Moton, Meriwether, Easter: A day in the life of the Mayweather Boxing Club young guns

The winter months are approaching in Las Vegas and even though it is getting increasingly milder outside, the temperature at the Mayweather Boxing Club is always hot.

It's the gym that Floyd Mayweather used as a home base for the biggest bouts in his latter years. It has witnessed hard, doghouse sparring involving one of the sport's thunderous punchers Gervonta Davis, and is now bringing through a new generation of tip-top talent like Curmel Moton, Robert Meriwether III, Dorian Khan Jr., Jalil Hackett, and John Easter.

A burgenoning knockout artist in the light heavyweight division, Easter stands in front of five kids from the Clark County Child Haven — an institution that looks after the wellbeing of young kids, perhaps without a home, and whom may have survived childhood trauma.

"I was just like you," Easter tells them with a mature delivery that belies his 21 years. "Hell, I'm still like you! But you pick what you want to do, you work hard, and you can be anything you want to be in this world."

The kids, who cannot be named for legal reasons to protect their identities, dance to modern hip hop beats that Moton plays in the gym. They're full of smiles, and name Mayweather, Mike Tyson, and Muhammad Ali as their favorite boxers — fighters who transcended the sport, and became household names.

The way Easter talks to them, it's like they, too, can transcend whatever industry they want to work within when they're older.

Child Haven, an organization which accepts kids from newborn age to 17, has recently accepted an influx of children. Some of them will go back to their parents, whereas others seek foster homes.

During their time at Child Haven, administrators like Janelle Weather try to provide them with positive experiences like the playground, or the theater. Being a Mayweather fan herself, she wanted to take these kids to the Mayweather Boxing Club as soon as she found out they were fight fans.

"These children have been through so many things but they're still smiling," she said. 

Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe elaborated that "underprivileged kids, who may have been neglected or abused, and don't really have a home … this is what it's about, being able to give back to these kids. Just imagine what it's like to not have your parents as a young kid, lost out there in the world. We're working with them to show them a different light and take them under our wing where possible.

"I want our young fighters to be involved in the community, and help motivate these kids, to find another alternative to getting into trouble."
Ellerbe and Mayweather, between them, have some of the greatest eyes for young talent in all of boxing — similar to, perhaps, Sampson Lewkowicz, who first spotted and identified Manny Pacquiao as a possibly trenscendant athlete decades ago.
"Floyd has done a phenomenal job with getting this young talent," said Ellerbe, regarding their young boxers like Moton, Meriwether, Easter, and more. "Obviously, Floyd is the face. And part of my job is to lead the way."
Ellerbe told us that, together with developing killers in the ring, he wants to develop community leaders outside of it. "There's more to boxing — especially being good, young men out there in society," he said.
Moton may well be the captain of Mayweather and Ellerbe's young guns.
And, as he hovers over a speaker to connects his playlist via bluetooth, he smiles at me when I ask if he's always in charge of the music.
Moton bobs, weaves, and offers encouragement to his friends when they spar. He may only be 17 — a baby in boxing — but when he gets in the ring to spar himself, he lands a body shot that is so grueling, it makes the Child Haven kids wince. "Oh!"
Moton returns to the pro ring Saturday, in a swing bout against Hunter Turbyfill.
It is Moton's second fight for pay, after impressing in his debut September 30, when he blasted his opponent with multiple knockdowns.