Robert Guerrero figures that he is going to give Floyd Mayweather trouble because he is a southpaw.
Perhaps he is right. Then again, perhaps he isn’t.
Southpaws, as many boxing fans know, are a troublesome lot for fighters who campaign out of the orthodox (right-handed) stance, because they are relatively rare (though more common now than years ago) and do everything – move, throw punches and employ defensive tactics – the exact opposite way of most opponents they face.
Some guys dread them like the plague. But Guerrero has in all likelihood drawn one foe who isn’t fazed by them to any considerable degree.
Mayweather, who carries a record of 43-0 into tonight’s WBC welterweight championship fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, has obviously beaten every southpaw he has faced. That includes Zab Judah, who he got off to a slow start with but defeated on a decisive 12-round decision in April 2006. Judah, who is one of the quicker fighters he has been in the ring with, caught Mayweather with a number of straight left hands, but one of things Floyd’s detractors may underestimate is his ability to adapt, and he did just that, taking a lead and building on that lead, while staying largely out of danger.
Mayweather has also had the occasion to encounter other southpaws. One of them was DeMarcus Corley, better known as “Chop Chop,” who at one time held one oft he junior welterweight titles. Corley, a light punchers, did reach Mayweather on occasion but nonetheless fell to a decision defeat (in May 2004).
There have been other southpaws who have taken their best shot, though not necessarily Floyd’s best shot. Mayweather has also registered wins over Sharmba Mitchell and Victor Ortiz, and scored stoppages over both of them.
Guerrero is firmly convinced that Floyd can’t deal with his formula for winning, which includes coming at Mayweather from the opposite side of what he is used to.
And maybe the four-division champion is a bit delusional when he opines that “If Demarcus Corley and Zab Judah didn’t get tired, they were winning that fight,” but you know he doesn’t lack for confidence.
Mayweather, for his part, draws on a lot of experience, as he explains that he has been in the ring with just about every kind of fighter. Well, he’s right, in that he has faced guys who rely on power, others who rely on speed and boxing ability, and those who lead with the right jab.
So he is hardly all that worried about Guerrero, who he handpicked, and neither is altogether that concerned about Devon Alexander, who he just might select as his next opponent in September, as he continues to milk dollars out of his brand new Showtime deal.
What can be said is that one of Mayweather’s favorite defensive moves, which is to tuck his chin into his left shoulder so as to let straight right hands deflect off of it, will not be at his disposal in this fight because Guerrero’s power shots will be coming fro the other side. And even if Guerrero manages to confuse Mayweather a bit, he is going to have to have the speed to carry off a game plan for twelve rounds, and that will be difficult.