One of the biggest question boxing has had in recent years has been one regarding the future of the sport once Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao retire. While some good fighters have made a name for themselves, there has not been a fighter that people truly believe will carry the sport in the years to come.
In the third and final part of my “On The Ropes” interview with trainer ‘Jazzy’ Jeff Mayweather, I discuss with him the future of boxing and what fighters he thinks have the potential to carry the torch. I also get Jeff’s views on Adrien Broner’s recent struggles and what he thinks Broner has to do to come back. Additionally, Mayweather talks about Floyd going got 50-0, if he thinks Manny Pacquiao will come back, and gives advice to young fighters in the sport. Here is what Jeff Mayweather had to say.
Jenna J: From a trainer’s perspective, who are the fighters that you see will carry the sport going forward after Floyd moves on?
Jeff Mayweather: There’s a few guys and Golovkin is one of them, but he has to fight somebody. What Golovkin’s done is devastating but he hasn’t fought nobody. I think that he’s a force to be reckoned with.
Errol Spence and Terence Crawford, those two young guys are really gonna be the face of boxing. Unfortunately, both of them have to add a little more character to their personality because they’re both very quiet guys, very humble guys — which is great, but if you really want to transcend and make yourself a superstar, you gotta open your mouth.
You don’t have to open your mouth in a way like Adrien Broner or something like that, in a bragging type way. All you have to do is be humble and be willing to accept challenges and be willing to call out some challengers.
I think Errol Spence took that step in the right direction when he called out Keith Thurman. Spence is always a quiet guy but he’s really confident in himself. I was glad to see him finally open his mouth to let the world know that he’s ready to take the next step to become a world champion.
Jenna J: A guy who was getting a lot of talk as a guy who could succeed Floyd was Adrien Broner. He’s recently fallen on hard times, do you think he can rebound from that and get the stardom back?
Jeff Mayweather: Well, I think what it was is that Adrien Broner is a talented fighter but he doesn’t have what Floyd has, not even close to what Floyd has. He doesn’t even come close, he was just able to ride that coattail until he got exposed.
The reality of it is that he’s dug a hole for himself now because it’s only good to be a villain when you win, because you force the people to pay because they want to see you get beat so bad. They have already seen Broner get beat twice, they don’t care about him getting beat anymore, it doesn’t mean anything. Bragging and talking trash like he does now, it’s meaningless, it means nothing.
It would be better for Broner to really just humble himself and win some fights, win some meaningful fights. He’s still a guy that can fight, there’s plenty of good fights for him out there for him to really put himself in a good position. You have Danny Garcia, Matthysse, Tim Bradley. There’s other different fighters that are close to his weight or at his weight that will at least put him in a good position once again.
I just think that if he continues on a path of talking trash and not backing it up, he’s gonna be forgotten. He’s just gonna be looked at as a flash in the pan, a guy who just came on the scene and disappeared.
Jenna J: I want to get your views on the future of your nephew. There’s a lot of talk about whether or not he will go for 50-0. What do you think is gonna happen?
Jeff Mayweather: It’s so hard to say. I don’t know because the thing is this, the demands for Floyd are so unrealistic in terms of who he fights and things like that. Don’t get me wrong, that’s the one thing that I applaud Al Haymon on. When he made the contract, he made it 49, that way if you want him, you’re gonna have to pay him a whole lot of money to say, “Yeah I’m gonna go for the record.” Basically, that’s a great deal and that’s also a situation where it’s hard to walk away from but hopefully Floyd doesn’t need anymore money, so he can walk away.
At the same time, the push is gonna be really hard and I think it’s gonna be hard for him to walk away. But the reality of it also is this, if he does fight that fight, Floyd can’t fight the average guy. You see how they’re already making a big deal about him fighting Karim Mayfield or Andre Berto. Andre Berto was a world champion, why can’t he fight him? Why can’t he fight him but anybody else can?
When it comes to Floyd, everything changes. The opponent changes, the status of the opponent, everything changes. No one else would drop down to fight anybody else but they would do that for Floyd because of the money they’ll make. Just like Keith Thurman, when Errol Spence called him out, he didn’t respond to it. Thurman said, “Well he hasn’t done anything yet to get a fight with me.” Really? Who are you? You’re fighting for a world championship just like him, but yet every time you open your mouth, it’s about Floyd.
Same thing with Amir Khan, and that’s why I think he killed the fight, because he started talking too much. It got to the point where he probably got under Floyd’s skin enough for him to say, “Fuck you, I’m not giving you a fight, not because I can’t beat you, just because I’m not gonna give you the payday like everyone else is begging for.” Amir Khan started acting like Floyd needed him. Really? He needs you? For what?
Jenna J: Manny Pacquiao got the fight with Floyd and made 150 million dollars, do you think he comes back to the sport for another payday?
Jeff Mayweather: Pacquiao should be set forever. That kind of money over there, it’s not 160 million, it’s probably like 80 billion. This dude should never have to fight ever again in his life if he doesn’t want to. But I’m sure he’s going to fight basically because he feels he has something to prove to his fans. The one thing that he was supposed to prove to his fans, he disappointed them. He’s gotta come back, even if it’s just to leave the sport with dignity.
Jenna J: I want to turn things to you. Can you tell us about some of the fighters you’re working with now?
Jeff Mayweather: My main focus is on Kevin Newman, he’s a young kid that I started with when he was nine years old. He’s been signed with TMT now, he’s 4-0-1, he had a draw in pro debut. He’s an extremely talented kid and I think that he’s really gonna do well. He’s my main focus.
I’m doing MMA, kickboxing and working with a lot of the older fighters that haven’t walked away from boxing yet. They’re reaching out to me hoping to put themselves back in position. I worked with ‘Chop Chop’ Corley for a little while, Derrick Gainer, Steve Forbes, all of these guys are former world champions. They’re definitely past their prime but they still want to fight, so they reach out to me.
I have two young guys that aren’t really known yet. Some of the fighters are so young and they’re just getting started that their names are not really worth mentioning. Also I’m working with a lot of amateurs, I’m just busy in every way possible. I’m busy for myself, I’m busy with my fighters. I’m working on getting some of the more known guys in MMA under my banner as well. We got a lot of work. I’m trying to do things for our YouTube channel, I’m always on there doing interviews.
Jenna J: In closing, being the fact that you’ve seen so many fighters come into this game and leave this game, as a trainer, what is the best advise you can give for a young fighter?
Jeff Mayweather: I think the best message that I can pass on to a fighter is this: choose boxing, don’t let boxing choose you. When I say that, I’m talking about it in terms of when it gets to a point where you have to make that decision to walk away or to stay. You should always be able to look in the mirror and be honest with yourself when that time is now for you to walk away from the sport. That’s the hardest thing for most fighters.