Word of Mayweather feud leads Forbes to fire Roger, hire Jeff Mayweather

Welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr., who earlier Thursday threatened to fire his uncle, Roger Mayweather, as his trainer if he didn't stop working with Steve Forbes, won't have to go all Donald Trump on him.

The reason: Forbes fired him first after hearing about Mayweather Jr.'s comments, he told ESPN.com on Thursday night.

And get this: Forbes replaced him with Jeff Mayweather, the third of the three Mayweather boxing trainers along with Roger and their brother, Floyd Mayweather Sr., Junior's estranged father.

On a conference call with reporters Thursday afternoon, Mayweather Jr., who was promoting his March 30 WrestleMania 24 pay-per-view match against 7-foot, 441-pound wrestler The Big Show, said he would fire his uncle if he didn't drop Forbes. Forbes is scheduled to fight Oscar De La Hoya -- who is trained by Floyd Mayweather Sr. -- in a 150-pound fight on May 3.

The reason Roger's working with Forbes was an issue for Mayweather Jr. was because he is scheduled to fight a rematch with De La Hoya on Sept. 20. If his uncle successfully guided Forbes to the victory, there would be no rematch of boxing's richest fight ever, which would cost Mayweather Jr. a $20 million-plus payday.

"Lately, I've been upset with my uncle, Roger Mayweather," Mayweather said on the teleconference. "My uncle Roger has been training Steve Forbes and if Steve Forbes beats Oscar, it's taking money out of my pocket. [If he continues], I'll have to move on and get another trainer."

Forbes opened training with Roger Mayweather to get ready for the fight with De La Hoya on March 2. He took Thursday's turn of events in stride.

"I heard about Floyd's comments from my promoter, Jeff Wald," said Forbes, a former junior lightweight titleholder and the runner-up on the second season of "The Contender" reality series.

"I was on my way to the gym when he told me. Normally, I am online all the time, so I would have seen Floyd's comments, but I wasn't today. So, when Jeff Wald told me about it, I thought it was funny. Trainers should be able to train anyone they want, but it didn't really surprise me. I just wondered why it didn't happen three or four weeks ago when my fight with Oscar was announced."

"I think its one of the tackiest things I have ever seen and I am a huge Floyd Mayweather fan," said "Contender" promoter Wald. "Floyd seemed like a gentleman at our press conference, but to do this to another fighter in the fight of his life is disappointing."

Forbes said he tried to reach Roger Mayweather to tell him about the decision, but couldn't reach him, nor did Roger show up at the gym on Thursday for their training session.

"Roger was supposed to meet me at the gym today, but when I found about [the comments], we talked [on the phone] and Roger said, ''Let me talk to Floyd about it and I'll meet you at the gym.' All this is going on while I'm in the car. I went to the gym and Roger didn't show up. We couldn't get a hold of him either. He said he would talk to Floyd and then he never showed up."

Forbes said that's when he decided to call Jeff Mayweather, who trained Sultan Ibragimov to a heavyweight title last year. Forbes said Jeff Mayweather would be with him in the gym on Friday.

Forbes has trained at one time or another with all three Mayweather brothers. He's also been friendly with Mayweather Jr., with whom he has sparred hundreds of rounds.

Forbes, 31, trained with Jeff Mayweather for two fights before he went into "The Contender" competition and worked out with him during the series, although he wasn't in his corner during the actual bouts.

Forbes (33-5, 9 KOs) said Roger Mayweather was his chief trainer for 10 fights and that Mayweather Sr. had trained him for nine fights.

"I feel comfortable with the Mayweathers. They taught me the game," Forbes said. "That's why I called Jeff and asked him to work with me. He said, 'No problem. I'll see you
tomorrow.' "

Roger Mayweather could not be reached for comment.

Forbes said he was not angry with Roger Mayweather, just disappointed.

"It's more [of a problem] with Floyd because he is Roger's boss," Forbes said. "He pays him a nice salary. I just wish Roger would have called me or come by the gym instead of just not showing up. But I'm not upset with Roger. If I had been a pro only two or three years, maybe this would bother me. But I've been a pro for 12 years. This is just another little story to my story. It doesn't affect me one bit, but it's just bizarre."

Dan Rafael is ESPN.com's boxing writer.