Mayweather’s kind gesture doesn’t go unnoticed

Former world super featherweight champion Genaro Hernandez was laid to rest Monday in Los Angeles after he died last week following a three-year battle with cancer.

The cost of his funeral was picked up by the last guy to beat him inside the ring — Floyd Mayweather Jr.

"Floyd had a lot of respect for Genaro Hernandez, and when he heard about what happened last week, he wanted to do something for the family," said Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather’s friend and co-manager. "He was definitely saddened to hear what happened and he immediately called me and said, ‘Whatever we can do to help.’ "

Ellerbe contacted Hernandez’s brother Rudy and offered to pick up the expenses for the funeral. Ellerbe would not say how much money was involved.

"That’s the kind of person Floyd is," Ellerbe said. "He has done a number of things like that over the years, not just helping other fighters, but helping other people, some of whom he has never even met. He hears their stories, and he’s touched by them."

Mayweather (41-0, 25 knockouts) returns to the ring after a 16-month hiatus when he faces Victor Ortiz on Sept. 17. Ellerbe said details are still being worked out for the venue, television and a national promotional tour but that an announcement should be coming soon.

"It’s going to be the fight of the year," he said. "We’re still trying to get everything finalized."

Mayweather and Hernandez fought on Oct. 3, 1998, at the Las Vegas Hilton for the WBC super featherweight title. Mayweather, who was 17-0 at the time, dominated most of the fight. Referee Jay Naday eventually stopped the contest in the eighth round, and Mayweather claimed his first world title.

Mayweather has not posted any messages on his Twitter account about helping Hernandez. Ellerbe said the fighter wasn’t seeking publicity for the gesture, nor did Mayweather attend Hernandez’s funeral Monday.

"He doesn’t go to funerals," Ellerbe said. "He likes to remember people the way he knew them."

Contact reporter Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter @stevecarprj.

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