Inside Floyd Mayweather’s secret workouts as training partners open up on grueling rounds and mind games
FLOYD MAYWEATHER has lived much of his iconic boxing career in front of the camera – providing unique insight into his private and professional life.
A star in HBO’s famous â24/7â pre-fight docuseries and even an executive producer on Showtime’s âAll Accessâ – Mayweather was happy to let fans go backstage with a flying blanket on the wall.
But his only rule was simple: don’t film training sessions, with the sole exception of an open practice in 2015 before beating Andre Berto.
Cameras for TV crews and team members inside his Las Vegas gym had to be turned off.
He left little of Mayweather’s fight footage, only adding to the intrigue and fueling whispers of what happened behind closed doors.
The stories will long remain in the memory of those trusted to help the boxing legend sharpen his precious assets.
And by talking to SunSport, they opened up some grueling sessions, sometimes without a break and even how Mayweather used mind games to gain the upper hand.
The 50-0 icon was a master at the microphone, mentally beating some of his opponents long before the first bell rang.
But the verbal warfare continued even far from the bright lights.
Daquan Mays, used in 2017 before fighting Conor McGregor and a year later before an exhibition with Tenshin Nasukawa, remembers it all too well.
Mays, 28, said: âDuring the session Floyd was talking so much bullshit. I’m the type of person who is very arrogant myself, so I would answer shit.
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“He said some things but it was always something funny.
“Like, we’d trade punches and I’d probably get away with two and he’d come out like three or four, he’d get the last hit, slip my punch and he’d say something like ‘I’ m Floyd Mayweather , motherfucker, you know that ‘. ”
Ashley Theophane was signed by Mayweather in 2013 and even got a brand new Chrysler 300 for impressing so much in sparring.
The Briton, who recently published his book “Raised By The Hood” which includes training camp diaries with Mayweather, witnessed the trash conversation firsthand.
Theophane, 40, revealed: “Floyd likes to get inside your head. Talking to you during sparring. Mocking or criticizing you during the session.
“It turns off a lot of young fighters. He’s definitely a master of mind games.”
If Mayweather couldn’t get you mentally, then he would try physically, often turning off the clock, not allowing any breaks.
Mays said: âWe box, go back and forth, we’ve done three or four rounds in a row, but Floyd is the type of guy who tries to break you down.
“He looks me in the eye all the time, and I’m like this shit is fun as hell.
“We’re like in the third round and he’s like, ‘I’m not tired, I’m going to continue, I don’t care.
“I was like, well, I don’t care either. So he said, ‘Take off the clock, take off the clock, we go till you get tired, till you have finished boxing ‘.
“Myself, I didn’t care, I wanted to see where I was. We did 16 minutes, he gave me props afterwards and that’s it.”
Denis Douglin is another regular left-handed training partner of Mayweather and recently shared rounds with the American in the summer of 2020.
And he was stunned as the session went on for over half an hour without a huff, with only an impatient Devin Haney stopping the spar.
Douglin, 33, said: âThe last time we practiced Floyd said to me, ‘We’re going to turn the bell off and practice until someone quits. I’ll have you arrested. “
“I said to him, ‘Floyd, if you turn that bell off, we’re going to practice for the rest of the day, because I’m not stopping.’
âWe fought for about 20-30 minutes straight, but we had to stop because Devin Haney was following us.
“If it hadn’t been for that, we weren’t going to stop – we would probably still be fighting now.”
During the later stages of Mayweather’s career, he was forced to change his style from a combined electric puncher to a master tactician.
But his performance in the gym depended on his mood and company.
Theophane said: “Floyd would have easy days and tough days in the gym like any athlete. Looking at him you could only learn.
“Floyd tended to be aggressive in sparring. He entered Canelo’s fight with injured hands and still held a masterclass.”
Mays added: âIt was more like a chess match, there weren’t a lot of punches, it would be like tit for tat.
âMore so, he’s a counter-puncher, he sets you up for punches or changes the pace of the fight every now and then. He’s really tricky.â
Even retired, the 44-year-old is still present at the Mayweather Boxing Club and is now preparing for his final return to the ring.
Four years after retiring as a pro, he is set to don the gloves again for an exhibition bout with YouTuber Logan Paul, 26, on Sunday.
And while it might be excused to just show up for what appears to be his simplest challenge on paper yet, the famous diet has always been followed.
Badou Jack, 37, promoted by Mayweather, said: âHe’s a competitor, he wants to look good, so of course he’s going to train hard although it will probably be an easy fight.
“His mentality is still the same, he will work hard and put on a show for the fans.”