LAS VEGAS — If RING No. 2-rated pound-for-pound and WBC welterweight beltholder Foyd Mayweather Jr. can’t get southpaw No. 1-rated pound-for-pound and WBO counter part Manny Pacquiao into the ring on May 5, then RING No. 2-rated southpaw lightweight Robert Guerrero said that he is willing to take his place.
“I just believe that there’s a potential Mayweather fight out there for me. You know, Mayweather wants to come back on May 5,” said the 28-year-old Guerrero (29-1-1, 18 KOs), who has been rehabbing his left shoulder since the injury forced him to cancel an Aug. 27 clash with RING No. 3-ranked junior welterweight Marcos Maidana (31-2, 27 KOs).
“May 5, you know, that’s when I’m coming right back into the ring. So, you know, like I said, I’m a five-time world champion over three different weight divisions. I’ve fought overseas and I’ve won five titles. What more can I do in boxing to put myself into position for a fight of this magnitude?”
Guerrero is in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand, where 32-year-old, eight-division titleholder Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KOs) will defend his belt against 38-year-old RING No. 5-rated pound-for-pound Juan Manuel Marquez (53-5-1, 39 KOs) in an HBO Pay Per View televised clash from the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Pacquiao battled through a draw and a split-decision victory over Marquez in 2004 and 2008 respectively.
Pacquiao and Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs), meanwhile, have twice failed to make a fight between them in negotiations. Pacquiao is handled by Top Rank Inc., and Mayweather, who turns 35 in February, is aligned with Golden Boy Promotions.
Mayweather scored a fourth-round knockout in his last fight in September to dethrone No. 3-rated Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KOs) as WBC titleholder.
Mayweather has announced that he wants to return to the MGM Grand on May 5 against an opponent to be determined, appearing to have the intentions to land a bout opposite Pacquiao.
“I’m just excited because that’s a potential fight for me. I really put it out there that there shouldn’t be no reason that it shouldn’t be made,” said Guerrero.
“Also, that’s Cinco de Mayo, which is the day that Mexican’s celebrate their independence and their heritage day, so what better day than for Floyd Mayweather to be fightint a Meixcan American.”
Guerrero had been preparing to face Maidana for what the WBA calls its “regular” junior welterweight title and an opportunity at a sixth belt in a fourth different weight division when he was forced to pull out after injuring his left shoulder during sparring two weeks prior.
A two-time IBF featherweight and one-time IBF junior lightweight beltholder, Guerrero had earned his 13th-straight victory, capping a run that included nine stoppages, when he defeated Michael Katsidis by unanimous decision for the WBO and WBA’s interim lightweight belts in April.
In September, Guerrero had arthroscopic surgery which repaired a torn tendon in the rotator cuff of his shoulder.
“I’m throwing it out there. There shouldn’t be any reason that that fight can’t be made. My last fight, I walked into the ring at 152 pounds,” said Guerrero. “Mayweather walks into the ring at 148 or 149 or 150, so that’s not much of a difference. I can make 147 no problem.”
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com