LAS VEGAS -- The last time Floyd Mayweather Sr. entered his son’s gym, the ensuing exit exposed the toxic layer that lies just beneath the surface of their turbulent relationship.
The champion boxer effectively booted his father from the gym, barking, “Get out of our way!” amid a barrage of swear words and insults to senior’s skills as a boxing trainer.
On Tuesday they reunited, sharing a brief embrace as unbeaten Mayweather Jr. trained with his uncle and Floyd Sr.’s brother, Roger, for his May 5 super-welterweight title fight against Miguel Cotto May 5 at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
“That’s my son, let’s forget about it,” Mayweather Sr. said. “There’s no hatred. My blood runs through him, and his through mine.
“At the end of the day, I wish the best for him. That’s my son.”
Mayweather Sr. also sounded a conciliatory tone with his brother, who had said Tuesday that Floyd Jr. is sharper than ever because he returned to the gym so quickly after knocking out Victor Ortiz for a world welterweight title in September.
“It’s definitely much better for you, to stay sharper, smarter and wiser; work is where wisdom comes from,” Mayweather Sr. said.
As the conversation turned to the feelings of returning to the scene where Floyd Jr. had confronted his father, Floyd Sr. said: “That was bad for everybody. A son doesn’t do that to his father.”
Mayweather Sr. admits he has a difficult time with not feeling appreciated for his contributions to his unbeaten son’s multiple world titles. The elder Mayweather taught his son how to box, but was later incarcerated for dealing drugs; uncle Roger Mayweather has directed Floyd Jr.’s professional career.
“How can I not get the credit? How’d he learn to fight?” Mayweather Sr. said. “I was not a bad fighter myself. I was in the middle of my career but I couldn’t give it everything. I had to take care of [Floyd Jr.] … He fights like his daddy, and no one else. Come to my house and watch the videos. That’s what I taught him.”
The elder Mayweather came to the gym with good health news, telling friends his use of allergymedicine has eased a lung ailment that previously severely affected him.
“One thing I’ve learned about life: live and let live,” Mayweather Sr. said. “I didn’t come here to make no apology. I owe no apology. I’m the father. He [Floyd Jr.] hasn’t done that, either, even though a lot of people feel he should.”
When it was noted Floyd Jr. had embraced his father, Floyd Sr. said, “I guess I’m going to have to go with that. His ego is too big to apologize. Mine could never be that big. That’s the problem. There’s no way I’d ever do that to my father.… You don’t talk to your dad like he’s someone who lives … beneath a bridge.
“I don’t feel good in here, it’s my son’s gym. The way you feel is the way it is. He made a statement [in last year’s argument] about all the things he had.... If it hadn’t been for me, he’d have nothing.
“We went nine years without talking before. Then to come back with this? Don’t scandalize me. You scandalize me, you scandalize yourself.”
Mayweather Sr. later shook his son’s hand, an uneasy peace if there ever was one.