Two decades of boxing, one billion dollars in return. Floyd Mayweather is boxing’s first and only billionaire. He’ll get caught. Whether it’s Canelo, AJ or the emerging Teofimo Lopez, Mayweather’s superhero ability to avoid getting hit with a swift uppercut or a pounding body shot inside the ring can’t help him now. But he’s made his money and he knows how to enjoy it/shove it in our faces. And why not? It took hard, hard graft and total dedication to come away with an extraordinary 50-0 record. Undefeated. Unblemished. Unbelievable.
So how did he do it, how did he keep himself in such great shape over those two decades? Here’s a look inside Mayweather’s fitness and diet regime…
Nothing beats the humble skipping rope
Ever the showman, Mayweather was happy to train in front of a crowd at the world famous Mayweather Boxing Club in the heart of Las Vegas. On any given day there could be 100 people crammed in there, just to see him work up a sweat. The walls of the place are adorned with famous visitors, ranging from billionaire Warren Buffet to Mr Beverley Hills Cop himself, Eddie Murphy. Which gives you a sense of the broad appeal that is Floyd ‘The Money’ Mayweather.
But don’t be mistaken, he wasn’t there to put on a show, he was there to work. Or as he’s put it in the past, “A thousand people want you to say hi or take pictures, but I don’t come to the gym to take pictures. I come to the gym to bust my ass and work hard to be the best that I can be.”
In the build-up to major fights he trained six days a week, with two active rest days and only one complete rest day, which he’d spend analysing every last detail of his next opponent. He’d alternate between pad work, sparring, high-intensity cardio, core and neck work and a bit of light swimming. But the one constant, that he did every day, was skipping. Three rounds of skipping, criss-crossing, double jumps, the lot! Then he’d up his game by adding 5lb weights to his ankles, and go again. ‘The Undefeated’ never went anywhere without his humble skipping rope.
Log chopping, Rocky style
In the run-up to his ‘Fight of the Century’ (which ended up not even being the fight of the week!) Mayweather went all Rocky IV and pulled out his axe. That’s right, he took it back to basics Balboa style, as he chopped logs while training for the eagerly anticipated clash with Manny Pacquiao. “I’m going back. Throwback training,” he insisted at the time, “I have to go back to where it all started from. I have to go back to day one. Chopping wood, it’s the best for you.”
He was adamant this was no gimmick, and told anyone who’d listen that he’d actually been chopping wood since 1987. Almost as long as Rocky himself! Or he could’ve taken his cue from Oscar De La Hoya and Juan Manuel Marquez, who also chopped wood ahead of their fights with Pacquiao. Either way, he beat Pac Man by a unanimous decision after 12, fairly dull, rounds. Rocky vs Ivan Drago was much, much more entertaining.
Soul food with a side of sweetness from the professional chef
Unlike most boxers who are constantly worrying about making weight and starving themselves for weigh-in, Mayweather — who usually kept within three to four pounds of his fighting weight at all times — has the luxury of eating whatever he wants, whenever he wants. And we mean whenever he wants, because Mayweather has a personal chef who is on hand to cook for him 24 hours a day. Spag bol at 4am? Coming right up Mr Mayweather. Steak for breakfast? Consider it done.
But while pre-fight promotions will feature Mayweather scoffing down Big Macs and Burger King, he is actually very health-conscious most of the time. And that’s thanks to Quiana Jeffries, aka Chef Q, whose meals set Mayweather back $1,000 a plate. Speaking to New York magazine, she revealed that his typical diet was all organic and included seafood gumbo, broccoli, fruit juices and some old hard-to-die habits. “He likes things with a lot of flavour. He loves broccoli. But he also has a sweet tooth, Twizzlers are his favorite. And Top Ramen,” Jeffries said. “It’s what he had growing up. He likes them crunchy, with a lot of noodles, and not a lot of juice.”
During Mayweather’s training camp against Conor McGregor, “a typical breakfast includes eggs, home fries, grits, various breakfast meats including bacon, turkey sausage, turkey ham and turkey Kabasa, and pancakes,” claimed TMZ. “Other favourites throughout the day included BBQ chicken, baked chicken with rice and gravy, and all sorts of soul food.”
And right before a fight, Mayweather ate a lot of spaghetti bolognese. No surprise here — ahead of a big event, he was keen on loading up on carbs and protein to fuel his training. He may be retired now but he’s still ripped and he still keeps active and eats a healthy, and varied diet. In fact he looks like he could still go 12 rounds with the best in the business. Something we can never rule out.
Cometh the hour, cometh the iceman...
For recovery, one of Mayweather’s preferred methods is using the Cryosauna, an updated machine version of the ice bath, which releases a fog of nitrogen mist around the body. It’s the business for reducing inflammation in the body and reducing pain.
David Levi, CEO of the SubZero Las Vegas clinic (where Mayweather is a frequent attendee) explained the process, “It is two to three intense minutes of exposure to freezing nitrogen gas. The brief exposure to extreme cold pushes a human body into a fight-or-flight response which boosts endorphins and causes blood to rush to the core and then out through the body once a client starts to warm up.”
And it was a video of Mayweather in an ice bath he posted to his 24 million Instagram followers in 2018 that kicked off serious speculation he was set for a return to the ring. It got more than half a million likes and over 5,000 comments, most speculating that if he needed to put his body in an ice bath for recovery, then he was training damn hard, and that could only mean one thing - ‘The Undefeated’ was making a comeback.
Of course we know that’s not happened, yet. But it’s believed he could still make close to $100m for a Pacquiao rematch, even at this stage of the game and with how the market has changed since they last fought. And if there’s one thing Mayweather loves more than anything else, it’s money. Watch this space.