"Dude ain’t small. Muthafucka be . . . BIG!"
Just one of many of the bon mots that have placed Roger Mayweather firmly at the top of boxings P4P Clown Prince rankings. No doubt about it, Roger can have you both shaking your head in amazement, and laughing your ass off. But . . .
. . . I remember a different Roger Mayweather.
TWO-time, TWO division (WBA-Super featherweight, and WBC-light welterweight) world champion!
Back then, people, especially his opponents, (with the possible exception of Rocky Lockridge, more on that later) didn’t laugh at Roger. They took him seriously. Very seriously.
With good reason. Take Roger lightly in those days, and you were likely to end up on your back, counting flashing stars, while the ref counted ten over your twitching body. Yeah, Uncle Rog could straight-out BANG!
Bang, box, and even brawl if he had to. Roger Mayweather was an excellent prizefighter. Course, he wasn’t "Uncle Roger" back then. Those days he answered to . . .
. . . The Black Mamba. Or . . .
. . . The Mexican Assassin.
Hyperbole? Not really. So, how did Roger become The Mexican Assassin?
I remember L.A.’s Olympic Auditorium back in the mid-80’s. The owner / promoter was Eileen Eaton. Ms. Eaton’s psychological core was on a par with Ann Wolfe’s. She was a hard driving, tough as nails, shrewd business woman who knew and loved boxing. Some of her acumen was demonstrated by her choice of Don "War A Week" Chargin as her matchmaker. Chargin came by his moniker honestly. He didn’t put together set-ups. He made fights. Wars!
The Olympic wasn’t any Staple’s Center. It was one bad-ass venue. Common practice for fans to display their dissatisfaction with a decision was by throwing whiskey bottles into the ring. If a decision was really bad, seats were torn from their moorings and hurled at the ring. Hell, it took a big set of balls just to be a spectator. To be an opponent, brought in from out of town to do battle with one of the Olympic’s popular Mexican headliners, took not only huevos, it helped if a large degree of insanity was part of your make-up.
Enter Roger Mayweather. The BLACK Mamba! A nasty dude, with a ton of attitude, who projected his distain, for any and all, with a haughty intensity. You can imagine the sectarian crowd’s reaction to this arrogant interloper.
Roger had a reaction of his own. He KO’d every popular Mexican opponent Chargin put in front of him. None of his victims were "tomato cans" either. They all had upward of 30 fights, with only 2 or 3 losses. They were all very good. Roger was better.
Roger continued his winning ways in L.A. moving to the L.A. Sports Arena. There he continued on as a nemesis for Latino fighters, winning the WBC light welter title there (by TKO), and defending it there twice (both by TKO), all against top Mexican fighters.
Yeah, Roger truly was the bane of Mexican warriors, until . . .
. . . Roger’s L.A. odyssey, as the Mexican Assassin, was ended by none other than the great Julio Cesar Chavez, who stopped Roger in 10 at the L.A. Forum. At the time Chavez, with a record of 62-0, was considered invincible.
All good things come to an end, but those bygone days illustrate that Roger was, indeed, an excellent fighter. Not great, (his chin wasn’t a strong point) but one of the best of his era. Father Time kicks the shit out of all of us, sooner or later, one way or another.
No, "Uncle Roger" certainly isn’t articulate, but when he says, ("I fuckin knows boxing!") he’s telling the truth. There’s a reason Floyd Jr. has kept Roger on as his trainer, and it isn’t charity.
Addendum: Oh, yeah, I said we’d get back to the Rocky Lockridge bout.
Before Mayweather was The Mexican Assassin, he and Lockridge fought for Roger’s WBA Super-featherweight title. Champ Mayweather was undefeated (17-0: 11ko’s). That night Mayweather’s ring-walk was pretty outrageous (for those days-1984), he entered the ring with jet-black wrap-around shades. He strutted around the ring, tried to approach Lockridge twice, and was confronted by Lockridge’s manager Lou Duva (a serious contender for Roger’s P4P Clown Prince title), I’d have loved to have been privy to their conversation. During the ref’s instructions Roger, bad to the bone, oozed malevolence.
The bell rang, and less than two minutes later Lockridge threw an overhand right. Roger was counted out. Rocky Lockridge was the new champ, and (to the best of my knowledge) Roger never wore shades into the ring again.
Still, Roger did have the fortitude to resume his career, going on to become WBC light-welter champ, beating a lot of top guys in the process. Seriously, there are layers / nuances to Roger that may not be readily apparent, but they exist non the less. More power to him.