Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s family history is as controversial as it is compelling.
There’s no question that the 40-year-old has had a rocky relationship when it comes to several members of his family, but he has always maintained that those closest to him are his inspiration.
“First and foremost, I fight for my family, my children,” said Mayweather, who has moved most of his family close to him. “I want to give them the best life possible, so I remember that with every fight, and each victory is for them.”
Here’s a closer look at everything you need to know about his father, his former world champion uncles, his kids and his controversial past:
1. His Father Went 28-6-1 as a Professional Boxer
The oldest of three brothers, Floyd Joy Mayweather Sr. fought his first professional boxing match as a 22-year-old in November of 1974. A defensively-focused technician, he would win 15 of his first 16 fights to set up a fight with eventual legend Sugar Ray Leonard, who was 14-0 at the time. Sugar Ray ultimately came away with the win, but Mayweather Sr., who broke his hand in the eighth round, was able to push the fight to its final 10th round before a TKO ended it.
About four months later, his career would be altered forever.
A small-time drug dealer at the time, Mayweather Sr. got into a dispute with Tony “Baboon” Sinclair, a business associate and the brother of Floyd Jr.’s mother, Deborah. Sinclair showed up at Mayweather Sr.’s house with a gun and aimed it at his head. Mayweather Sr. responded by shielding himself with Floyd Jr., who was a baby at the time.
In 2012, Mayweather Sr. explained his reasoning to The Los Angeles Times:
If you’re going to kill me, you’re going to kill the baby, too. [Floyd Jr.’s] mother said, ‘Give me the baby.’ She was pulling the baby out of my arms so her brother could shoot me.
But I wasn’t going to put that baby down. I didn’t want to die. It wasn’t about putting my son in the line of fire. I knew [Sinclair] wouldn’t shoot the baby. So he took the gun off my face, lowered it to my leg and bam!
Mayweather Sr. wouldn’t fight again for another year, and though he won his subsequent four fights, the gun-shot to his leg meant that he was never quite the same inside the ring. He ultimately finished his career 28-6-1 with 17 knockouts.
2. He Also Has 2 Uncles Who Were World Champions
Though Floyd Sr. enjoyed an excellent boxing career, he’s the least accomplished of his siblings in that regard.
The middle brother, Roger “Black Mamba” Mayweather, was the best of the bunch. He won the WBA World Super Featherweight title in 1983, the WBC World Super Lightweight title in 1987, the IBO World Super Lightweight title in 1994 and finally the IBO World Welterweight title also in 1994, ultimately finishing his career with a record of 59-13 (35 KOs). He had a bevy of famous battles in the 1980’s, but perhaps none quite as big as his two fights–both defeats–against Julio Cesar Chavez.
Interestingly enough, Roger has some potentially foreshadowing thoughts 10 years ago that could pertain to Mayweather vs. McGregor (NSFW language):
Jeff Mayweather, the youngest of the trio of brothers, beat John Roby in 1994 to capture the IBO World Super Featherweight title. He finished his career 32-10-5 (10 KOs).
3. All 3 Mayweather Brothers Have Had Trained Floyd Jr.
As Mayweather Jr. rose from gifted amateur to Olympian to the most dominant fighter of his generation, the struggle to be in his corner waged on between his brothers.
His father–who had Floyd Jr. wearing gloves and throwing jabs when he was still in his crib–trained his son up until 1993 when he was arrested and imprisoned for cocaine trafficking. That’s when Roger and Jeff stepped in to train the burgeoning star.
“They were just holding the path until I got back,” said Mayweather Sr. “I would hear reports that Floyd liked to stay out late, that he was not training properly. I told him, ‘You don’t want to do what I did. Anyone doing things with drugs either ends up dead, in jail or drugged out.”
Mayweather Sr. took over training upon his release from prison in 1998, but the corner carousal continued two years later when he and his son had a falling out. After a win over Goyo Vargas in 2000, Floyd Jr. split ways and returned to working with Roger.
That was the case for the next 13 years, as tension within the family remained high, but Mayweather Jr.–citing health issues with Roger as well as a desire to have a closer relationship with his father–once again reunited with Floyd Sr. prior to beating Robert Guerrero in 2013:
Roger’s vision is getting bad and I can’t afford anyone’s bad vision in a big fight like this.
Well, my dad, of course, he’s a boxing wizard and Roger’s a boxing wizard, so you can’t go wrong with either guy. My dad is the main trainer and, of course, it’s not like I fired anyone. It’s just that my dad’s a little sick, but he’s a lot healthier than Roger is.
I want to grow closer to my family, do things a lot different now. My dad is sick. If I never made a bond with my father and he’s sick and something harsh happened, because anything can happen — he’s older, he’s lost a lot of weight from being sick — it would hurt me not speaking to him. It would hurt me very, very bad for him not to have a relationship with his grandchildren. That’s very, very important to me.
Floyd Sr., who has also worked with the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Chad Dawson and Laila Ali, continues to train his son–and continues to consistently find himself in the spotlight leading up to fights.
4. He Has 4 Kids From 2 Different Women
Mayweather and ex-girlfriend Josie Harris have three children together: Sons Koraun (born January 29, 2000) and Zion (born March 28, 2001), and daughter Jirah (born June 25, 2004). He also has a daughter, Iyanna (born May 20, 2000), from a separate relationship with Melissia Brim.
With family being important to Mayweather, and with his net worth sitting at an estimated $340 million, it’s no surprise that he often spoils his kids, whether it’s buying Iyanna a $400,000 Rolls Royce or throwing a lavish 16th birthday party for Zion.
Mayweather may be a pariah to many in the sports world, but he and all of his children maintain a close relationship. A quick look at any of their social media accounts (Koraun, Zion, Jirah, or Iyanna), and you’ll find they often speak glowingly of their dad.
5. He Has Pleaded Guilty to 2 Counts of Domestic Abuse
Mayweather’s treatment of women throughout his career has made him one of the more polarizing figures in the sports world.
In 2002, he pleaded guilty to two counts of battery against Melissia Brim, the mother of his daughter Iyanna. In 2003, he was convicted of battery after reportedly punching two female friends of Josie Harris, the mother of his other three children, but those charges were “dismissed per negotiations” in July 2008.
In 2010, Mayweather pleaded guilty to hitting Harris and twisting her arm in front of two of their children. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail and was released a month early on good behavior.
According to Deadspin, there have been “at least seven separate physical assaults on five different women that resulted in arrest or citation.” Many, such as Rachel Nichols in the above video, have called Mayweather out about the domestic abuse, but he has consistently denied the allegations.