Floyd Mayweather gets it. He understands that the expectations we have for him are supersized. He understands that with a 37-0 record, and crazyfast hands, and a mouth that isn’t shy about proclaiming his perceived place in the pantheon of the sport, that there are those that aren’t shy about taking shots at him.
“I’ve been on top so long,” he told TSS on Tuesday. “And even I want the coyote to catch the roadrunner.”
The expectations are still there, and won’t change until his ‘0’ goes, probably, or aging exacts the inevitable toll on his superhero-level reflexes. In fact, expectations will be at maximum level leading up to the fight of the new millennium, PBF’s May 5 showdown with Oscar De La Hoya. The fight itself, pitting the P4P champ against boxing’s American Idol, will whet appetites of fight fans to the tune of a million PPV buys. Add in the family drama subplot, the fact that Floyd’s pop will be working Oscar’s corner, against his own son, well, that’ll up the PPV ante another 500,000 ticks.
In the last few years, there has been no love lost between the father and son. There hasn’t been much love found, actually, between the Mayweathers Senior and Junior. And if you’re the sort who hopes for happy endings, and can’t even bear to gawk at this traffic accident of a relationship, then the coming months may get even more uncomfortable for you.
Because neither Mayweather is shy with sharing their feelings, especially when it comes to airing out grievances if they feel they’ve been dissed.
Those grievances, and that familiar fractiousness, will likely be on prominent display as we count down to May 5, when Floyd “Don’t Call Me Junior” Mayweather, trained by Roger Mayweather, meets Oscar De La Hoya, trained by Floyd Mayweather Sr., Roger’s brother and Floyd’s dad.
A quick refresher course: The rough patch kicked into motion in 2000, during a difficult period for Junior. He was involved in a contentious negotiation session with HBO, and accused the cable giant of offering him “slave wages” to ply his trade for them. He latched on to a new manager, rap impresario James Prince, and split, in acrimonious fashion, with his trainer, his father.
There were incidents, and allegations slung back and forth.
It wasn’t pretty, not unless you are the sort who takes pleasure in ugly family dramas featuring warring fathers and sons.
They have been in touch infrequently, and most communication between the two is done in the press.
They are two exceedingly proud people, with the stubbornness that comes in handy when fending off thoughts of surrender when engaging in that thousandth session of road work, but not so useful when it comes time for interpersonal relationships.
Come May 5, dad will be in another man’s corner, talking in his ear, sharing secrets and theories about how to best attack his son. It is a fascinating scene to contemplate, and will fuel a superabundance of hype leading up to the bout.
Junior checked in with TSS late Tuesday afternoon, and he says it ain’t no big thing having his dad work Oscar’s corner.
It’s all in a day’s work, says PBF.
“My father should win trainer of the year if Oscar can win,” PBF said. “I know when we win, my uncle Roger will get trainer of the year. Because he trained me from jail to get that win against Baldomir.”
Now, Dad wasn’t overly impressed with the Baldy performance, telling TSS that his son should have looked even better than he did.
“He should’ve looked like Sugar Ray Robinson against Baldomir,” the father said to TSS on Tuesday early afternoon.
Everyone, and that includes family, has ultra-high expectations for Floyd. That comes with the territory when you haven’t lost as a pro. Not only are you competing with your foe, but also with yourself. Did you not note that many of those same pundits who said Baldy would be a tough nut to crack, reversed course and complained after Floyd schooled the tough nut, and said PBF should’ve put him away?
Mayweather, who showed a heretofore unseen level of emotion after that bout, would be excused if that emotion bubbled to the surface out of frustration. His skill set may be otherworldly, but inside, PBF is a regularly constructed being. He certainly had his reasons for finally reaching a breaking point: the criticism of him, for not taking this or that fight, for not showing a killer instinct, his trainer being locked up for battery. But PBF insists that his show of feelings wasn’t an outpouring of pent-up feelings.
“My tears were of joy,” he said. “I’m never frustrated. I’m not frustrated. They said I should have knocked him out, that is what it is. For me, it’s about being positive.”
His dad, meanwhile, isn’t as likely to tread that Norman Vincent Peale path.
Baldomir, he said, was “slow as Heinz ketchup. Oscar would KO Baldomir in two or three rounds.”
Looking ahead to that May date, Senior said that his man, his student, will best his son utilizing his superior timing. Floyd won’t be able to win backing up, Senior told TSS, because Oscar will be throwing at him like Brit tossing divorce papers at K-Fed. And if Floyd tries to work off the ropes, and roll his shoulder the Mayweather way, that dog won’t hunt, the father said. He wouldn’t share the tactic to defeat a trick that he teaches his students, but he assured TSS that Oscar would find the combo to unlock the combos that will affect PBF.
PBF said that he won’t be looking to be too tricky when he and the Golden Boy get it on.
“My last fight will be toe to toe,” he promised. “Oscar won’t have to chase me, I’ll be coming forward. This is the biggest fight in boxing history.”
And we must point out, in an effort to be fair and balanced regarding Floyd, who many “experts” said wouldn’t do the De La Hoya deal because his ego wouldn’t allow him to take less than ODLH, that Floyd did read the writing on the wall, and is accepting less than Oscar.
How much less, he won’t divulge…
“What he gets is his business,” PBF told TSS. “He could get $100 million, that’s his business. I’m appreciative of what I get, from what I came from. I’m appreciative, not picky.”
Most of us, maybe all of us, can’t rap our brains around it. It does not compute. How can a man train another man to defeat his son? Well, for starters, we aren’t pugilists. Our brains and bodies aren’t wired to punch, and absorb punches, in exchange for pay. That sets us apart, in a big way, from those who do. And we aren’t the Mayweathers. Many of us grew up safely ensconced in our tidy homes, without the dramas that came with incarceration and estrangement and such. Really, we have not, and we cannot walk a mile in their shoes, so we can’t accurately assess the roads they take.
The path looks to us to be winding, and rocky, and scary.
To the Mayweathers, perhaps, that path is just a path.
Not winding, or rocky, or scary. The path is what it is.