By Jackie Kallen
OK, so this coming weekend’s match-up between Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero lacks a sense of excitement. In fact, it is being looked at as a ho-hum event. So few people give Guerrero a chance that the betting is totally lop-sided. The true bettors won’t waste their time betting on Mayweather because the payoff is so small.
But these are the situations that can end up surprising everyone. When James Toney fought Michael Nunn in 1991, he was a 20-1 underdog. Most boxing writers, as well as fans, gave the brash middleweight from Detroit very little chance to defeat “Second to Nunn”. They were wrong.
I am not predicting victory for Guerrero. I am merely pointing out that upsets are a part of this sport. Guerrero is not a bum and has a respectable 31-1-1 record. He has KOed more than half of his opponents and is not unaware that this is the opportunity of a lifetime. He has to go big–or go home. This one is for the whole ball of wax.
The Ghost is 30, a southpaw, and hasn’t lost a fight since 2005 against Gamaliel Diaz, and that was a split decision. He beat Joel Casamayor in 2010 and beat Andre Berto last November. Not a roster to come close to Mayweather’s amazing unbeaten slate. But it’s nothing to be ashamed of either.
In some instances, when a fighter knows he has nothing to lose since everyone expects him to choke anyhow, he digs deep and pulls out the surprise ending. Besides the money, which would make any human take the chance of getting hammered, Guerrero must feel that he can be competitive, He is six years younger and an inch taller. He surely knows that any man can beat any other man on any given night. Ask Buster Douglas.
Guerrero’s dedication to his ill wife Casey and her bone marrow transplant have given the couple a lot of good publicity, but his recent charges for bringing a gun into New York kind of negated that good-guy image. He may be facing jail time.
As for Mayweather, his stint in jail has been sickeningly over-reported and we all know that neither of these men are squeaky clean preachers. But there is no denying that Mayweather is the supreme draw in boxing today. People will flock to his fights no matter who he faces. Until someone dethrones him, he will still be the P4P best name in boxing. We all love him and we all root for him to keep that undefeated streak going until he calls it a day.
Robert Guerrero is one man who disagrees. He feels it’s time for a new sheriff in town. And he plans for it to be him.
Jackie Kallen is a boxing manager who has been in the business for over three decades. Her life inspired the Meg Ryan film “Against the Ropes” and she was a part of the NBC series “The Contender.” www.JackieKallen.com, www.facebook.com/JackieKallen