Unless Floyd Mayweather gets old overnight, this fight with Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero should be relatively easy work. Guerrero doesn’t really have a lot of lateral movement, and usually comes straight ahead in an attempt to overwhelm you. He does have the skills to make some adjustments if the straight on style doesn’t work, but he doesn’t have nearly enough in his bag of tricks to sustain those adjustments. First four rounds or so, will be his best opportunity to make something happen, because after Floyd makes his adjustments, its game over. If he attempts to keep his head in Money’s chest and presses the action, he will get KO’ed like Ricky Hatton did in the later rounds. Guerrero will not be able to do anything in the fight that Floyd hasn’t seen before, and even though I believe that this will lead to a KO, he has to fight his pressing style, attempt to make Floyd fight his style, and make subtle adjustments (such as box him after pressing) better than anyone before him. VERY TALL ORDER. An older Miguel Cotto fought that way, and we see what it got him. I like Floyd KO in 10. – Wiley
Mayweather may indeed stop Guerrero late in tomorrow’s showdown. I favor the future hall of famer to win by unanimous decision, but I can’t stress this fact enough to you: there is no such thing as “easy work” when it comes to Guerrero.
Cotto is a more accomplished fighter and a better overall boxer than Guerrero, but the Puerto Rican star was faded when he faced Mayweather. Since Mayweather returned to boxing in 2009 vs. Juan Manuel Marquez, he has faced older fighters (Marquez, Shane Mosley and Cotto) and one young-and-green fighter (Victor Ortiz).
Guerrero is not old and he’s not green. Unlike Ortiz, Guerrero has championship experience and a track record of winning against a variety of styles. No, he’s not as gifted – athletically or technically – as the older guys Mayweather has faced in recent years, and he’s nowhere near as accomplished as the future hall of famers, but he’s got underrated craft.
Guerrero wouldn’t have been able to go from being a top-rated featherweight to a top-rated welterweight if he wasn’t able to box or think in the ring. He doesn’t have a big “bag of tricks” to pull from, but he’s got all the hard work and dedication that Mayweather and his crew crows about, plus heart and soul (as The Ghost likes to say).
I see this fight going a lot like Mayweather’s junior middleweight bout with De La Hoya, where Floyd voluntarily goes to the ropes and engages with his aggressive opponent. Two key differences between the fights is that 1) Mayweather will punch back with more authority than he did vs. De La Hoya (this being a welterweight bout and Mayweather being more accustomed to 147 pounds than Guerrero), and 2) Guerrero will be better at dolling out damage to Floyd when he gets the odds favorite on the ropes than Oscar did (as pressure and volume punching is more in tune with The Ghost’s style than it was for Goldie).
I think this means we’re going to get a good fight and we’ll see how much punishment each man can withstand.
FIGHT WEEK FULL OF SURPRISES
I’ve noticed Guerrero’s shameless camp has decided to start jocking Danny Garcia’s style. That is, preserve the humble good guy (soon to be convict) persona of your fighter by having his dad act a damn fool in his place. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised at all . . . White Jesus’ favorite fighter has shown time and again there’s nothing he’s above. I’ve disliked this guy since the first time I saw him, but I’ve hated him ever since he quit the Daud Yordan fight. I’ll enjoy reading about his demise Sunday morning. Despite the fact that Mayweather got beaten up pretty bad by Cotto last year, he’s several classes removed from his goat-faced opponent. It’s just not going to be a competitive fight.
Take care. – Todd
We’ll see, Todd. I think it will be competitive, even the scorecards don’t reflect it after 12 rounds of boxing and fighting.
It’s clear that you’re not a fan of Guerrero’s style and it’s obvious that his father’s final press conference remarks to Mayweather and company have rubbed you the wrong way – which is understandable.
Despite all of his “My-Lord-and-Savior-Jesus-Christ” talk, Robert is no angel (especially in the ring). Despite all the good he’s done for his son’s boxing career, Ruben can be a crass and vulgar S.O.B.
But you know what, Todd? The exact same things can be said about Mayweather Jr. and Mayweather Sr.
MEGA FIGHT & MYTHICAL MATCHUPS
Like so many I’ve been a long time reader and religiously check out your mailbags every week. This is my first email in so here goes:
Call me crazy but I think Mayweather goes life and death with Guerrero this weekend. “The Ghost” is going to get in the trenches and try to keep his head on Mayweather’s chest for the full 12 rounds. Whether he has the stamina to execute this game plan is another kettle of fish as he’s relatively new to the weight and Mayweather is the naturally bigger man. We know Floyd is a defensive wizard and accurate puncher with great hands, so it will be interesting to see how he handles the challenge after his inactivity (I know he’s done it previously but he looked that much older against Cotto) and diminishing foot speed and reflexes. Floyd has underrated power and he throws punches that his opponents fail to see (the ones that hurt the most) so Guerrero will need to be careful he doesn’t get caught coming in.
I’m a Floyd fan but he does struggle with southpaws and this fights got “Jose Luis Castillo I” all over it. Only time will tell if he can further cement his legacy as one of the best of his generation! Ultimately we’ve got a great night of boxing in store. And as a lover of the sport, it’s great to see the sweet science start to emerge from the depths once again. Although I will be placing a bet on Guerrero to score the upset of the year (ya heard it here first!).
Quick mythical match-ups for you:
Tommy Hearns vs Gerald McClellan at 160 and Roberto Duran vs Floyd Mayweather at 135 (all in their primes).
(P.S. bring on Matthysse vs Peterson!!) Cheers. – Jonny Daniels, England
Hell yeah, Matthysse-Peterson takes place two days before my birthday, so I view it as an early gift.
The Hitman knocks out the G-Man within five rounds. Duran outpoints Mayweather by clear-cut unanimous decision in a competitive bout (if it’s scheduled for 12 rounds; if it’s a 15 rounder, I think Hands of Stone stops him in the final three rounds).
I agree that Mayweather has a fight on his hands tomorrow, but I’m not sure that he’ll go “life and death” with Guerrero. I’m not seeing a Castillo-Mayweather I scenario with this fight. I don’t think Guerrero is as technically sound or as strong at welterweight as Castillo was at lightweight when Mayweather fought him.
But I could be wrong. Most of the boxing world could be sleeping on The Ghost; and if we are, kudos to you for believing in him. I just hope the folks who have ripped Guerrero from day one give him his due credit and respect if he pulls off the upset.
NOT ABOUT MAYWEATHER-GUERRERO
Hey Dougie. Love your mailbag, long time reader. It always gives me something to look forward to on Monday morning and Friday’s at work.
I’m going to try and ignore any Mayweather questions since I’m sure you’ve got more than enough already,
1) Did you catch Anthony Ogogo’s pro debut on Saturday? I was impressed, was almost a perfect debut as far as I’m concerned. I think he has potential and could one day win a title.
2) Where does Amir Khan go from here? There is talk of him wanting to move up to 147, but isn’t that a bad idea given his chin. I just don’t see Khan competing at the top level anymore. I honestly think the Zab Judah we saw on Saturday would knock him out.
3) The fight I literally can’t wait for is Peterson vs. Matthysse. I’m expecting to see Peterson hit the canvas a few times in the first couple of rounds, only for him to come back strong towards the end for a very close and competitive fight. Seems like a possible fight-of-the-year candidate to me.
1) Valero vs Rios at lightweight
2) Mayweather vs Morales at super featherweight
3) Prime Judah vs Pacquiao at 140
Thanks Dougie. Fingers crossed for a good “May Day.” – Farbod
Thanks for the kind words, Farbod. I think we’ll get a show on Saturday.
1) Valero vs Rios at lightweight – Valero by late stoppage in a bloody, brutal battle of attrition.
2) Mayweather vs Morales at super featherweight – Mayweather by unanimous decision in a surprisingly competitive fight due to El Terrible’s underrated jab and boxing ability (however, I think Floyd would score a knockdown or two en route to a clear-cut win).
3) Prime Judah vs Pacquiao at 140 – Wow. Tough call. Pac’s only got one fight at 140 pounds (the Hatton decapitation), while the bulk of Judah’s up-and-down career has been at junior welterweight. However, given the form Manny exhibited during his one 135-pound match (vs. David Diaz) and his first welterweight bout (vs. De La Hoya, where he weighed in at 142 pounds), which preceded the Hatton fight, I’m gonna go with the Filipino Icon. My hunch is that his speed and power would shock Judah sometime in the early rounds and put the talented New Yorker into a defensive mode for the rest of the bout. Pacquiao by late TKO or UD.
I’ll answer your questions/comments in order:
1) I saw Showtime’s highlights of Ogogo’s pro debut. From what I’ve seen of his amateur career and what I’ve read and heard from him in interviews, I’m willing to bet thathe will have a very successful pro career – and not just in terms of ring accomplishments but also fan appeal.
2) We’ll find out how much of a future Khan’s got in December when he either goes for the winner of Danny Garcia vs. the Peterson-Matthysse winner, or one of Golden Boy’s welterweight titleholders (Devon Alexander or the winner of Malignaggi-Broner). I think Khan will always have trouble or tense moments with world-class fighters who can punch, but against boxers who don’t have one-shot KO power – even top notch guys such as Peterson, Malignaggi and Alexander – I think the British talent is still very much a threat.
3) I agree with your take on Peterson-Matthysse. After the Daniel Ponce de Leon-Abner Mares fight tomorrow, that’s the fight I want to see the most. (And after Peterson-Matthysse is in the books, Josesito Lopez-Marcos Maidana is the fight I want to see the most.)
Hope all is well over the west side. First of all, just wanted to comment on the nice fights we had so far. I think boxing is definitely approaching a healthier state; fighters are taking more challenging opponents and divisions are getting very stacked with talent (especially 140, 147 and 160).
Regarding the Mayweather-Guerrero fight, I think it’s a good fight with “The Ghost” having his moments, but I see a clear decision for Mayweather with Money losing maybe three rounds to Guerrero.
However, I think Mayweather’s legacy has reached kind of a threshold; his fights are interesting but they are not career defining, or even high risk at that (not to mention the Pac fight). In my opinion if he wants to be ranked within the greatest welterweights (Leonard, Robinson, Hearns, etc.) he would need a high-risk fight. I think a fight against Gennady Golovkin (if he takes the mantle at 160/154) would be the equivalent to Leonard’s fight against Marvelous Marvin Hagler. But I know we have almost zero chance of seeing that fight. I am not a Mayweather hater at all. I think he is one of the best fighters of this era and has slam dunk HOF career.
Lastly, I have a few fantasy fights that I would like your take on:
Tommy Hearns (my favorite fighter of all time) vs. Mayweather @ 147 lb
(I see a late KO win for the Motor City Cobra, but this a biased prediction)
Tommy Hearns vs. Tito Trinidad @ 154
Miguel Cotto vs. Lucas Matthysee @ 140 (fun fight)
Thanks Doug. – Jose
Tommy Hearns vs. Mayweather @ 147 lb – Mayweather’s defensive prowess keeps him in the contest through the early rounds, but Hearns’ jab dominates the action until he finally figures out Floyd’s style and lands a well-timed right hand that abruptly ends the fight sometime in the middle rounds. (This is NOT a biased opinion.)
Tommy Hearns vs. Tito Trinidad @ 154 – Good fight. Tito was a mean mother f___er at junior middleweight, but don’t forget that The Hitman was undefeated at 154 pounds, where he outpointed defensive genius Wilfred Benitez and cold cocked the great Roberto Duran. I think the technical bombers would trade early knockdowns but Hearns would assume control in the middle rounds and stop Trinidad before the 10th round.
Miguel Cotto vs. Lucas Matthyse @ 140 – Yes, this would be a fun fight. I love Cotto, but recalling the life-and-death struggle he had with Ricardo Torres makes me think that Matthysse would earn a hard-fought late-rounds TKO in a wild slugfest.
Regarding Mayweather’s legacy, I’m with you. I think he’s definitely a first-ballot hall of famer and one of the top five boxers of the past 25 years (which is saying something), but unlike the elite fighters who reigned before the 1990s (with the exception of Bernard Hopkins), such as Leonard and Duran, he hasn’t sought out the kind of matchups that would make him a decided underdog. To his credit, there really weren’t any such fights in his natural weight classes, but the all-time greats of the lighter weight divisions kept going up in weight (as Leonard did vs. Hagler and Duran did vs. Iran Barkley) until the odds makers had no choice but to make them 3-to-1 underdogs. I don’t see Mayweather challenging a middleweight titleholder given his struggles against aging junior middleweights (De La Hoya and Cotto).
At this stage of his career I will be satisfied with an eventual showdown with Canelo at 154 pounds if he gets by Guerrero tomorrow night (and I think he will – I view the fight much the same way that you do). I don’t expect Mayweather to do the things that Leonard and Duran did. They are a different breed from a very different era in boxing.
NOT BUYING PPV
There’s a chance we’ll get the Canelo fight. There’s not much of a chance that we’ll ever see Mayweather vs. Martinez, even though the middleweight champ looked like an old man against Murray and is willing to boil down to 150 pounds to fight Floyd. As my old MaxBoxing cohort Steve Kim loves to say, it is what it is.
I agree that Mayweather will likely beat Guerrero by a large margin on the official scorecards, so I don’t blame you for passing up on buying the pay per view if you want to see a 50-50 main event. However, I think Guerrero will push Mayweather in a physical fight. Mayweather may very well win nine out of 12 rounds, but I think he’s going to have to earn every one of those rounds and he’ll have to show us more mettle than he exhibited in the Cotto fight. Whether or not that’s worth $70 to see is up to each individual fan. I think the overall pay-per-view show is worth the money thanks to the Ponce de Leon-Mares co-feature (and I think the J’Loen Love-Gabriel Rosado and Leo Santa Cruz-Anselmo Moreno fights will deliver solid action and drama).
Regarding Mayweather’s decision to leave meaningful fights on the table, I definitely think there were more than a few (Joel Casamayor and Acelino Freitas at 130 pounds in 2001-2002, Steve Johnston at 135 in 1999 and 2002, Vivian Harris and Casamayor at 140 pounds in 2005, Margarito at 147 in 2006, Cotto and Paul Williams at 147 in 2008), but there were also times in which notable fighters declined to face Floyd, such as Mosley (at 135 pounds in ’99, and at 147 in early 2000) and Cotto (at 140 in 2004).
Pretty much everyone between lightweight and junior middleweight has wanted a piece of Mayweather since he emerged as a money fighter during the second half of the 2000s, but there was time when he wasn’t the “money man,” in the late ‘90s and early 2000s, when he was the badass calling out “name fighters,” such as Naseem Hamed, De La Hoya and Mosley, and those stars gave him the same line that he has been giving top contenders for the last eight years: “Who the f___ are you?”
I’m not telling you to “hate the game, not the player,” but I don’t think it’s entirely fair to say that Mayweather has ducked and dodged top fighters his entire career. He’s fought enough badasses who were in their primes – Diego Corrales, Jesus Chavez, Jose Luis Castillo, and Zab Judah – to prove that he is an elite boxer.
But like you, and any true boxing fan, I wanted more from Mayweather during his prime. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting more from him in the twilight of his career.
THE GHOST & THE RING RATINGS NAZIS
It’s now that final countdown to May Day! Here’s my input on Guerrero’s chances as well as THE RING’s “atrocious” No. 3 welterweight ranking for The Ghost.
Starting with his ranking, I actually get a kick out of some of these pointless rants these hardcore headcases are posting all over the boards:
“You bastards! You give Guerrero a top 5 ranking and now we’re stuck with this fight! You’re all Ring Nazis!! I’m on a verge of a cardiac arrest thanks to you evil pr__ks! My hairs are turning white!! Get me therapy! Where’s the Prozac?!”
Whatever. Go s__t your panties over the whole thing already and move on!
Actually, I myself have Manny Pacquiao as the number three guy. But we all know Pac and May will never fight and Mr. Money already owned JMM. On the other hand, Guerrero looked much better beating down Andre Berto than Tim Bradley did in scraping past some Russian dude we barely heard of.
So yeah, in this imperfect world Guerrero’s the best choice right now! He’s also hell bent on giving Maggie May here a real bitch-whacking! And I think he’s the guy to possibly do it.
I’m not buying into this bulls__t about Guerrero being another candy-assed, sugarcoated fruit carefully picked from May’s cherry tree. The dude can box and brawl. He has underrated rings smarts, industrial-strength toughness and he can really jab.
Plus he’s in his prime while Floyd is clearly past his. Who knows? Guerrero might make Money May look more like Aunt May in that ring.
But if Mayweather does win handily I’ll give him his props. I’m obviously rooting for Guerrero to kick his ass. If not, I hope the two of them gives us a damn good fight worthy of the hype. Go all out guys! Pretty please with a f___in’ candy-coated cherry on top! Anyways Dougie, we’ll see who kicks whose ass here! Cheers! – Todd The Terminator
Thanks for your two cents, Triple T.
Please keep ridiculing the boxing nerds who are obsessed with criticizing THE RING’s rankings. And I encourage other fans to give them s__t, too. They seriously need it.
You have the right attitude (you vulgar Ruben Guerrero wannbe, you!). I wouldn’t mind seeing Guerrero pull the upset, but what I really want to see is a good fight. And if Mayweather wins (as most of us expect him to), let’s just give the S.O.B. his credit for beating a hungry young gun who hadn’t lost in 17 bouts over a 7½-year span.
Video: SHOWTIME; Photos / SHOWTIME, Naoki Fukuda
Email Dougie at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @dougiefischer