The untold truth of Floyd Mayweather

His strange relationship with his dad

Mayweather’s dad, Floyd Sr., is one of the big reasons Floyd Jr. is such a successful athlete. Unfortunately, father and son have an incredibly complicated relationship that’s equal parts boxing and abuse.

When Mayweather was just a boy, Floyd Sr. earned a living as a boxer, once going ten rounds with the great Sugar Ray Leonard. But Floyd Sr. was the kind of guy who took his work home with him, often using his kid as a punching bag. “My father would beat me for anything I did,” Mayweather once said, “even if I hadn’t done anything.” On one occasion — when Mayweather’s uncle tried to shoot his dad with a shotgun — Floyd Sr. grabbed 2-year-old Mayweather by the ankles and used him as a human shield.

On the flip side, Floyd Sr. is the man who taught Mayweather how to fight defensively. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to watch his son perform at the ’96 Olympics because he was serving time for cocaine trafficking. While Floyd Sr. was in prison, Mayweather’s uncle Roger became his main coach, and when the elder Mayweather was released, things got awkward on the Money team. Eventually, Mayweather kicked his dad out of the group — and the home Jr. was paying for — starting a seven-year feud between father and son that culminated with Floyd Sr. offering to train Oscar De La Hoya to fight Mayweather.

That didn’t work out, and the two Mayweathers soon began to patch things up, with Jr. bringing Sr. back as his coach. The two have been working together ever since, training, supporting, and pushing one another back and forth in one of the weirdest relationships in boxing.