LAS VEGAS — Floyd Mayweather meets Conor McGregor on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in what he has said will be the final fight of his historic career. Mayweather’s father, Floyd Sr., may not be in his corner, though.
Floyd Sr. told Ariel Helwani on a special edition of The MMA Hour on Friday morning that he is unsure if he will be one of his son’s cornermen for the mega-fight.
“Right now, it’s nothing major,” Mayweather Sr. said when asked if there was any kind of falling out. “We will see. Because I feel like I should be in the corner, as well. What went on is I happened to be away from the gym when everything started. Nobody let me know anything.”
Floyd Sr. said he won’t know until Saturday — the day of the bout — whether or not he will be in the corner. He does very badly want to be, he said.
“I should be the first [cornerman],” Floyd Sr. said. “But I don’t know. I’m just gonna see. I’m just gonna be honest with you, man. I don’t know what’s going on. First, when I was gone, I had went back to Michigan, I think it was, to check on my mother and stuff. And then just to me that, I came back, all them guys been with him. We’re gonna see. I’m just gonna see.”
Floyd Sr. had his son in boxing gloves before he could even walk, as the story goes. But the two have had an up-and-down relationship over the years. They had a falling out in 2000 and Roger Mayweather, Floyd Sr.’s brother, took over as the younger Mayweather’s lead cornerman. Floyd Sr. and Floyd Jr. made up publicly in 2013 and Floyd Sr. took reign back over his corner.
Roger Mayweather, who has been a mainstay with Floyd Jr. for decades now, will not be in his corner Saturday due to health issues, Floyd Sr. said. Floyd Sr. said he is unsure if Jeff Mayweather, his other brother, will be in Floyd Jr.’s corner, because he has never been there before.
“Roger is not fit to be in his corner,” Floyd Sr. said. “Roger is sick.”
Even if he is not in the corner, Floyd Sr. won’t necessarily be terribly fearful about how his son will do in the fight with McGregor.
“Am I concerned?” Floyd Sr. said. “I’m always concerned about my kids. But I’m not really worried about him taking care of himself. I think he can take care of himself.
“I’m just gonna say it like this right here: I think that he would be much better with his daddy. Because I always made sure he got where he needs to get. There never was no friction with me and him. I think he’s gonna be OK, though.”
What Floyd Sr. is worried about is McGregor’s potential tactics. He’s afraid the UFC fighter will bring some MMA tactics into the boxing ring and endanger Floyd Jr.
“Sometimes people that are complainers, sometimes people do things that they know they shouldn't do,” Floyd Sr. said. “And sometimes things happen with that. Things happen with that. … We’re talking about my son and Conor, I’m talking about him swiping his feet, throwing his elbows. I’m just telling you that there are a lot of things that can happen.”
Floyd Sr. said he does not want his son to go toe-to-toe in the center of the ring with McGregor the way he has promised. It would not be a sound strategy, the elder Mayweather said.
“I wouldn’t even suggest him doing that,” Floyd Sr. said. “I would suggest him go out there, bounce around a few rounds. Move around and counter, counter him. Keep countering him on certain things. Run your combination off when you’re right there.
“Keep scoring without being scored. That’s what [made] him the man he is today. That’s the only thing that’s gonna help him get out of this situation. It’s no use trying to train and go head up with somebody like that. You ain’t gotta test the water like that. You already know the water. All you have to do is do what you want to do — you can do what you want to do with this boy.”
Floyd Sr. may impart that advice onto his son. But he remains unsure if he’ll be able to do that firsthand from the corner.
“It’s on him right now,” Floyd Sr. said. “It’s on him. … I don’t know what he’s gonna do, man. It’s on him.”