Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero must figure he needs a little extra motivation in advance of his Saturday fight against Floyd Mayweather, as if the sheer opportunity to knock off the man considered by many to be the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter wasn’t enough, in and of itself. So he has proceeded to create a bit of a drama and has cast himself in a role.
The Californian has declared himself “David” to Mayweather’s “Goliath.”
And he fully intends to do exactly what Buster Douglas did when he pulled off one of the great heavyweight upsets of all time against Mike Tyson, which is score a knockout.
“I’m in that position like Buster Douglas,” he told reporters the other day. “I’m going to show up to the fight and I’m going to take him out just like Buster Douglas did Mike Tyson.”
Guerrero knows that in Tyson’s case in losing to Douglas in Tokyo, it may have been a case of pure overconfidence, and that isn’t likely to be the case with Mayweather, at least in his own estimation. “After the beating I put on (Andre) Berto, you’ve got to take somebody seriously,” he says.
Guerrero is also well aware that with Tyson, it wasn’t a matter of him being on a downslide because of age, while that could well be the situation with the 36-year-old Mayweather, who did not seem to show his usual mobility when he defeated Miguel Cotto in his last outing a year ago.
“He is sharp in the ring. He puts more pressure on guys” he says, referring to the undefeated Mayweather. “I think that has to do with him not being able to move as good on his legs, where people think, ‘Oh, he’s changed his style’.”
Certainly those who have made the prices on the fight have that on their minds. Associated Press wire stories have referred to Guerrero as a “massive underdog,” but that all depends on how you interpret that term.
Actually, the Mayweather-Guerrero fight is nothing like the Tyson-Douglas fight when it comes to the odds of the underdog winning, or the price one would have to lay on the favorite. Although Mayweather is a -1000 favorite or higher at many places, there is still one sportsbook in particular where he is a -650 favorite, which would appear to be a very reasonable price. Meanwhile, Guerrero fetches +650 at many places around the internet. When Tyson fought Douglas back in February 1990, Tyson was a 42-1 favorite; that is, at those sportsbooks who would actually take action on who would win the fight.
Guerrero is fighting for the WBC welterweight title, and he actually has a piece of that title, in a sense. The machinations of sanctioning bodies are sometimes confusing at best, but Guerrero’s July 2012 fight, in which he defeated Selcuk Aydin on a decision, earned him the WBC’s interim championship at 147 pounds. It was in “interim” status because Mayweather won the title over Victor Ortiz in September 2011, then crossed over to the WBA to fight Miguel Cotto for the 154-pound title last year.
This fight will settle the score as to who is the “undisputed” champion at 147, not throughout the world, but with one of the governing bodies.
It is true that Guerrero, who started his career in the featherweight division, was a lightweight as recently as April 2011, and will be fighting for only the third time as a welterweight, But he will also go into this fight with a slight advantage in height over Mayweather.
Does that make him much of a “David”?