The matriarch of the Mayweather boxing family immediately repudiated her grandson’s retirement threat when Floyd Mayweather gave an emotional promise to fight only once more.
That was 2006, and nine years and 12 fights later, after Mayweather defeated Andre Berto to go to 49-0 in what he vows is a career finale, his grandmother was buying.
“I think he’s retired now,” Bernice Mayweather said after Mayweather’s finale. “I think he’s through. I think he’s through. He ain’t gonna fight no more.
“I don’t think he’s going to fight again. You know why I think he shouldn’t? He’s fought all these many years, why go back in the ring again? Because it’s crazy.”
Three of Bernice Mayweather’s sons were professional boxers, one of them a two-time world champion, Roger.
But it was Floyd Sr. who started the family on the fistic path — he started boxing to avoid having his lunch money stolen by bullies — and it was his son who rose to superstardom as the pound-for-pound king who won titles in five weight classes and rewrote the sport’s financial history.
“You know what, it was really hard, because I was a single mother, me and my husband had separated, and then my husband died, and then left me with all these younger generations,” Bernice Mayweather said. “I think I did a good job. I do, I really do.”
She is exceedingly proud of her grandson.
“I raised him from the time he was a baby,” she said.
There were the testy times, of course. The wood-chopping in the back yard as part of young Floyd’s boxing training required constant reminders to clean up the chips. And there was that time Floyd and one of his cousins took Bernice’s car without permission and ended up hitting her house with it.
Last year, he made amends. He bought his grandmother a five-bedroom home in East Grand Rapids.
The Mayweathers have gone from relatively common people to newly rich during Floyd Mayweather’s 19-year career, during which he has earned more than $700 million.
Bernice said she believes the family has coped with the change well.
“It’s all good, it’s all good,” she said.