Floyd Joy Mayweather, Jr., (born Floyd Sinclair February 24, 1977) is an American professional boxer. He is a five-division world champion, who has won eight world titles and the Lineal championship in three different weight classes. Mayweather is a two-time Ring Fighter of the Year (winning the award in 1998 and 2007); he also won the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) Fighter of the Year award in 2007 and the Best Fighter ESPY Award in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012. He is undefeated as a professional boxer.
Mayweather is the WBC welterweight champion, WBA (Super) light middleweight champion and recipient of the WBC diamond belt.He is also rated as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world by many sporting news and boxing websites, including Sports Illustrated, ESPN, BoxRec, Fox Sports, and Yahoo! Sports. Mayweather topped the Forbes and Sports Illustrated lists of the 50 highest-paid athletes of 2012.
Mayweather was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States into a family of boxers. His father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., was a former welterweight contender who fought Hall of Famer Sugar Ray Leonard. His uncles (Jeff Mayweather and Roger Mayweather) were professional boxers, with Roger – Floyd’s current trainer – winning two world championships. Mayweather was born with his mother’s last name, but his last name would change to Mayweather shortly thereafter.
Boxing has been a part of Mayweather’s life since his childhood, and he never seriously considered any other profession. “I think my grandmother saw my potential first”, Mayweather said. “When I was young, I told her ‘I think I should get a job’. She said, ‘No, just keep boxing'”. “When I was about eight or nine, I lived in New Jersey with my mother and we were seven deep in one bedroom and sometimes we didn’t have electricity”, Mayweather said. “When people see what I have now, they have no idea of where I came from and how I didn’t have anything growing up”.
It was not uncommon for young Mayweather to come home from school and find used heroin needles in his front yard.] His mother was also addicted to drugs, and he had an aunt who died from AIDS because of her drug use. “People don’t know the hell I’ve been through”, he says.
The most time that his father spent with him was taking him to the gym to train and work on his boxing, according to Mayweather. “I don’t remember him ever taking me anywhere or doing anything that a father would do with a son, going to the park or to the movies or to get ice cream”, he says. “I always thought that he liked his daughter (Floyd’s older stepsister) better than he liked me because she never got whippings and I got whippings all the time”.
Mayweather’s father contends that Floyd is not telling the truth about their early relationship. “Even though his daddy did sell drugs, I didn’t deprive my son”, the elder Mayweather says. “The drugs I sold, he was a part of it. He had plenty of food. He had the best clothes and I gave him money. He didn’t want for anything. Anybody in Grand Rapids can tell you that I took care of my kids”. Floyd senior says he did all of his hustling at night and spent his days with his son, taking him to the gym and training him to be a boxer. “If it wasn’t for me he wouldn’t be where he is today”, he maintains.
“I basically raised myself,” Mayweather says. “My grandmother did what she could. When she got mad at me I’d go to my mom’s house. My life was ups and downs”. His father says he knows how much pain his incarceration caused his son, but insists he did the best he could. “I sent him to live with his grandmother”, he says. “It wasn’t like I left him with strangers”.
Boxing became Mayweather’s outlet – a way to deal with his father’s absence. As the elder Mayweather served his time his son – with speed and an uncanny ring sense – put all his energies into boxing, dropping out of high school. “I knew that I was going to have to try to take care of my mom and I made the decision that school wasn’t that important at the time and I was going to have to box to earn a living”, Mayweather says.