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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Inside camp Mayweather: Uncle Roger can’t deny that Pacquiao weighs heavy on the mind

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Las Vegas Boxing Examiner | Chris Robinson

Sitting on the corner steps of the ring in Floyd Mayweather’s personal Las Vegas gym, Uncle Roger has the look of a man who has been here before. While Team Mayweather is currently less than two weeks away from a pivotal bout against very dangerous Shane Mosley at the MGM Grand you wouldn’t sense the seriousness of the situation by analyzing Roger.

The 48-year old trainer must have a lot on his mind with a pending court case coming up where he has been accused of physically assaulting one of his previous female fighters. While that is certainly out of the ordinary, working with his nephew for yet another high-profile contest is like second nature. Speaking on the subject further Roger notes that it is simply a matter of the team doing their homework in order to get ready for the challenge at hand.

All through their time working together Roger has never held back his feelings on Floyd Jr., pointing to his accomplishments in the squared circle time and time again. When asked what specifically has set Floyd Jr. apart from other fighters of his generation, Roger begins to open up adamantly.

“Floyd has won six world championships and most people have never had one,” Roger says. “Floyd won six world championships and won in five different divisions. I mean when you start talking about boxing Floyd is one of the elite fighters in the sport of boxing. When history goes down it will be like this. When history is made Floyd will be one of the greatest fighters in the history of boxing, period. So that’s what makes him different. You have a lot of great fighters but the difference between good and great is what separates them. That’s why they called Muhammad Ali the greatest heavyweight ever. That’s why you call Ray Robinson the greatest fighter ever. So when you start talking about what someone has accomplished that’s when you realize what greatness is.”

With the word greatness in the air it is only fair to bring up Mayweather’s upcoming dance partner Mosley into the equation. Having won multiple titles in three different weight classes himself while facing a myriad of top-level competition, Shane has proven himself on many drastically different levels. While that is enough for Roger to pay slight respect you won’t ever catch him going overboard on Mosley’s abilities.

“I think he is one of the guys that is a threat to a certain degree,” Roger musters. “He has decent handspeed but I think what people are going to find out is that it is going to be very shocking what speed can do. I think they are going to find out what they think speed can do and what abilities Floyd has that can control that hand speed.”

Mayweather’s skills are all still in tact and he is unquestionably one of the top two or three fighters in the game today. Despite not taking much punishment during his 13-plus year career young Floyd did turn 33 this past February and that is an age when many athletes have either left the scene or at least started to seriously decline. When asked just how much his nephew has left to give to the sport Roger seems to be on the fence.

“He won’t fight that long,” he predicts. “I wouldn’t fight that long either. Floyd is going to continue boxing as long as his heart is in the sport. He’s been boxing all his life so it’s hard to find that he would walk away at his age now. He might but I’m saying that it is hard for me to say that I would walk away. It’s a hard thing to do.”

It’s very likely that Floyd Mayweather Jr. will be around for at least a few more years. But while there are a bevy of talented and dangerous champions and contenders lurking around there is only one fight after May 1st that Roger deems worthy. In closing the bombastic Uncle lets it be known that an eventual clash with Manny Pacquiao is something that often crosses his mind.

“Everybody knows who his opponent should be. People aren’t fools. Everybody knows what they want to see after he takes care of business against Shane Mosley. The only fight that is possible out there – Pacquiao. Whatever makes money makes sense and that’s the only fight that is going to make that kind of money. You’re talking about finishing a career in boxing and you can’t do anything bigger than that. Him and Pacquiao would probably be one of the biggest fights in the history of the sport.”

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