Fathers and Sons

By Robert Ecksel on August 29, 2011
Fathers and Sons
“You’re in our way," Floyd said. "This is our gym. You’re in our way. Get out of here.”


Many of us have problems with our fathers. The competition between sons and their fathers was addressed when Sophocles wrote Oedipus Rex in 429 BC. Viennese heavyweight Sigmund Freud coined the phrase “Oedipus complex” in 1910 to describe the repressed desire to symbolically kill our fathers so we could have our mothers, which sounds like a nasty business for all concerned.

The first episode of HBO’s 24/7 Mayweather/Ortiz aired over the weekend and the undisputed highlight was the confrontation between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and his father.

Mayweather Sr. has a big ego, an inflated sense of self, grandiosity that is equal to his son’s. In a one-on-one interview preceding the confrontation with Floyd, Mayweather Sr. described himself as “the motivator, innovator, creator of the game. I’m the one who taught them. It wouldn’t have happened for neither brother, either of us, if it wasn’t for me. I was the first to ever do this. At the end of the day, it’s just blood, and blood is thicker than mud.”

In a separate one-on-one with Floyd Mayweather Jr., the unbeaten, pay-per-view king was relatively cool, calm and collected. “Without my Uncle Roger or with my father Floyd Mayweather, I wouldn’t be where I am today, because it all started with both. My dad started me off, and left my life at the age of 16. Roger came into my life, worked with me from when I was 17 years old to 34. So Roger has worked with me longer. But it all started with my father.”

Floyd measured phrases and chill demeanor suggests he gives credit where credit is due. But when Mayweather Sr. visited his son’s gym, all hell broke loose.

Mayweather Sr. loves himself almost as much as he loves the camera, and since he’s the “motivator, innovator, creator,” he’s not bashful about offering advice, whether it’s wanted or not. He suggested something—what he said ended up on the cutting room floor—and his son did not take it well.

“Our training camp is fine,” said Floyd angrily. “We’re okay. Our training camp is fine. We’re undefeated. We’ve been undefeated. We’re going to stay undefeated. Our training camp is fine.”

“You were undefeated when you started with your daddy,” said Mayweather Sr. with a trace of warmth softening the paternalism in is his voice.

“You can’t train nobody when you locked up.” Floyd turned to his Uncle Roger and asked, “I started with you, didn’t I?”

Roger didn’t want to get caught in the middle of an argument between his annoying older brother and irate nephew, so he simply said “Yeah.”

“I’ll tell you what,” said Mayweather Sr. “Guess what?”

Floyd didn’t want to play any guessing games. Instead, he decided to insult his old man: “Don’t no fighter wanna be with you. De La Hoya don’t wanna be with you. De La Hoya don’t wanna be with you.”

Mayweather Sr. bristled. “Are you crazy?” he asked. “I left De La Hoya. Leave me?”

(Oscar tweeted about about Mayweather Jr.’s comments after 24/7 aired: “For the record, I never left Floyd Sr. He was and is the best trainer, period.”)

The gym was filled to overflowing with Floyd’s minions, seconds, assistants, gofers, hangers-on, women, and children. The temperature in the gym was already hot, but now it was boiling over.

“Hatton don’t wanna be with you,” Floyd shouted at his father. “Don’t no fighter wanna be with you. When you got De La Hoya he was champion. When you got to us we already had 14, 15 fights in the good before we started to fight for the title.”

“I’m the one,” Mayweather Sr. shouted back.

“Roger’s the one,” said Floyd. “Roger’s my trainer. Roger’s my trainer.”

“There ain’t nothing wrong with Roger,” replied Mayweather Sr., trying to defuse the situation. But then he spoiled it by saying, “Roger ain’t made you.”

“This is my trainer right here. Roger’s my trainer. We don’t need anybody in the way interfering with our work.”

Mayweather Sr. tried to speak but got shouted down.

“Get out of our way.”

“Get out of your way?”

“You’re in our way. This is our gym. You’re in our way. Get out of here.”

Mayweather Sr. was infuriated. “Fuck this gym here. I don’t give a fuck about this gym.”

“Why are you here?” asked Floyd. “Nobody asked you to come here.”

“You ain’t gonna do shut me up,” said Mayweather Sr. as he reached out to touch his son.

“Ain’t nobody gonna grab me. Ain’t nobody gonna do shit to me.”

“You ain’t gonna do shit to me.”

“And you ain’t gonna do nothing.”

“Motherfucker,” said Mayweather Sr. “You put the motherfucking hands on me? Come on, motherfucker! Come on!”

“Get the fuck out of my gym!”

“Come put me out of your motherfucking gym, you punk! Come put me out of here punk! Come put me out of here, motherfucking punk! You better not fuck with me motherfucker.”

“Get the fuck out of my gym!”

“Come put me out motherfucker! Come put me out punk! Come put me out motherfucker!”

“Get out of my gym!”

“Put me out motherfucker! Put me out!”

“Get the fuck out of my gym!”

“I’ll beat your motherfucking ass!”

“You couldn’t fight worth shit! You couldn’t fight worth shit!”

“Come whup me motherfucker!”

“You ain’t nothing but a motherfucking cab driver, a bum as a trainer! You weren’t shit as a fighter, so how you gonna be something as a trainer?”

“Come and get your ass whupped!”

“You weren’t shit as a trainer! Faggot! Get the motherfucker out of my gym!”

It was an ugly scene, a scene that raised family dysfunction to a whole new level. Everyone knew the cameras were running. There was no acting going on. 24/7 did what it promised to do, which was to give an “all access, behind-the-scenes pass that allows viewers to step into the lives of the fighters before they step into the ring.” Some have condemned HBO for letting the segment air, accusing HBO of cutting its own throat in terms of PPV revenue at the same time as it stabbed boxing in the back. I’m not so sure. All publicity is good publicity. But if this is the calm before the storm of Sept. 17, Victor Ortiz must be licking his chops.

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  1. Precise171 01:37pm, 08/30/2011

    Man, it hurt to see but at the same time we are all grown ups! This is reality TV so there was some harsh reality. Floyd should have chilled but he has a lot if issues with his family not settled…

  2. JP 06:58am, 08/30/2011

    Man, this totally sucks!! I feel badly for both of them…......FALSE. I do NOT feel badly for both of them. Floyd’s still MAD at his DAD for something that happened 20 years ago and Senior still doesn’t get that he isn’t welcome in their training camp. I’m sure there will be a reality show about two idiots two years from now. Mayweather should beat Ortiz, but if Mayweather decides to go toe-to-toe, I choose Ortiz in 3

  3. Robert Ecksel 09:14am, 08/29/2011

    It was the intensity of Floyd’s anger that most disturbed me. I wouldn’t put it past Mayweather Sr. to try to steal the limelight from his son. And he no doubt screwed up big time and paid the price. But Floyd’s feelings of abandonment, still festering 20 years later, indicates that there’s something seriously wrong.

  4. Joe 05:44am, 08/29/2011

    Just thought of an old saying that may apply to Lil Floyd - “Too Big For His Britches”

  5. Joe 05:43am, 08/29/2011

    The Black Mamba was a real Champion.  Neither Floyd nor Jeff can make that claim.

  6. Joe 05:41am, 08/29/2011

    It was one of the most disrespectful outbursts ever!!!!  Making a point that he wasn’t a Junior (after all these years I wonder why, if it isn’t true, he’s been saying Floyd Mayweather Jr.) to close the show was another one of those “interesting” moments. Talk about family dysfunction.  Wow!!

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