Floyd Mayweather Sr. isn’t worried about his son’s recent decision to retire, and he has time on his side to help Oscar De La Hoya wrap up his Hall of Fame career in December.
Floyd Sr. is keeping busy, and one of his young proteges is Dyah Davis, the 27-year-old son of former Olympian Howard Davis Jr., who won the gold medal as a light heavyweight at the 1976 Games in Montreal.
Dyah Davis (12-1, seven knockouts) will be part of boxing’s return to the Las Vegas Hilton on Tuesday after a six-year hiatus. He will fight a six-round light heavyweight bout against Dante Craig (17-7-1, 13 KOs) on a card that will feature Kevin Kelley, a former WBC featherweight champion, and Kaspars Kambala, a former UNLV basketball star turned heavyweight boxer.
Mayweather Sr. is impressed with Davis but sees a lot of room for improvement.
“He’s got some talent,” Mayweather said. “But it’s a different game in the pros. I’m trying to get him a little slicker, a little quicker.”
Davis, who has been working with Mayweather for about a month, said he has noticed the difference in how he fights.
“He’s a master of his craft,” Davis said. “I’m constantly learning. It’s like getting a Ph.D. in boxing.”
Because of Davis’ age, Mayweather said he needs to be a fast learner if he’s going to maximize his potential as a professional fighter.
“He’s only got a few professional fights in him,” Mayweather said. “But he’s a quick learner, so I think we’ll be all right.”
Mayweather said he’s a few months from getting back in the gym with De La Hoya for his Dec. 6 finale at the MGM Grand Garden against an opponent to be determined.
He said De La Hoya looked fine offensively in beating Steve Forbes on May 5, but Mayweather wants De La Hoya to pay closer attention to his defense in his final fight.
“Oscar was so focused on his offense that his defense wasn’t as sharp as it should be,” Mayweather said. “But he’s learning to relax in the ring and not waste energy.”
As for his son, Mayweather predicts Floyd Jr. will return to the ring, even though he hopes he doesn’t.
“He made the right decision,” Floyd Sr. said. “But he’ll be back. When? I can’t tell you that. But what will bring him back is the money. He likes those big paydays.”
• PACQUIAO FLAG-BEARER — Manny Pacquiao will get a chance to attend the Beijing Olympics in a unique way.
Pacquiao, who won the WBC lightweight title with a ninth-round technical knockout of David Diaz on June 28 at Mandalay Bay, will carry the Philippines flag into Olympic Stadium on Aug. 8 for the opening ceremonies. He has been named “special envoy to the president.”
• DIAZ’S FUTURE — Diaz needed six stitches to close the cut on his right eye after the loss to Pacquiao.
On a blog for the Chicago Sun-Times, Diaz said he was fine except for the six stitches and some bruises. Tests performed at Valley Hospital showed no neurological damage.
“I’m going to take a little time off and relax with the family for the rest of the summer,” Diaz wrote. “With two fights this year, I’ve been training pretty much the whole year, and it will be nice to relax.”
• WAITING ON RESULTS — Top Rank chairman Bob Arum wants Pacquiao to fight Edwin Valero this fall in Las Vegas, but the bout will be contingent on the Nevada Athletic Commission giving Valero medical clearance to be licensed.
Nevada has refused to license Valero since he had brain surgery in 2001 after a motorcycle accident. Arum, who promotes Pacquiao, said the Texas Athletic Commission recently cleared Valero. But Nevada doesn’t have to honor the ruling.
“It’s not reciprocal,” Arum said. “We’re waiting for the doctor’s reports, and when we get them, we’ll forward them to the (Nevada) commission.”
Contact reporter Steve Carp at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2913.FLOYD JR. SAYS HBO RACIALLY BIASED
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Recently retired boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. accused HBO’s announcers of bias against him and other black fighters.
Mayweather, a 31-year-old former Olympic bronze medalist from Grand Rapids, told The Grand Rapids Press in an interview Friday that the network “is great” but criticized its boxing announcers.
“They talk about Kelly Pavlik, a white fighter, like he’s the second coming. Or they go crazy over Manny Pacquiao. But I’m a black fighter,” he said. “Is it racial? Absolutely. They praise white fighters, they praise Hispanic fighters, whatever. But black fighters, they never praise.”
HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg said in a statement that the network, which has carried many of Mayweather’s fights, was disappointed to hear of the boxer’s remarks and denied his claims.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS