Robert Guerrero has just finished a bit of a bruising battle in the ring with Floyd Mayweather. Now he may have to be ready for a battle that might, in its own way, be just as damaging, if not more so – a battle with the justice system.
Guerrero had been gearing up for his May 4 fight, and was making some of the rounds in the media, when he was stopped at JFK Airport for possession of a firearm. On March 28, he had just come from an appearance on the “700 Club” with Pat Robertson and was about go to Las Vegas for the final preparations, when he was apprehended by the Port Authority police.
It’s not that Guerrero was trying to sneak anything on board; indeed, he informed those in charge that he had the weapon, that it was not loaded, and that it was packed in a case. That did not matter, owing to the strict gun laws in the Empire State.
Guerrero was arrested and has been facing charges that could possibly land him in prison for up to four years. Those charges, specifically, are one count of criminal possession of a firearm and three counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon. This accounts for the .40 caliber Smith & Wesson pistol and three magazines.
He has a court appearance scheduled for Tuesday, although everyone has been rather mum about it.
Guerrero’s basic explanation, or at least that of Richard Schaefer, CEO of his promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, was that he had the gun on him because he was traveling to Las Vegas and wanted to use it at a shooting range there.
Some reporters in New York asked Guerrero is he saw any similarity between himself and Plaxico Burress, the former New York Giant wide receiver. Guerrero was not familiar with Burress, or the case in which he was arrested for felony gun possession after a gun he was carrying discharged in a nightclub back in 2008. Burress was eventually sentenced to 21 months in jail.
The arrest had the potential to be a tremendous distraction for Guerrero with the Mayweather fight imminent. But regardless of whether it was or not, it probably would not have made much of a difference, as Mayweather was dominant from the opening bell, winning a clear decision on al three scorecards.
Guerrero had expressed that “Everything has been taken care of” at a press conference prior to the fight, and that may indicate that both sides are working on some kind of accommodation. It may be true that, in his words, “It was a misunderstanding,” but that is a misunderstanding of New York’s gun laws, where Guerrero’s registry of the weapon in the state of California meant nothing.
It was suggested by Stephen Espinoza, the head of Showtime Sports, that Guerrero’s arrest may have had something of a negative impact on sales to pay per view subscribers, a figure that, according to information released by the network, exceed one million buys.
May 18 has been declared “Robert Guerrero Day” in his native Gilroy, CA. Mayor Don Gage will make a speech, and Guerrero will be feted with much pomp and circumstance by the Gilroy City Council.
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