Born on this day: Roger Mayweather
He was a phenomenal boxer who became a two-division titlist, and later a trainer. And for the most part of the 20th century he was definitely the best Mayweather in all of boxing.
Roger Mayweather was born on April 24, 1961 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He had a 64-4 record as an amateur, training alongside his brothers Jeff and Floyd. He became a professional in 1981 and compiled a 14-0 record before getting his first title shot. Fighting against Ring champion Samuel Serrano in his homeland of Puerto Rico, Mayweather demolished his foe to pick up the Ring junior lightweight belt.
Two defenses later, Roger was matched against fellow all-time-great Rocky Lockridge and lost his title in a shocking first-round stoppage, but he still remained a formidable fighter at the very top of his division. So much so, that when he faced Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez 1985, Mayweather was the slight favorite to take Chavez’s crown. Chavez stopped him in two rounds in what was viewed as one of his first steps into all-time greatness.
It would take two more years for Roger to get another shot, but he was more than ready when he faced Rene Arredondo in 1987 and grabbed the WBC junior welterweight title in a great reset of his already successful career. Four defenses later (including a very explosive rivalry with Vinny Pazienza), Roger met his nemesis again, this time losing his shiny new belt to Chavez in a 10th round stoppage.
Roger continued fighting for the next 10 years, eventually moving up to welterweight to try and fail to lift the IBF belt in that division in two occasions.
Roger retired in 1999 with a record of 59-13 (35 knockouts), but as his career inside the roped square was ending, a new career blossomed next to the ring post. He became the trainer for his nephew Floyd Mayweather Jr., and developed a symbiotic relationship with the future pound-for-pound king that lasted until Roger’s final days. His punching pad routine with both fighter and trainer looking at the camera and running the drill from memory, and Roger’s catchphrase “most mother—-ers don’t know sh– about boxing” became trademarks, and renewed his claim to fame.
Roger died on March 17, 2020, in Las Vegas, Nevada at the age of 58, after years of health issues that included diabetes and other ailments.
Diego M. Morilla writes for The Ring since 2013. He has also written for HBO.com, ESPN.com and many other magazines, websites, newspapers and outlets since 1993. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and an elector for the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He has won two first-place awards in the BWAA’s annual writing contest, and he is the moderator of The Ring’s Women’s Ratings Panel. He served as copy editor for the second era of The Ring en Español (2018-2020) and is currently a writer and editor for RingTV.com.