LAS VEGAS — The crowd members at the MGM Grand, site of Saturday night’s welterweight clash, cheered as underdog challenger Robert Guerrero weighed in at a trim and ready 147 pounds, the division limit.
There were comparative boos for Floyd Mayweather Jr. (46-0, 26 knockouts), 36, who by all accounts was never more chisled and ripped than he was on Friday at 146 pounds.
There was no visible evidence of slippage after the one-year layoff that included a jail stint from June 1 through Aug. 3, or that Mayweather is “ripe for the pickings” as Guerrero (31-1-1, 18 KOs) has indicated.
“Floyd looked ripped. Floyd looked ripped. Boy. Those abs, he didn’t have one ounce of fat on him. He looks ready,” said Hall of Fame promoter Don Chargin.
“He looked really ready. The only thing is with some fighters, the age of 36 means something. With others, it doesn’t. But I guess that we’ll see about that tomorrow night.”
Mayweather chewed gum intensely during the nearly one-minute post-weigh-in staredown with Guerrero, who seemed to be trying to search for any sign of weakness.
“I was thinking about getting down. That’s what I was thinking about,” said Guerrero, of what he saw in Mayweather. “I’ve got to get down. I’ve got to take full advantage of this.”
Mayweather lingered long after Guerrero had left the venue, signing autographs for fans on everything from T-shirts to gloves and posters.
“Floyd looked very, very calm,” said Chargin. “Usually, he’s very, very feisty. Surprisingly, though, he wasn’t today.”
Mayweather Sr. gained eye contact with Ruben Guerrero, and then delivered the throat-cutting gesture. Their antics were part of an ongoing feud that has endured throughout the promotion.
Mayweather will earn a purse of $32 million to the $3 million earned by Guerrero, tying Mayweather’s boxing record mark he earned with his unanimous decision victory over Miguel Cotto for the WBA’s junior middleweight belt last May.
An online report by Forbes’ Magazine estimates that the fighter’s exclusive multi-fight venture with Showtime and its parent company, CBS Corporation, could be worth a guaranteed $250,000 million to Mayweather, who is making make his first-ever appearance on Showtime Pay Per View against.
According to Forbes, Mayweather netted a total of $45 million against Cotto. In July, Mayweather was named the highest-paid American athlete for 2012, topping Sports Illustrated’s Fortunate 50 ahead of golfers Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods at Nos. 2 and 3.
Nicknamed “Money,” Mayweather made $85 million for his last two fights, comprised of his fourth-round knockout victory in September of 2011 that dethroned Victor Ortiz as WBC welterweight belholder, and his triumph over Cotto.
Last June, Mayweather topped Forbes’ list of its 100 highest paid athletes internationally, trumping second-place boxing rival Manny Pacquiao with $62 million from earnings and endorsements.
Mayweather holds the all-time record of pay-per-view buys with more than 2.5 million for his victory over current Golden Boy President Oscar De La Hoya in May of 2007, dethroning De La Hoya by ther’s split-decision for the WBC’s junior middleweight belt.
ELLERBE: GUERRERO IS A ‘DIRTY FIGHTER.’
Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe called Guerrero “a dirty fighter.”
“From what I’ve personally observed in the film that I’ve seen, Robert Guerrero is a very, very dirty fighter. And all that I’ve said is that, here in Nevada, with Nevada being the best commission in all of boxing, they don’t allow those dirty tactics,” said Ellerbe.
“The holding with one hand and hitting behind the head. All of the little dirty things that he’s gotten away with in his fights, Nevada doesn’t play that. Floyd will just go out there and be Floyd, and everybody else will have to adapt. He’s just a dirty fighter, and that’s my opinion.”
But Mayweather said he is unconcerned about Guerrero’s perceived roughhouse tactics.
“I’ll let the referee do his job. That’s not really my focuse. I’m focused on going out there and being a clean fighter and executing the game plan,” said Mayweather.
“Nobody can really get under my skin. I’m Floyd Mayweather. When the fight gets here, I’ll go out there and do my best. I don’t keep up with their family and what they’re doing. I just try to focus on me and my family and just stay in my lane.”
THE OFFICIALS AND JUDGES
The Mayweather-Guerrero referee will be Robert Byrd of Las Vegas. The judges are Duane Ford and Jerry Roth — each of whom is from Las Vegas as well as New York-based Julie Lederman.
Guerrero said he is not concerned about fairness among the judges.
Mayweather is expected to wear Grant brand gloves, and Guerrero, Reyes, according to Nevada State Athletic Commission exectutive director Keith Kizer, adding that the fighters have agreed to wear 8-ounces gloves.
Elvis Grant, proprietor of Mayweather’s gloves, told RingTV.com that Ellerbe advised him that it was Mayweather who requested the gloves at that size.
ABNER MARES, DANIEL PONCE DE LEON, LEO SANTA CRUZ, ALEXANDER MUNOZ
Rising two-division titlewinner Abner Mares (25-0-1, 13 KOs) and hard-punching WBC featherweight titleholder Daniel Ponce de Leon (44-4, 35 KOs) will each make $375,000 for their co-main event, for which each of them weighed 126 pounds.
THE MAYWEATHER PROMOTIONS UNDERCARD
Mayweather will unveil five of his fighters on the undercard, including middleweight J’Leon Love (15-0, 8 KOs), a 25-year-old Michigan native now living in Las Vegas, who will face former junior middleweight Gabriel Rosado (21-6, 13 KOs), of Philadelphia.
Love and Rosado each made the division limit 160 after initially being over. Rosado removed his socks after being 160.5, and Love returned after nearly an hour after having been 161.5.
Love is coming off February’s unanimous decision over Chicago’s Derek Findley, while Rosado suffered January’s bloody seventh-round stoppage loss to Kazakhstan-born WBA middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin.
For their super middleweight bouts, Ronald Gavril (3-0, 2 KOs) and Robert Yong weighed 168 and 166, Luis Arias (4-0, 3 KOs) and DonYil Livingston (8-2-1, 4 KOs) were at 165 and 164, and Lanell Bellows (3-0-1, 3 KOs) and Matthew Garretson (2-0, 1 KO) weighed 169 each.
Also, lightweights Badou Jack (13-0, 9 KOs) and Michael Gbenga (13-7, 13 KOs) each were at 170 pounds.
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com