Roger Mayweather has envisioned a fight between his nephew and Manny Pacquiao for years. But Floyd Mayweather merely winning this weekend’s megafight may not be enough to avoid denting his legacy, his uncle and longtime trainer said.
“Every time somebody talks about the fight, ‘Oh, you know you’re definitely going to have to knock out Pacquiao, otherwise, he (Mayweather) ain’t going to get no credit,'” Roger Mayweather said. “But that’s part of boxing.
“As good as Floyd is supposed to be, I don’t think that they … are going to give him the credit that he deserves (without a knockout).”
The Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, a welterweight unification, is scheduled Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs) risks the pound-for-pound mantle against longtime rival Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs).
Yet his uncle, who serves as one of his assistant trainers and was head trainer from 1996-98 and 2000-12, said it is not the fighter’s most difficult challenge to date.
“It ain’t close to Floyd’s toughest fight,” Roger Mayweather said. “Floyd’s fought better guys than Pacquiao.”
Asked who, Roger Mayweather couldn’t come up with the name, but quickly described a rugged 2000 fight between his nephew and Emanuel Augustus, then known as Emanuel Burton. Floyd Mayweather endured a busted lip and two bruised hands before finally getting the ninth-round stoppage.
Augustus entered that fight at Detroit’s Cobo Hall with a record of 22-16-4, and finished his pro career 38-34-6. He is recovering from a near-tragic incident last year in which he was shot in the head during a drive-by shooting.
“One of the guys, he had a bad record, and fought the (expletive) out of him,” Roger Mayweather said of Augustus. “Dog tough. That’s one of them guys that he wasn’t willing to quit. He was a tough guy. Because a guy has a record doesn’t mean he’s the toughest guy.
“Floyd had to hit him to get him out of there. He hit him once, hit him twice, he still wasn’t going. He’s one of those guys, one of those tough guys, that he don’t want to leave. But the fight was tough and I think that fight made Floyd what he is today, a good, sharp fight. When that fight happened, Floyd was going to be a better fighter down the road, because he found out it ain’t going to be that easy.”
Roger Mayweather credited Pacquiao for being a multi-faceted boxer-puncher but questioned his punch-taking ability and suggested it would be a significant challenge for him to land a meaningful, fight-altering punch.
“I’ve got to see, what can he do with Floyd?” he said. “To me, I don’t know what he can do with Floyd. If there’s something he can do with Floyd, he’s got to show me, because as far as him doing something with Floyd, hitting Floyd like that, I can’t see it. So that’s what I’ve got to see. And then, we’ll see how good he is.
“He can punch. He can box a little bit. But what I say is if Floyd comes right, he’s going to go. It ain’t no different with Pacquiao. But if Floyd hits him right, he’s going to go. He’s a tough guy but he’s going to go if Floyd hits him right. It’s about hitting him with the right shot at the right time. That’s it.”
Roger Mayweather said he always has envisioned his nephew knocking out Pacquiao inside of five rounds.
He tapped his bearded chin, citing that as the variable.
“He (Pacquiao) may have a better chin than I say he do. But if Marquez knocked him out, I can’t see nothing different,” he said, referring to a 2012 Pacquiao loss.
“What I’ve got to see from him is what can he take from Floyd? What kind of punches can he take from Floyd? If Floyd hits him clean, I don’t think he’s going to be in there,” he added.
Floyd Mayweather was credited with becoming a more aggressive offensive fighter during the years after Roger Mayweather returned as head trainer after a father-son dispute led to Floyd Mayweather Sr.’s resignation in 2000.
When the father returned to that role for the 2013 Mayweather-Robert Guerrero fight, Roger Mayweather took a different title, though his role in training and his influence with his nephew remain essentially unchanged.
Against Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Sr.’s defensive emphasis, and Roger Mayweather’s offensive emphasis, both could be put to the test.
It is the fight of all their lifetimes, and Roger Mayweather, who turned 54 last week, said is imperative for his nephew to step on the gas early.
“Floyd’s got to show, to me, he’s got to show that he’s a dominant force over Pacquiao,” he said. “That’s what I think he’s got to show. And then that shows how good he is. But he’s got to show that. He’s got to show that.”
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