Lem Satterfield

Guerrero says he’s been studying Mayweather, wants to fight him

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RING No. 2-rated lightweight Robert Guerrero has begun an all-out campaign calling out Floyd Mayweather Jr. should the unbeaten fighter fail to gain a megabout opposite Manny Pacquiao on May 5.

Guerrero has questioned what he believes is Mayweather’s fragile psyche, and also claims that he “walked into the ring at 152 pounds,” for his last fight, adding, “Mayweather walks into the ring at 148 or 149 or 150.”

“Me and Floyd Mayweather make sense. I’ve been studying him and breaking him down. I’ve got the keys to beating him. I’ve got him figured out. I know Floyd like the back of my hand. I’ve been studying him, just watching his past two fights,” said Guerrero of Mayweather, who dethroned Victor Ortiz as WBC beltholder by fourth-round knockout in September.

“Floyd’s going to be 35 years old on Feb. 24. His skills are starting to diminish. I’m 28 years old and a southpaw and I bring a lot to the table. Psychologically too. Being intelligent, I’ve been doing countless hours of studying Floyd Mayweather, and, you know, honestly, from a psychological standpoint, he’s insecure. He’s more insecure than a lot of people think that he is.”

Guerrero (29-1-1, 18 knockouts) is nearing the end of the 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).

Guerrero said that he plans to return full-time to training in January, and that he could be ready for a matchup opposite Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs) four months later. 

Guerrero was ringside in Las Vegas on Nov. 12 for a controversial majority decision victory by Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KOs) over 38-year-old RING No. 5-rated pound-for-pound Juan Manuel Marquez  (53-6-1, 39 KOs) in defense of Pacquiao’s WBO belt.

Having battled through a draw and a split-decision victory over Marquez in 2004 and 2008 respectively, Pacquiao and Mayweather 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, which also handles Guerrero.

Mayweather pitched a near-shutout victory over Marquez by unanimous decision in September of 2009, but Guerrero believes he can be more successful against Mayweather than was Marquez.

“I just recognize stuff thta the other 42 fighters that have fought him did not. From a physical aspect, you’ve seen me next to Marquez. I’m twice as big as a Marquez is. Also, you’ve got to look at the fact that you had fighters weighing in the day of the fight back in the day,” said Guerrero. 

“So they fought closer to their natural weight classes. With now, you’ve got fighters weighing in the day before, so, walking into the ring, Marquez walks in roughly about 138. Floyd’s walking in at 148 or 149, sometimes 150. When I come in, I’m at 150, 152 on fight night. I’m going to come in full strength and not having to diet.”

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.

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.

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“Robert called me on Thanksgiving, and we had a very nice conversation on Thanksgiving, and he feels that his shoulder is better than ever. As we all know by now, he fought with that injury for many, many years,” said Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer.

“Robert feels that his punch is harder than it ever was, and I told him that’s great news and bad news for your opponents, because he already was a spectacular fighter before. You saw the poll that he and his excellent P.R. team put out that they want Mayweather, and obviously, I’m in touch with Team Mayweather on a daily basis.”

Schaefer said if Mayweather-Pacquiao does not happen, Guerrero could be in the mix.

“As it is apparent that [Top Rank CEO] Bob Arum does not want a Mayweather fight with Pacquiao, we’re obviously looking at othe alternatives,” said Schaefer. “There are other fighters out there who would love to fight Floyd Mayweather, and obviously Robert Guerrero is one of them.”

Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions

Lem Satterfield can be reached at lemuel.satterfield@gmail.com

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