Roger Mayweather, uncle and trainer of Floyd Mayweather, denied reports that he is not healthy and confirmed that he and his nephew are working on a fight for May 4. A surprise opponent with a "Rocky" theme may be under consideration for that bout.
"I am still Floyd's trainer and we are still working toward the next fight, yeah, probably in May," Roger told The Sports Xchange in a phone call from Las Vegas. "I know something has been said about my health. I am a diabetic, but I go to the gym every day. I work out every day. I've worked with Floyd for his last 16 fights and will continue to do so."
That contradicts a statement attributed to Floyd that he may bring back his father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., although whenever those two get together, drama seems to follow.
Meanwhile Roger confirmed he received a proposal for a tuneup fight with Northern California's Paul Nave, who has a 20-9-2 record with eight knockouts. Nave, a San Anselmo, Calif., resident known as the "Marin County Assassin," is a former WBF world welterweight champion. He had three notable battles against three-time world champion and Hall of Famer Greg Haugen, best known as the fighter who ruined Hector "Macho" Camacho's unbeaten record.
However, the last of those brawls was in 1998, and Nave retired the next year to have back surgery. He returned in 2009 and is 5-1 since. Perhaps the most conspicuous statistic on Nave is that he is 52 years old.
The Mayweathers are familiar with him from past training, including when the boxers worked out together as Mayweather was tuning up for a fight with Oscar De La Hoya while Nave was preparing to oppose Livingston Bramble on the same card. During sparring sessions at Big Bear Fitness Center, whenever Nave would land a good punch, Mayweather called him "Rocky Balboa," and then he continued to call him "Balboa."
That is the theme proposed by Nave's camp, with him playing the underdog Rocky Balboa role against the champion Mayweather as Apollo Creed.
"I understand the promotion, and it is something to consider. Anything is possible," Roger said.
Nave would be attempting to become the oldest world champion in boxing history, 6 years older than Bernard Hopkins was when he out-aged the previous seniority champion, George Foreman.
Longtime Nave associate Peter Howes, the head of Howes Entertainment, LLC, confirmed the Mayweathers were contacted. Howes co-promoted the Floyd Mayweather-Jesus Chavez fight at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco in 2001.
Of course, most fight fans are still waiting and wondering if there ever will be a fight between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, especially after Juan Manuel Marquez knocked the Pacman cold in the sixth round of their fight earlier this month.
When asked on Dec. 10, Mayweather avoided saying whether he expected to fight Pacquiao.
"Pacquiao's focus should be trying to take a vacation, get his mind right, and get a few tune-up fights so he can bounce back," Mayweather said.
"I'm not here to talk bad about Pacquiao," Mayweather said before continuing to do just that. "I feel bad for him, honestly. I really feel bad for him. There's a difference in the ways you can get knocked out.
"See, when a guy gets knocked out and he can get up, they sit him on his stool, they rub his back, he go home and ice himself, you know, he go to the hospital and get checked out and he's OK, that's one thing.
"But when you gotta wake a guy up with smelling salt and he got a concussion and he gotta go to the hospital overnight, that's crucial. I mean, that's close to the death. ... Hopefully he's OK. My prayers go out to the Pacquiao family. I know he loves the sport of boxing, so hopefully he can bounce back."
In a recent interview with FightHype.com, Floyd mentioned he may ask his father to return because he was concerned about the health of Roger, whom Floyd said wasn't doing well with his diabetes.
"I want (Roger) to get healthy and eat better so he can have a sharp mind, because his mind is not as sharp as it once was," Floyd reportedly said.
The last time Floyd Sr. and son got together, it made for dramatic scenes for HBO's "24/7" show. The two had to be separated by a security team before the father was escorted out and the son went on a rant.
"Roger Mayweather made the Mayweather name, and I took it to the next level," Floyd said. "Because when all is said and done, there's only two (expletive deleted) Mayweathers that count: Roger Mayweather and Floyd Mayweather. And (expletive deleted), I'm not no junior."
Mayweather Sr. returned peacefully to his son's gym before a victory over Miguel Cotto last May, but he wasn't in the corner on fight night, and he reportedly did not even attend the event.
Mayweather thinks he and his father can co-exist and work together.
"My dad has to realize I'm an adult, you know," Mayweather told FightHype.com. "I just want my dad to respect and accept me as an adult. ... I have a lot left in the tank, and I want to go out there and give the fans nothing but excitement."
So the drama continues around Mayweather. And now it remains to be seen if the next production may be in the image of Rocky.