A funny thing happened to Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero as he was getting ready to hop on a flight to take him to Las Vegas for a date with destiny.
Destiny, in a sense, may have come a little early.
Guerrero, who is scheduled for the biggest fight of his life on May 4 against Floyd Mayweather, with his WBC welterweight title at stake, was at JFK International Airport in New York when he was arrested for possession of a firearm. He was being held in an airport station by the Port Authority police, who have jurisdiction. Luis DeCubas Jr., an advisor to Guerrero’s manager, Bob Santos, was with him at the time.
How or where he got the firearm was not known, but we’re all aware that there are plenty of guns in the Big Apple, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg would just as soon they all left town anyway.
There is some confusion about what kind of gun Guerrero was carrying, because of conflicting reports. One newspaper reported that it was a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson semi-automatic, while an area TV station said that it a Smith & Wesson nine-millimeter. At any rate, it was unloaded, and no ammunition was found on Guerrero, so no one was thought to be in imminent danger.
Even so, he is likely to be charged, although that should in no way affect the fight going off on its scheduled date.
What was Guerrero doing on the east coast? Well, he had a couple of media appearances to fulfill. One of those was on the popular religious program “The 700 Club” with the Rev. Pat Robertson, where Guerrero, along with his wife Casey, spoke about their Christian faith and how it has helped them through hard times (Casey was afflicted with leukemia and was able to beat it through a bone marrow transplant). Guerrero then had a Showtime press conference in New York, where he also appeared on Sean Hannity’s nationally-syndicated radio show over the Premiere Radio Networks.
This quote from Steven Espinoza, head of sports programming at Showtime: “We wanted to make sure the East Coast knew about Robert, knew how classy he is and how wonderful he is as an individual.”
Guerrero is a nice young man, but it won’t be so “wonderful” if that gun wasn’t registered, although he may be protected to an extent if the gun was indeed unloaded and locked in a hard case.
Guerrero has won IBF championships at 126 and 130 pounds, along with the WBA and WBO titles at 135, in addition to his current 147-pound belt. So he is a four-division champion.
The fight with Mayweather is slated to headline a May 4 card that will be distributed by Showtime Pay-Per-View, the first fight in what is a very rich deal for Mayweather. Obviously Guerrero would like to spoil that party at the MGM Grand, although according to oddsmakers, he would have an easier time if he were able to smuggle that handgun into the ring and use it. Mayweather fluctuates as anywhere between an 8/1 and 14/1 favorite, depending on which online sportsbook you’re looking at, while most of the prices you can get for betting Guerrero range between 6/1 and 7/1.
Mayweather, one of considerable wit, is sure to make the claim somewhere along the way that he will issue something worse than a pistol-whipping to the 30-year old. But hey – we’re just speculating.