Floyd Mayweather Jr. managed to make a name for himself because of his particular style of defensive boxing. Although in his professional career he went into the ring without much protection, he trained a lot as an amateur using headgear – you can check it out here.
Who is Floyd Mayweather Jr.?
Floyd “Money” Mayweather is one of the world’s most renowned and respected boxers of all time. He has won several championships in five different weight divisions and gave out some of the most entertaining matches in recent history. He took great inspiration from the likes of Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson.
Some people have cataloged him as arrogant due to the fact that he said he could beat the two legends without a shadow of a doubt, while others believe that his arrogance was earned through hard work and the sheer number of matches he has been in such a short time. Nevertheless, no one can doubt Mayweather’s talent.
You could say that his talent runs in the family, as his father, Floyd Mayweather Sr. was also a renowned boxer. Mayweather Sr. was his son’s first trainer, and it shows a lot, as their fighting style is quite similar. Both adopted defensive techniques that earned them high status within the professional boxing crowd. Moreover, Mayweather Jr. retired with an undefeated record.
Growing up in harsh conditions
Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s parents weren’t exactly a match made in heaven. The elder Mayweather had the bad habit of dealing drugs from time to time. When Junior was just one year old, his father got into a fight with Junior’s maternal uncle, who was also a dealer, which resulted in his enemy coming to his house with the intent of shooting him.
You’d think that he would freeze, throw his hands up in the air and try to apologize or something along those lines. You’d be ever so wrong. Mayweather Senior actually picked up his one-year-old baby and held him as a shield so that he wouldn’t get shot. Luckily, the elder Mayweather only got shot in the leg. If it wasn’t for junior, he would’ve probably died.
However, his habits didn’t just end up getting him shot. In 1993, he was arrested for cocaine possession, which left Floyd Mayweather Jr. only with his mother. And to top it all off, his mother also had addiction issues, so this was yet another hit on what could’ve been a better childhood. His mom then moved together with him to New Jersey trying to raise him alone.
But the hard times weren’t nearly over. There were 7 people crammed into a tiny one-bedroom apartment. And to top it all off, all of them were just as poor. There were times when none of them had money to even pay the electricity bill, so they had to live for weeks on end without something that most people take for granted.
Poverty was just one of his problems
At this point, it’s safe to say that drugs were a far bigger problem in Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s life. One of his aunts had the bad habit of sharing heroin needles with others. When Floyd would come home from school, there were needles scattered all around the front lawn. This would soon lead to her death, as she caught AIDS from one of the infected needles.
So now not only did drugs make his family lose money and send his father to jail, but they also took away one of his most beloved relatives. Little Floyd was poor, heartbroken and had big dreams. He said in multiple interviews that his main motivation for getting out of such a life was becoming so good at boxing that he’d end up filthy rich.
Training from an early age
Not only Floyd’s father was a boxer, but also two of his uncles. So it’s not hard to see that it runs in the family. In fact, one of his uncles, Roger, managed to win the World Featherweight Title a few times during the 1980s and 1990s. With that said, you can imagine how much motivation Floyd got from his close family.
Even from the crib, he was training to be a boxer. His father recalls him throwing jabs even back then. As he grew a little older he would start practicing his punches on doorknobs. It was at that moment his parents knew they had a prodigy in their hands. And his father made a wish that one day he will rise up to be one of the most respected boxers worldwide.
When he was only 10 years old, his father started feeding him lots of steaks to gain protein and prepare for a junior boxing tournament. Surprisingly, he actually won. It was one of the happiest moments of Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s life up until that point. He was so overwhelmed with joy that he slept with the cup two weeks straight.
Even when his father was imprisoned, he would still go to practice. Floyd Sr. would call his son directly from prison and tell him how serious he should take his career. He told him that this was probably his only option of getting out of poverty and that if he didn’t take it seriously, he would probably need to rely on selling drugs as well.
Eventually, his father became his manager and coach. He taught him exactly the same fighting style that he used inside the squared ring. When Floyd Mayweather Jr. was younger, his opponents would taunt him, telling him that they would smack his face. He was the only one without facial scars, so everyone was eager to score their first mark.
The defensive skills his father taught him, protective equipment and Floyd Jr.’s agility were the main reasons why he managed to avoid getting scarred. However, he soon also found motivation and inspiration in Mike Tyson, as they trained in the same gym. He saw Tyson driving up to the gym in a Rolls Royce, wearing diamond watches.
Sadly, in 2000, the family drama would be too much for Floyd Jr. to bear, so he fired his dad from managing him. He did keep his father as coach, but they would soon end up arguing so much that Floyd Mayweather Jr. fired him altogether. He would go on to hire uncle Roger, who also had a similar fighting style as his father.
Solve one problem, get more
In 2013, uncle Roger’s eyesight started getting weaker and weaker. That meant he would no longer be able to coach Floyd. Obviously, nobody was happy to hear such news, but some good did come out of this. Floyd put aside the beef he had with his father and started training together again.
He said that he didn’t want his children to have bad blood with their grandfather, so it was the right thing to do. However, his family life still wasn’t all roses. Josie Harris, the mother of three of Floyd’s children, had been beaten by him, with two of the children witnessing the violent attack. He spent 90 days in prison after pleading guilty to the charges.
But even after this experience, Floyd still wasn’t ready to keep violence only inside the ring. He became engaged to Shantel Jackson, and this story would soon become a sad one as well. He asked her to marry him via text message and promised to help her get some big contracts if she accepted. This would be followed up by a rejection.
He didn’t take it well at all. He held her at gunpoint, choked her and threatened to release her naked pictures on the internet. And if that wasn’t enough, he also verbally assaulted her, telling her that she was nothing without him among other insults. Thankfully, there were no other similar scandals after this one.
Money, retirement, more money
Even if you’ve never watched a boxing match in your life, the chances of you not hearing about Floyd “Money” Mayweather are very low. He’s not a very modest person, to say the least. His constant bragging brought numerous accusations that he practiced the sport solely for the money. He dismissed the accusations with the fact that he had fought 90 matches for free.
Regardless, there’s no denying his skills, his talent, and his ability to draw a large crowd. He has made a lot of friends among celebrities, including Justin Bieber, who constantly got ring-side tickets to all of his matches. He made so much money that he doesn’t even wear the same underwear twice. He just throws them away and buys a new pair.
Estimatively, he spends around $6500 a year on underwear alone. And if you weren’t jealous enough already, he has numerous luxury cars, diamond-encrusted watches, a private jet, and much, much more.
In fact, he made so much money that he decided to retire early in 2016 so that he wouldn’t risk sustaining any career- or life-threatening injuries.
One last time
He did, however, come out of retirement one last time in 2017 for the opportunity of fighting Connor McGregor. No one knows for sure if he did it for the money or just for the opportunity of fighting against someone who wasn’t a boxer.
Connor McGregor is a mixed martial artist and the match would garner millions of viewers worldwide.
He defeated McGregor on August 26th of that year and finally retired for good with an impressive winning streak of 26 consecutive matches in the world title fights. He now lives a peaceful life along with his 4 kids, who he pampers like crazy with luxury cars and other lavish things.