Well, here we are approaching the first Saturday of May and for the fourth time in seven years boxing's pound-for-pound best fighter, welterweight Floyd Mayweather 43-0 (26), will be center stage again. His opponent, Robert Guerrero 31-1-1 (18), who has only fought two times as a welterweight, will hopefully provide Mayweather enough of a challenge that maybe the outcome will still be in question after the first round is over. In some boxing circles Mayweather is almost an 8-1 favorite--the biggest he's ever been--yet the fight will most likely do a decent PPV number because Floyd is one of the best ever at hyping and selling a one-sided fight in which he is a participant.
This time his father Floyd Sr. and Guerrero's father Ruben have injected a new angle and said they'd like to meet on the street and settle their differences, something Floyd Jr. has encouraged his father to ignore. Obviously, that was most likely just hype and ballyhoo to help build the fight. However, Mayweather Sr. was seen hitting a heavy bag recently and there's no doubt based on that observation that he can still punch. In fact he was a much better puncher during his prime than his son ever was, he just wasn't quite as complete a fighter that his son turned out to be.
In the run up to this fight, especially in the last 7-10 days, many have tried to make a case for Guerrero and imply that Floyd is vulnerable to being upset, or at the least he's in for a competitive fight. To that I say, No way. What you have in Mayweather-Guerrero is a great fighter, Mayweather, who even at 36 hasn't really shown any signs of serious erosion. In the other corner, the 30 year old Guerrero is a workman-like borderline outstanding fighter. The problem is great fighters when they're still near the top of their game seldom lose to outstanding fighters who really made their mark fighting 20 pounds lighter than the weight they are currently campaigning at, which applies to Guerrero who spent the first eight or so years of his career as a featherweight.
If Mayweather is going to slip up due to his age, I doubt it'll be against Robert Guerrero, who is a very tough and aggressive fighter and will no doubt bring his A-game on May 4, 2013. See, Guerrero is in a Catch-22 predicament. He has no chance to beat Mayweather by trying to out-box him or force him to lead. Granted, Floyd usually doesn't lead but because of his straight punching and quickness, he could best Guerrero fighting as the attacker.
On the other hand Guerrero doesn't possess a big enough punch or the physicality to deliver it even if he did have one-punch fight-altering power. If he's too aggressive he'll no doubt get hit a lot on the way in, which will impede his aggression and make him that easier for Floyd to time and pot shot. When was the last time Mayweather faced an opponent where it could be said that he is bigger, stronger and faster? In addition to that he's the bigger puncher, harder to hit, more accurate, better defensively, has the higher boxing IQ, is more comfortable at the weight and has much more experience in big fights. And lastly, Floyd has the perfect height, reach and length to pick Robert apart regardless if they're waging war inside or outside.
For arguments sake, say you are guiding Guerrero and in charge of his fight strategy, what exactly would you hang your hat on and try to exploit on Mayweather? The reality is Robert has not tool one to beat Floyd with other than his grit and the hope that Floyd has aged 10 years since his last fight against Miguel Cotto. It's been three years since Guerrero has won a fight by stoppage and that was as a lightweight. Couple that with the fact that he's probably not going to land many clean shots on Floyd and if that weren't enough, how about Floyd also has shown that he has a dependable chin. It's highly doubtful that Guerrero can win via stoppage. With winning by a knockout virtually out of the question, is it really plausible to think he can out work or out box Mayweather by trying to beat him at the wait and react game? No, it is not. With that said, where is the intrigue regarding the outcome of this fight?
Since there's really no foreseeable drama as to the outcome of Mayweather-Guerrero, I'm looking forward to seeing if Roberto Guerrero, who truly deserves this opportunity, can at least push Mayweather and give him a good scare. That in itself would almost be worth what it'll cost to see the fight if you're not seeing it in person. Because when all is said and done, Robert just isn't big or skilled enough to score the upset and hand Mayweather his first official loss. However, a good showing will set Guerrero up for another big fight and payday, and he has earned that as much as any fighter currently competing in a combat sport.
As for Mayweather, he'll be humble after the fight and praise Guerrero, then go on about how he's the greatest pound-for-pound fighter in boxing history. This despite the fact that he'll be best remembered for never giving the boxing public and fans the only fight they ever wanted from him when the outcome was in doubt.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV