Currently located on 4020 Schiff Drive in America’s fight capital of Las Vegas, the Mayweather Boxing Gym could soon be branching out in order to widen its appeal. Originally hailing from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Floyd Mayweather Jr, the one-time “Pretty Boy” of boxing, relocated to the heart of the Nevada desert to begin his legacy and establish an iconic brand around his coveted surname.
The gym understandably attracts interested visitors as well as hardcore boxing enthusiasts, but anyone looking to use the facilities to shed the pounds and sharpen up their skills may be left disappointed. Visitors comment on the quality staff and training facilities, although many tourists stop by with the sole intention of hoping to catch a glimpse of the main man. “Truly a great place to learn from the best. Floyd is undefeated for a reason,” said one reviewer.
Ever the showman, Floyd introduced a “McGregor KO” workout that consisted of the exact punching combination that felled the enigmatic Irishman when he duelled with Floyd last August (it’s a jab-right hand-jab-double right hand-left hook-left hook-right hand in case you’re wondering). Other workouts consist of the basic drills found at most gyms, including partner drills and mastery of basic punches like the jab, cross, left hook – the bread and butter of any pugilist.
The “McGregor KO” workout was spotted in Floyd’s Los Angeles franchise, which can be found on Wilshire Boulevard. Kitted out with cutting edge technology and the latest in high-end fitness equipment -as you’d expect from anything associated with the avaricious ‘Money’ empire- this is reported to be the first of many Mayweather Boxing and Fitness establishments to be opened away from their Vegas hub. Mayweather Jr has plans on opening more franchise outlets not just across America but around the world.
Speaking at the launch of his L.A. project Floyd made known his intentions to open a further 500 gyms over the next five years. These ambitious plans will include over 200 spread across the world, with major cities earmarked for the Mayweather experience. Quick with his fists, but also quick with his investments, Mayweather will get monthly percentage returns from franchisees who also pay an upfront cost. Tailored classes will include boxing training, as well as agility and speed training, plus virtual reality coaching from the man himself. Now gym members and avid followers alike can feel what it is like going in opposite the master; just as the likes of Miguel Cotto, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Manny Pacquiao and many others have done before.
Given its high-profile status, the original Mayweather gym has attracted an abundance of professional boxers to its location with many no doubt lured by the glitz and glamour. There was heavy criticism for the gym’s practices in the build up to the Mayweather-McGregor contest when a sparring session video showed Floyd and a crowd of groupies jeering inexperienced sparring partners after they were visibly rocked and hurt. This type of atmosphere has not deterred the likes of UK welterweight Ashley Theophane who based himself out of the gym throughout a Stateside stint that resulted in varied levels of success. Ishe Smith has also competed out of the Vegas club, but other Mayweather-promoted pugilists like J’Leon Love, Ronald Gavril and Andrew Tabiti have drifted in and out of the gym. Standout talent Badou Jack trains with Lou Del Valle, having previously been under the tutelage of Eddie Mustafa Muhammad.
The coaching team are no slouches either. Gym manager Cornelius Boza-Edwards mixed with some of the best fighters of his era back in the ‘70s and ‘80s after moving to Las Vegas from his native Uganda. Edwards held the WBC super-featherweight strap and boasted wins over Rafael Limon and Bobby Chacon. He now heads up Floyd’s flagship property. Floyd Mayweather Sr and his brother Roger also coach the top-level talent. Michigan journeyman pro Otis Pimpleton followed his hero Roger across to the gym to lend his hand at coaching, alongside veteran cutman Rafael Garcia. Now in his 80s, Garcia is the man that Mayweather Jr has trusted to wrap his delicate hands for the majority of his career. Another of the Mayweather clan, former pro Jeff Mayweather, still works around the gym and provides original YouTube content for the brand.
That said, you won’t see members of the public pounding the bags or clattering skipping ropes off the tiles anytime soon as the gym is generally not open to the boxing layperson. That is unless you are able to stump up the cash required for one of the “Mayweather Experiences” that are now on offer. Starting at $1,500 for a single user (over a 90-minute period), or $4,000 for a group (of 2-3 hours), the hefty price tag excludes those looking to stay in shape or seeking the spit and sawdust comfort of a regular old boxing gym. If spending 30 minutes on the pads with Floyd Sr is your thing then perhaps the experience packages will appeal.