FORMER lightweight world champion Mickey Bey has praised Floyd Mayweather and his father for the effect they have had on his career.

Bey, who edged out Miguel Vazquez over 12 dull rounds in 2014 for the IBF title, vacated his belt without defending it, but will challenge new champion Rances Barthelemy on June 3.

Bey, an Ohio native who fights out of the Mayweather gym in Las Vegas, feels privileged to work with the former pound-for-pound king and his father.

“Floyd Sr. has been my trainer for about 12 years. We’ve been together since I was a teenager and before I turned pro. He is an old school trainer and he knows the science of boxing,” he said.

“Being around the other Mayweather Promotions fighters provides a lot of energy to training because everybody is striving to be the best they can be. Whenever that’s the case it’s always a positive thing because the trainers know that’s what you’re after. Floyd Sr. and Floyd are the reason I moved to Las Vegas. It’s been a blessing to be able to train with him for so long. We gelled from the beginning and I have definitely grown a lot as a fighter.”

Barthelemy picked up the vacant title by outpointing Denis Shafikov – who Bey was supposed to defend against before he vacated – and Mickey will be the Cuban’s first defence.

The former super-featherweight king is unbeaten in 24 outings, while Bey suffered an upset stoppage loss to John Molina back in 2013.

Injuries have hampered Bey’s progression recently, but he insists he is ready to storm the world stage once again.

“Winning back this belt is really important to me. I still feel like it’s mine,” he said.

“He’s just been keeping it warm for me. I had to deal with the injuries but now I don’t have to worry about babying my hand or anything like that.

“I bring it all. I can do everything that can be done in the ring. Every single department, period. I do think he’s a good fighter, I give him his props, he’s a two-time world champion, but I don’t think he can do one thing better than me.”