Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer called Robert Guerrero “the most dangerous and toughest opponent” for THE RING’s pound-for-pound No. 1-rated Floyd Mayweather Jr., who has announced that he will face Guerrero on May 4 on Showtime Pay Per View at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Guerrero (31-1-1, 18 knockouts) earned his 15th straight win during a run that includes nine stoppages along with a unanimous decision victory over former two-time welterweight beltholder Andre Berto last November on HBO.
“It’s a big fight and I think that it’s a dangerous fight for Floyd, and, of course, it’s a dangerous fight for Robert,” said Schaefer of Guerrero, 29, who was in only his second fight as a welterweight against Berto after having debuted at 147 pounds with a unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Selcuk Aydin for the WBC’s interim belt last July.
“He’s a fierce competitor, he’s a puncher, and he has speed, and he has skills and he has a helluva chin. If you add all of these elements together, it spells trouble for Floyd Mayweather. There’s no question about it that at 147 pounds, today, the most dangerous and toughest opponent is Robert ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero. This is exactly what makes this as big a fight as it is and as big as it will be.”
By defeating Aydin, Guerrero became the mandatory challenger to face WBC welterweight beltholder Mayweather, who turns 36 on Feb. 24.
Mayweather (43-0, 26 knockouts) will have been out of the ring for nearly a year to the day by the time he faces Guerrero, having last fought on May 5 of last year, earning a unanimous decision victory over Miguel Cotto for the WBA’s junior middleweight belt.
“Floyd is undefeated, and, without question, the top fighter in the world. He’s the face of the sport, but, don’t forget, Floyd is going to be 36 years old this coming weekend and hasn’t fought for what will have been a year, so there are a lot of question marks there,” said Schaefer.
“Can he turn back an aggressive guy like Robert Guerrero? You saw what Robert did to Andre Berto. He kept coming and kept coming. Berto, himself, a strong guy, just couldn’t keep him off. Robert is motivated and excited and ready. He has really been waiting all of his life, and here it is.”
Guerrero last suffered defeat by a split-decision to Gamaliel Diaz in December 2005, but won their rematch with a sixth-round knockout in June 2006.
“Robert hasn’t lost in almost six years…and he came back and knocked the guy out. So for all intense and purposes, Robert is undefeated as well,” said Schaefer.
“So for Floyd to take on that challenge after being out of the ring for almost a year, it just shows you that Floyd is like, ‘Bring on the best, and that’s what we’re going to see on May 4.”
Guerrero pulled out of a scheduled clash with Michael Katsidis in March of 2010 to be with his wife, Casey, during her recovery from a bone marrow transplant.
“The value he displayed when his wife was found to have cancer and Robert stepped away from the world title and gave up his title to be with his wife and was with her every step of the way,” said Schaefer.
“Robert Guerrero is a terrific young man outside of the ring. It just shows you the kind of values Robert Guerrero has outside of the ring, and it is exactly these kinds of values that he brings into the ring.”
In September of 2011, Guerrero had arthroscopic surgery which repaired a torn tendon in the rotator cuff of his shoulder. The injury had already forced Guerrero to cancel an August bout with junior welterweight Marcos Maidana.
Guerrero then faced Aydin following the unanimous-decision victory over Katsidis for the WBO and WBA’s interim lightweight belts in April of 2011.
A Mexican-American, Guerrero is facing Mayweather on one of the two traditional Mexican holiday weekends — Cinco De Mayo.
“On what better day than the Cinco De Mayo weekend from Las Vegas to have a fight of this magnitude,” said Schaefer. “So this shows, yet again, what Floyd Mayweather is all about, always taking on the toughest and biggest challenges.”
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Photos by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com