Mayweather No! What a Bout Roger.

By Michael Schmidt on May 7, 2012
Mayweather No! What a Bout Roger.
One would be hard-pressed to question Floyd’s loyalty when it comes to Uncle Roger

What will be will be of course but one thing will be certain; Uncle Roger, steady, boxing intelligent, will be in that “Money” corner…

Where, way down the boxing historical road, will Floyd Mayweather find himself in the pound-for-pound discussions? Hard to say of course. I like pressure fighters of the Chavez Sr., of the Duran, Armstrong types so until the past few years I never took in the full appreciation that “Money”  most certainly should get from those of us that enjoy the “Sweet Science” in all of its forms, whether pressure fighters, boxers, brawlers, counterpunchers etc. Mayweather, Reptilian/Lizard/Chameleon-like, has recently re-invented himself much as he does in his day to day “Money” entertainment persona. One hell of a marketing/businessman genius this “Money.” This past weekend we saw more of a Floyd in the trenches so to speak. He has never really been a “runner” per se but rather has had great footwork and position, great hand speed and target punch perfect placement, along with something I feel we fans should all be comfortable at this point in saying: “Floyd Mayweather will rate as one of the all-time great defense specialists.” Smart man this Floyd in the ring, whether you like him or not.

I once again, early in his fight with Cotto, was not appreciating “the moment” of Mayweather’s artistry which is sometimes so sublime, yet so much above everyone else’s that the full appreciation is not enjoyed. I was getting caught up in Cotto getting inside. That Cotto was winning rounds against a fighter that rarely gives up rounds. We had a fight. The Cotto/Diaz strategy was sound; Oscar with his jab gave Mayweather big trouble, and Hatton with his quick feet to get inside to the target quickly and staying out of that midrange no man’s land which is Floyd’s world lock, stock, and shoulder roll, gave as good as one could give against “Money.” In fact as the early rounds of the Cotto fight went by what was really catching my eye was Chief Second, great trainer/strategy man, Uncle Roger. Mayweather, No! I was not thinking of that “Money” Mayweather. No. It was Uncle Roger and his in the corner instructions that were of interest. How a bout? How about Roger. I did not hear post-fight in the ring interviews from the “experts” much about what a great job Roger did or for that matter what a great job he has done in the corner for all these years. “Money’’ would tell you. Indeed he has in the past. In fact in one of his bouts when Roger was kicked out of the corner by the commission, “Money” seemed more that a little out of sorts.“Where is Roger, what happened to Roger” and so it went.

Floyd had one of those nights with Cotto. Sure he won. He did not in many many ways look like the unique fighter that would have us believe he belongs in the Robinson category. Certainly he has in the past not ventured into reciprocal action that would prove risky. A “banger” is by force of boxing nature a roll the dice be damned type. Hit to get hit. That is not “Money.” To that end, and obviously, why should it! Hit and not get hit baby. That is the name of the game and even more so when you can collect top of the food chain boxing dollars as the “Money” man does. Now that, unless you are one of those envious types, you must surely appreciate about the young “Money” man. As the Cotto fight moved round to round Uncle Roger was so calm, so cool. It was his “box that motherfucker” type of instruction but done with subtle adjustments and calm reserve. Keep doing what you’re doing added with just a little boxing knowledge tweak here and there. Not so much to confuse but just enough to adjust for the next round. I was looking for some other instructions, and more so, in those rounds that Cotto really forced action to the ropes. Or so it seemed that he was forcing the action to the ropes. Neither “Money” nor Uncle Roger in his instructions in the corner seemed concerned. The mantra was to keep on doing what you’re doing, added again with that little adjustment here and there, and indeed the scoring results showed that such instruction was a bull’s eye. I wasn’t sure the instructions were on target as the rounds unfolded. I wasn’t sure Floyd was employing the right strategy. I was not sure that Uncle Roger’s cool and calm demeanor and instruction was warranted. It was solid perfect instruction.

In the final two rounds, with a calm and cool corner, Mayweather, that of the “Money,” asserted his science to a new gear, a new level. Poor Cotto was left in looking glass country, all by himself. Perfection by “Money’’ at an age when he has had years to hone his skills and an age when young fighters, unseasoned, get rushed along and tossed like bad tomatoes to the tomato can status often after one loss. Canelo was to be next but his Brain Trust sees and knows better. No tomato toss to happen and no tomato, with Canelo in hand. The young man has a long long way to go in terms of realistically giving “Money” a challenge. Old age, that of Mayweather’s thirty-five, seems to be the best bet to hold hand with. His craft so high and the bar too beat so high. He has learned, and he has been taught by the Uncle. Yes, it is as Freddie Roach would and has openly stated, to look great, it is required to be able to work with great. Yet, having said that, molding and symmetry, teamwork is required for such artistry as well. For all the talk about bad boy “Floyd” one would outwardly be hard-pressed to question his loyalty. He has a very longstanding team with him and a handshake long-term Chief Second in Uncle Roger.

If one goes back and looks at Roger giving his instructions in the corner, it is beautiful in its, his, own street brand boxing way. Whether bringing out the best, or keeping the fighter best, Roger has done the job. Would Manny be as good, long-term, without the steady influence and intelligent technical knowledge of Mr. Roach? How about Ali? As great as he naturally was, where would he have been without Mr. Dundee?

Trainer, fighter, Kevin Rooney has stated, “If you get fighters like a Mike Tyson or a Ray Leonard who think that because they’re the ones really doing the fighting they don’t need nobody, that’s just arrogant. There’s always somebody they got to have. Their security blanket” (In the Corner by Dave Anderson). As arrogant as “Money” appears to be, and maybe is, that arrogance, if any, does not fit the Rooney comment of course. Public persona to drive bucks, private truth, who knows where Floyd stands in reality in a TV world of unreal reality shows. In Uncle Roger the Champion knows what he has. In the mad business world of boxing, consistency, loyalty, boxing intelligence, and calm in the eye of the store, is “Money” irreplaceable. If you don’t think Roger is that oh so very good then ask “Money” where he thinks Roger stands on the list of today’s best trainers. Forget the “experts,” half no doubt that never have been punched in the snoze. Ask Floyd and what better “expert” to ask. In Rogeresque like fashion, if one questions how good he is in that corner, then perhaps “that motherfucker does not know shit about boxing!!!!”

The biggest challenge lays ahead for Uncle and nephew. Old age. That is one you can’t beat. You had better hurry up Manny. Floyd has never lost. Floyd has never been hit and bust up the way you have. In the long term head to head, pound-for-pound great list, those are two big ones to shake if Manny, truly in his heart, believes he is the better man. Besides, in the middle of a not great world economy turning down forty million dollars, well, that is hard to swallow for the ordinary folks. The old Manny, the hungry young man Manny would not have turned that down, no way!!! What seems now, like way back when, the Marvelous one, Hagler, was prepared to cut off his pinky for a million dollars. For forty million most would cut off a lot more than that!! Floyd is acutely aware of all the aforementioned and he works the marketing and legacy factor around that as well as he performs boxing maestro in the ring. What will be will be of course but one thing will be certain; Uncle Roger, steady, boxing intelligent, will be in that “Money” corner. As for “Money,” well, he should think, sooner than later, at his age, of Ali, of Roy Jones, of Louis… the time will come if you let it. As much as other boxing chirpers want to fight the “Money” for all that money there is not really anything out there on the “Money” level other than perhaps Sergio at a weight that clearly is not Floyd’s. Appreciate “Money” now.

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  1. the thresher 08:55am, 05/08/2012

    Roger is successful and you can’t argue with his success.

    He lives a quiet life out of the glitter and just does his job. Now if he would just zip up his clam, he would improve his aura 100%.

  2. mike schmidt 05:47pm, 05/07/2012

    That good friend was a thirty-three year veteran and top cutman/trainer Russ Anber by the by. You make a great point—and hit the bullseye point I perhaps tried to put in—Roger is perfect fit for the nephew. In terms of Freddie I honestly do not know what fighter he has brought from scratch—day one—enter the gym and go to title. Recently—Linares got smoked. Khan—well Freddie may have his biggest moment to shine in two weeks because Amir has got to adjust his approach in how to deal with Lamont—and as well Freddie better have a very very solid plan for Lateef in against Tarver. Lateef has terrible balance and Tarver has a jab that may cause some real headaches to adjust—again, when you watch Freddie Roach work in the corner—a lovely lovely thing to see—no confustion, no twenty million instructions only confusing the fighter in ths short time span. good stuff!~!great stuff!!!!

  3. mike schmidt 05:39pm, 05/07/2012

    I am a huge fan of Manny’s and was so before he became huge mainstream. I appreciate your insight and you may of course be right. Personally I do not see anything but “Money” beating Manny big time. After the Marquez 3 fight in the media room Marquez was asked specifically what he thought would happen if they fight. Marquez ever thoughtful and a real gent paused and then said “I think for Manny fighting Floyd Mayweather would be…..(he paused for effect and to measure the correct word he wanted for English)...COMPLICATED! Either way ezdafez I think you and I as fans would sure enjoy the hell out of a megafight that would really put boxing up in the sky where it belongs. My good friend and voice of Canadian boxing and cornerman in Sergio Martinez group made a big point at the fight—he could not remember such a huge fight to be made, and not being made going all the way back to Lennox vs Bowe and that it is a fight for boxing that has to be made. Let us hope and perhaps you can tell me “I told you so.” Thanks for the posting and enjoy, all bias aside, what I think is the best dam boxing site going BOXING.COM

  4. ezdafez 05:37pm, 05/07/2012

    Floyd does have one of those great connections with Roger, though, every bit as solid as with Manny and Freddie. However, I think Roger’s claim to be the “best trainer in the world” is less merited than Floyd’s of being the GOAT. Does Roger have any other notable fighters training under him?

  5. ezdafez 05:30pm, 05/07/2012

    Miguel Cotto is a class fighter with good but predictable boxing skills. If he can land and surprise Floyd with shots, then Manny can surely surprise Floyd with his shocking speed and power and unpredictable angles, both against the ropes and in the middle of the ring. He also won’t have to worry so much about pacing himself and wear himself out mentally doing so. Floyd and Marquez are both great counter-punchers but the similarities in their styles end there.

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