for their achievements.

Nevertheless, there is a lost Mayweather. Jeff, or ďJazzieĒ Mayweather, has been a prizefighter, and now a trainer as well. Now, Jeff looks to get that same recognition, when Shannon Briggs, who he trains, rises to the top of the Heavyweight division once again.

Jeff Mayweather was kind enough to take out some time, to give me his insight on Shannon Briggs chance for a title shot, and what his goals are for himself as a trainer..

Rizwaan: First off, thanks for taking the time out for this. As a trainer, do you think now this is your time to bask in glory, as a few of the Mayweathers have already, such as Roger, Floyd Sr, and of course Floyd Jr.?

Jeff Mayweather: Yeah, I think itís now my time to get my shine on. Iím quiet and laid back, though, so most people donít know about me. But people have seen me and been trained by me.

Rizwaan: What are your goals for yourself as a trainer?

Jeff Mayweather: When I started training, it was just my hustle, and Iíve been with many guys. Kofi Jantuah is one, and most people donít even know about that, but I donít need the credit and the publicity. Same with my nephew (Floyd Mayweather Jr). I took him to HBO and to Top Rank and started all these endorsement deals.

Rizwaan: What exactly happened between you and Floyd?

Jeff Mayweather: For me, it was a choice to leave. I always try to put my best foot forward and Iím all about family, and up until his like 10th fight, I never took a dime from Floyd Jr. Iím a modest person, I donít need the fame. In my heart, I know what I have done. That's good enough for me. One day, when we were doing a radio show in Vegas, he shows up with James Prince. Myself or Roger didnít know anything about this guy, but Floyd wanted him there. Floyd was the one whom put him on the fight scene, thatís how he got Winky Wright and Diego Corrales, Mark "Too SharpĒ Johnson and also former IBF Jr Lightweight Champion, Steve "Two Pound" Forbes. I think he just took him to Houston and showed him the big houses, the nice cars and many other things as well. He also promised Floyd that he can establish his own rap label. Soon after, Floyd would act like he wanted to be a thug or something, he didnít have any real life struggles or lived in the projects or did anything to give him any street credibility He grew up with a loving family in which we all did our part to help him reach his dreams. He never even worked a job growing up. Heís not 50 cent.

Hell, heís not even 20 cent (laughing). At the end of the day, it was just wasted time and money with James Prince, as matter of fact, Prince is a pretty cool guy. I don't point the finger at him, he's not the source. Then after the situation with my nephew was done with and over, I was approached by Kofi Jantuah. When my brother Roger decided to stop training because of his inactivity being signed with Don King Kofi, he took me to dinner, saying I need a trainer, really bad! I said, 'you already got Miguel Diaz.' Yes, but heís really good guy but I need a hands on trainer. I trained Kofi for three years. Yet, still allowed Diaz to get the credit. I helped to get Kofi his Title shot with Kassem Ouma, but on fight night, I had no say in the corner. I worked with Kofi for nine weeks for the Ouma fight, while Diaz was in Puerto Rico with Miguel Cotto, but showed up maybe a week before the fight to take over as head trainer again. After the Ouma fight, I talked to Kofi about my position as head trainer, He agreed that I should be head trainer, at least that's what I thought, until the next fight. Once again, Diaz was in Puerto Rico and showed up about two days before the fight.

Once again, I was bumped from being the head trainer. I decided to walk away from that situation altogether and made a promise to myself that I will never play back up trainer and do all the work. I felt unappreciated and walked away from that situation and never looked back. I have no hard feelings toward Kofi or Miguel, whenever I see either one in the gym, we speak to one another. Then another situation would appear to be a great chance to enhance my position as a trainer with. Zahir Raheem, preparing him for his fight against Acelino Freitas, I was stepping in for my brother, who Raheem contacted and hired to be his new trainer.

Yet, Oscar De la hoya was in training camp getting ready for Ricardo Mayorga, so it wasn't possible unless Raheem could make arrangements to come there as well. His budget wouldn't allow that situation to become a reality. I always questioned why he would pursue my brother as his trainer, when his former trainer, Donald House, got him the biggest win of his career against Morales. He talked with Floyd about what he should do; he told him to come to me. He did but only for one week. Then became a no-show.

Even to this day, I haven't heard back from Raheem. The week that I trained, all he did was talk negatively about his old trainer. I had nothing against his old trainer, we're cool with each other; I even consider him to be a very good friend. The way I found out, I get a call from Floyd, and he said 'Zahir called me and said he going back to his old trainer.' I had no problems with that, but be a man and call me then. I have nothing against him, and nor do I dislike him, because thatís not the way I am. He can call me, you know. It's not like it was a bad date (laughing). It was the best thing to happen to me, to not end up training Zahir Raheem, because the situation that I am in now would have never been possible.

Rizwaan: How did this with Shannon all start?

Jeff Mayweather: I never met Shannon (Briggs), so it was totally a surprise to me. Heís a veteran that can fight. No matter what your going through, when the time comes, you got to seize the moment. This is a big opportunity for the both of us. He respects me as a man, as well as a trainer. Me and Shannon will be cool, no matter what happens with us. We hit it off from the very beginning and that was important to me, because as a trainer, you have to build a friendship and a certain level of respect and trust. He is literally putting his life in my hands. I want to share with Shannon everything I know, as a man, and as a trainer. Heís a very good guy and has a great family.

Rizwaan: Shannonís upcoming fight is with Darroll Wilson, the same fighter who gave Shannon his first loss?

Jeff Mayweather: Yeah, Darroll is pretty much on his downside. Shannon is on a comeback, too, but to be honest, he never left; he was just out of the public view for a while

Rizwaan: Is this more of psychological thing for Shannon?

Jeff Mayweather: Yeah, thatís one of the reasons for this fight. But he has worked harder than any other fighter Iíve seen in the heavyweights, that includes Rahman and Peter. Hopefully, weíll be celebrating as two underachievers.

Rizwaan: How close are we to see a Klitschko - Briggs fight?

Jeff Mayweather: Weíre pretty close. Itís not officially set yet. Emmanuel Steward wants it to go through, also.

Rizwaan: What will be the game plan for that fight?

Jeff Mayweather: Shannon and I, going to try and get him down to 250-255. Just going to rush at him right from the bell.

Rizwaan: We always hear how being a fighter could help you be a trainer. But fighting as a lightweight in your career, and now training as a heavyweight, what are the major similarities and differences?

Jeff Mayweather: Well, my shoulders have gotten big (laughing); some guys think Iím on steroids (laughing). But itís the same sport, and many tactics are the same.

Rizwaan: Did you watch the Winky Ė Taylor fight?

Jeff Mayweather: Yeah, that was a draw for sure. Iím surprised Winky acted like that after the fight, but seems like heís cooled down since.

Rizwaan: What do you think of Wladmir as a fighter?

Jeff Mayweather: Well, heís the most knowable guy, and heís got some good talent, but his chin is a bit suspect; heís bounced back in his last couple of fights, though.

Rizwaan: Thank you for this interview Jazzie, I highly appreciate it.

Jeff Mayweather: No problem at all. See you later.

Article posted on 29.06.2006



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