In the story, Harris gave her account of the incident for which Mayweather served time for charges of misdemeanor battery domestic violence and two counts of harassment, which allegedly took place in front of their kids.
On Wednesday afternoon, during a final press conference touting Saturday night’s clash between Mayweather (43-0, 26 knockouts) and Robert Guerrero (31-1-1, 18 KOs) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Guerrero’s father and trainer, Ruben Guerrero, focused directly on the issue during a simmering tirade.
Wearing dark shades and a Fedora, Ruben Guerrero began his speech by declaring, “on May 4, my son’s ready. On Saturday night, baby, you guys are going to find out everything that we did (in training),” said Guerrero. “My son’s blessed. I’m blessed. I am what I am. I’m the real deal. I don’t talk s___, man. I back it up. I back it up, baby, anytime, anywhere.”
Then came the bomb shell.
“And we’re gonna beat up that woman beater. The one that beat up his wife, man. His wife in front of his kids. You guys like that s___? You like this guy, a woman beater? He must have learned that from his dad. Woman beaters, baby,” shouted Guerrero.
“We’re gonna beat that woman beater. See how he’s gonna like it. He’s gonna get it from a real man. Damn woman beater. We’re gonna beat that woman beater down. You don’t beat a woman in front of your kids. That’s bulls___, baby. You guys like that?”
Ruben Guerrero said his comments were in retaliation for those made a day earlier against his son by Mayweather, who called the deeply religious Robert Guerrero a hypocrite in relation to last month’s gun possession charge at New York’s JFK airport, and also asserted that Guerrero has overplayed the story surrounding his cancer-surviving wife, Casey, as a means of eliciting sympathy from fans.
“He talked about my son. He called him a hypocrite. How about him?” screamed Ruben Guerrero. “Woman beater. He beats up a woman and goes to jail. He beats the women up, like a chicken.”
Although Mayweather Jr. handled the situation with relative calm, his father and trainer, Floyd Mayweather Sr., did not, owing to an ongoing, smack-talking feud between the two father/trainers that has endured throughout the promotion.
Having said that he wanted to face Ruben Guerrero in a two-round, parking lot match set up by Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, Mayweather Sr. stormed after his counterpart not long after the press conference was over. Each of them had to be restrained during an obscenity-laced, finger-pointing exchange.
“You’re scared brother,” screamed Ruben Guerrero at Floyd Mayweather Sr., who was being restrained. “Come on, hit me. You’re shaking. I am sorry, I don’t want to hurt you, man.”
Later, Floyd Mayweather Sr., a former professional fighter, told The Los Angeles Times: “That right there could’ve happened, but I wasn’t going to let that happen. It wasn’t so much about the wife beating, it was just disrespectful. The guy was saying, ‘Hit me here, hit me here.
“It ain’t no promotion. This is real. This is as real as it comes. He tells me to hit him in the jaw. I’m not going to. I don’t fight no more, but I still know how to use my hands, and they would’ve called these things concealed weapons.”
It is for that reason that Mayweather Jr. forbid Mayweather Sr. from being on the dais during the press conference.
“I’m sure that his father loves him, and my father loves me, and those things happen. Like I’ve said before, those things happen. I’m older now. There’s a difference between class and you’ve got trash. I keep my dad under control, and I tell my dad, ‘carry yourself in a classy way, don’t worry about that.’ That was just to avoid any conflict. I let my father sit down low in the audience just to avoid any conflict,” said Mayweather Jr.
“Now if I’m up here, and my dad’s up here, and Robert is up here, and my dad and his dad get to fighting, and they fall on him or they fall on me, then somebody’s finger or something gets broken, or somebody gets cut, then we’re talking about hundreds of millions of dollars going down the drain. So you have to be smart. I think that it was a smart decision by myself. Before I do anything anymore, I think first. Because his father was acting like that, you know, he may never get an opportunity to be on a stage like this again.”
After Golden Boy President Oscar De La Hoya took the podium in Ruben Guerrero’s wake, saying, “Thank you very much,” Robert Guerrero, stepped up, although he did not directly address his father’s antics.
“You guys talk about this being Floyd Mayweather’s home. We’re doing a home invasion. Like Bob said, Floyd’s ’0′ has got to go,” said Robert Guerrero, referring to the earlier expression of confidence by his co-manager, Bob Santos.
“Richard [Schaefer] you said that records were made to be broken, and on May 4, Floyd Mayweather’s record is going to be broken. He’s going to have his first loss. You had better believe that. I’m ready to go. I can’t wait. I’m excited for this fight. I’ve been working hard to be here and we’re going to get it.”
During their turns at the podium, neither Mayweather Jr. nor Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions, directly addressed Ruben Guerrero’s comments. Instead, Ellerbe thanked advisor Al Haymon, Floyd Mayweather Sr., and the fighter’s uncle and co-trainer, Roger Mayweather.
“The two brothers working together harmoniously, the attitude in the gym has been great. Floyd’s gotten in tremendous shape,” said Ellerbe. “Friday, when you see him unveil his look [at the weigh-in,] everyone will see, first-hand, what great shape he’s in.”
During the faceoff, the fighters stared down for nearly a minute, their faces inches apart with neither Mayweather or Guerrero appearing blink. Ruben Guerrero stood behind his son, but was soon taken away. The fighters were later separated after a while by Jose Sulaiman, president of the WBC, who stepped between them.
After the press conference, Ruben Guerrero pat his son on his right shoulder with his left hand, saying, “This is a real man, and that’s a wife beater over there” as he pointed in the direction of Floyd Mayweather on the other side of the stage.
“Let’s see how he handles it when he’s in there with a real man. He’s going to talk s___ about my son, and that he’s a hypocrite. Well what about him?” said Ruben Guerrero.
“He hits women in front of his kids and everything, and then, he’s crying in jail. I don’t see a real man. Don’t be crying. This is a war. My son is coming to kick some ass. This ain’t no bulls___. This is the Guerreros.”
Robert Guerrero chuckled at his father’s behavior, including the flexing of his right bicep as his son looked on, even as Robert Guerrero claims a deeply religious allegiance to Jesus Christ.
“I’m not that type of guy. I’m not going to call out somebody on stuff like that. I ain’t going to go to that level and be calling him a woman beater and this and that, and that’s just not me. My dad will throw down. This is real. I am who I am, and if Floyd wants to talk about me and say things about me, then oh well. You’ve still got to fight me, and that’s not going to change anything,” said Robert Guerrero.
“Like my father said, I am who I am and I am going to be who I am, and that’s who he is. I can’t tell my father what to say and what not to say. That’s my father, and he’s going to do what he does. Like I said, we respect each other as men, and I respect him as a man. I ain’t going to go and start telling him stuff. That’s just him. All of the cameras want to be on him, and that helps me to stay focused.”
The presence of Floyd Mayweather Sr. in Mayweather Jr.’s corner is the first since a unanimous decision over Gregorio Vargas in March of 2000, quelling what had been a chilly relationship between the two Floyds.
“I don’t have to fight Guerrero’s father. I’m there to fight the fighter, and like I told my dad, you’ve got to carry yourself in a classy way. I was young at one particular time, and I’m a lot older now, so I’m a lot wiser, you know? I know what I bring to the table. When I was young, you saw a wild Floyd Mayweather. My kids are teenagers now. So I can’t conduct myself in a disorderly fashion. I can trash talk some time and still give people excitement, but there is a time and a place for everything. I’m in tip-top shape. I don’t have to sit here and bad mouth his father. I don’t have to do that,” said Mayweather.
“Only God can judge me. I’m more like, basically, if I did or I didn’t do a crime, I served my time. I love my children, and I have nothing negative to say about the mother of my children…Only God can judge me. I’ve been here so many times. We’ve seen pushing and shoving. We’ve seen fights break out. Stuff has gotten thrown. I’ll just say a prayer for him. I’m not upset at all. I’ll keep my composure, and when it’s time for the fight, I’ll do what I do best. I can fight. I’m happy to be back working with my father, and I’m working with my father and Roger, and come fight night, my dad will be in my corner. I’m happy.”
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org