May 24, 2001 – By Clive Bernath: There is no disputing that WBC super-featherweight champion Floyd Mayweather is indeed a fabulous fighter. But he must have gained considerable inspiration from the ring exploits of his trainer and uncle Roger Mayweather, a former two-time world champ who fought all the top names in a 72 fight career between 1981 to 1999.
The ‘Black Mamba’ - as he was known - mixed it with such marquee names as the legendary Julio Cesar Chavez (twice), Pernell Whitaker, Rocky Lockridge, Rafael Pineda and current WBC/WBA junior welterweight king Kostya Tszyu.
After so many incredibly tough fights, no fight stands out as the most memorable. Mayweather says they were all tough. "I had a whole bunch of ‘em you know," he said. “But I would say not any one fight. The Hispanics were very tough, they were the best fighters in the world then. But I can't say any one fight stands out."
Mayweather can remember his most career-defining fight. “I fought a guy called Carlton Sparrow. We were both rising prospects at the time. He was 18-0 and I was 10-0. That fight gave me the chance to go to national television. That fight gave the viewers the chance to view me and judge me, so that was probably my most defining fight."
He lists ‘Sweet Pea’ Whitaker as his most tricky foe. "My most difficult fight was probably against Pernell Whitaker. Yeah, it was a tough fight but it was also very difficult,” said Mayweather. “It was difficult in terms of style and because he was left handed. I had him on the deck and it was a close fight, but I fought him in his hometown.
“He was of the great fighters. It wasn't so much he was a southpaw, because I beat most southpaws I fought, but he hit low about 10 or 15 times. It was a dirty fight, but it wasn't my toughest."