By Xavier Porter, Brooklyn, NY, 1/26/16 – When the average boxing fan hears the name Mayweather, they automatically think about Floyd Mayweather, and rightfully so. The accomplishments that Floyd has achieved are undeniably some of the greatest feats that have yet to be done in the sport of boxing or any sport for that matter.
When you hear the name you think about the fact that he has accomplished so much more than most boxers/fighters/athletes will ever dream to do. The name is synonymous with being categorized as “The Best Ever” or “Money”. Floyd is the person who has carried the legacy throughout his whole career but the Mayweather name is also more than the accomplishments that have been achieved.
When you think or hear the name Mayweather you also have to think about everything that can never be overlooked and that’s the fact that the Mayweather name is about team, it’s about support, it’s about family, and it’s about tradition.
Jeff Mayweather, the third of the Mayweather brothers (Floyd Sr. being first and Roger being second) has been there since the beginning. Jeff, who did not immediately fall in love with the sport of boxing, grew to love it unconditionally. Growing up with two older brothers who were heavily involved in the sport helped to shape his focus and desires to be a part of the sport.
“Big Floyd was the first one who got into boxing,” Mayweather said. “He got into a fight with his school teacher and then ended up going into a boxing gym and that’s when it became a family tradition. Roger looked up to Big Floyd and I looked up to Roger.”
“Just like how little brothers do I followed him (Roger) everywhere and since he was involved in boxing I got involved in it also. I never really cared about boxing but since he was in the gym every day I fell in love with it also. It was a trickled down effect. When Floyd was born Big Floyd used to make him hit his hands when he was a baby. His father took him to the gym when he was a baby and he became a natural product of the sport.”
“Our people (people of color) we didn’t know one hundred years ago that we could put our kids in school,” Mayweather said. “If you have money you can send your kid to school at the age of one and if you send your kid to school at the age of five there’s a difference. We allow our kids to go to school at the age of five and they have started off learning late. They haven’t understood the concept of learning yet. By starting Floyd at a young age he became a student in the game. Floyd basically started at the age of four; he had no choice, he was created to be a fighting machine.”
“Sometimes there was conflict with father and son but at the end of the day Floyd was pushed. Sometimes in life a child is pushed and they lose their childhood but also what’s instilled in that child will determine their greatness. “Just like Michael Jackson: he started so young and became successful; there had to be some push, there isn’t the perfect story behind raising and pushing your child into greatness at an early age.”
Jeff, who fought at the lightweight limit of 135lbs, had a career record of 32-10, 10 KOs. Just like his older brothers, he fought world class fighters and against Olympic Gold Medalists, Oscar De La Hoya. Jeff, along with Floyd Sr. and Roger, are the only trio of brothers in boxing’s history to have fought against, trained, and won world championships with an Olympic Gold Medalist.
As a trainer Jeff has worked with and trained many fighters.
“I’ve worked with and trained Stevie Forbes (former IBF Super Featherweight Champion), Celestino Caballero (former WBA and IBF Super Bantamweight Champion, former WBA Featherweight Champion), and Sultan Ibragimov who was my first heavyweight champion,” Mayweather said. “He won the WBO Heavyweight Championship against Shannon Briggs. I also trained Briggs but I left the camp because I was unhappy. There’s no bad blood between us, we’re still friends to this day.”
Currently Jeff is working with up and coming middleweight prospect Kevin Newman.
“He’s 4-0 and has great potential to be a world champion,” Mayweather said. “He’s a guy that people will need to watch out for. He’s currently fighting at middleweight and he’s signed to TMT.”
Jeff, who is contacted on a regular basis to train fighters, focuses more on the need than desire.
“I have people contact me every day, I get calls from guys all the time but I turn them down” Mayweather said. “I look at fighters in all different ways before I make a decision. I’ll pretty much train anyone but they need to pay me what I’m worth. No one wants to work with a person with an upside-down record.”
“Some fighters have been mismanaged and still have good skills so I can work with someone like that but I’m not going to work with someone who is 7-25; no one wants to see people with horrible records. I respect myself too much. It’s not about the money it’s about me knowing the game and not prostituting myself to the game.”
Jeff’s style of training differs from his brothers.
“To answer the question of the difference in our training styles I can’t really answer that completely because you’d have to ask each of us to get a true assessment,” Mayweather said. “The one thing with me is that I’m a little bit more hit you upside your head.”
“I want my fighters to be prepared when they’re in the heat of battle. My brothers are a little different than me because I look for the fighter’s weakness first which will benefit their offense. You have so many trainers watch Roger train Floyd that everyone is doing that. When (trainers) copycat Roger they have no questions to the answers of why they’re doing it; it makes them look like a fool.”
With his nephew having retired from the sport there begs the question of who will take over and be that face that has dominated for so long.
“Floyd is the greatest fighter of this era. Floyd is the faster boxer in history because he’s able to make adjustments,” Mayweather said. “He’s like four or five steps ahead of his opponents mentally when he fights. When you start talking numbers no one comes close to him. Floyd took the sport to such a level and the sport will continue but it will be hard to see a fighter get to the level that Floyd has taken it.”
“Back when Sugar Ray Leonard was fighting he was the guy who took it to a certain level, making one million dollars a night in a fight whereas a lot of fighters took years to make that money,” Mayweather said. “It’s phenomenal that one man can generate this amount of money in one night and it’s funny that the haters are the ones who pay the most to see him lose.”
“It’s part of the game; boxing is in good shape and they have a lot of young fighters and the older fighters are still doing well. There are a lot of great matches and good fighters out there: Andre Ward, Sergey Kovalev, Crawford, Thurman, GGG, Erroll Spence, the list goes on. Even with Floyd retiring the sport of boxing will still have good fighters to keep it going.”
Jeff continues to remain involved in the sport of boxing. With a young middleweight prospect and an interest in training female boxers, Jeff knows his worth.
“Hopefully I can work with one who will have skills and also does things outside of the sport (endorsements),” Mayweather said. “I’ve had people ask me why I am doing this, why am I still training people?
“People always ask the question why do I keep training people? It’s simple: I respect fighters too much to throw a fighter under the bus. If a fighter comes to me and is hungry, and wants a better life for themselves, I am willing to train them. I tell people to just keep watching and you will see what will happen next.”