'Pretty Boy Floyd': Floyd Mayweather Jr., Boxing's "Pound-for-Pound Best," Looks Good Inside and outside the Ring

By Collier, Aldore | Ebony, November 2006 | Go to article overview

'Pretty Boy Floyd': Floyd Mayweather Jr., Boxing's "Pound-for-Pound Best," Looks Good Inside and outside the Ring


Collier, Aldore, Ebony


You can see it in just about all his moves. Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s walk his gestures, his smile and his demeanor all spell confidence.

He's not just confident, he's supremely confident. So confident that he goes by the name "Pretty Boy Floyd." "I can do photo sessions after my fights," he proclaims.

Mayweather backs up all of his superlative assertions with dramatic and convincing victories in the boxing ring. At 36-0 (with 24 knockouts), he's the undisputed light welterweight boxing champion.

Numerous boxing publications hail him as "pound for pound" the very best fighter in the game. What some see as bragging, Mayweather, 29, sees as confidence and supreme belief in himself and his God-given talents. "As a kid growing up in Grand Rapids, Mich., my goal was to be the best boxer who ever lived," he says. "With the blessing of God and a strong team, when it's all said and done, I'll eventually be the best fighter in the world. I think I'm the best tighter to ever put on a pair of boxing gloves."

That confidence might be the result of a life totally consumed with boxing since he was a toddler. Mayweather comes from one of boxing's best-known families. His father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., is a former welterweight contender and currently is the trainer of boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya. His uncle Jeff Mayweather is a former super featherweight champ and uncle Roger Mayweather is a former world champion, and is Floyd's current trainer.

All of them had impact on his career development. But, the person he credits most with steering his life in the right direction is his grandmother, Bernice Mayweather. "Yeah," he says as his expression goes from serious to warm and sunny, "she made me strong. She's a strong Black woman. She said, 'If you hang with the wrong crowd, you won't go to the Olympics [the 1996 games where he won a bronze medal].' That made me get down and work harder just to prove her wrong."

The tough, supportive women in his life were as focused on his career as the men. They all, he recalls, knew there was no chance that he'd ever detour from the path leading to the ring. As an amateur, he began boxing at 126 pounds, racking up a record of 84-6 and winning the Golden Gloves championships in 1993, 1994 and 1996.

After the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, joined the professional ranks and has continued to excel in the super featherweight, lightweight and light welterweight divisions. But many observers believe he faces his toughest test on November 4 when he challenges WBC welterweight champ Carlos Baldomir. But, in typical fashion, his confidence hasn't waned. "I was born ready. …

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