By Mac Danzig
When I was presented with the opportunity to write an article about the upcoming Floyd Mayweather vs Robert Guerrero fight, two questions immediately entered my mind: “Why is this fight happening?” and “What will happen?”
First, let’s briefly discuss the former. It doesn’t take a genius to understand why this fight has been signed and promoted. Is Robert Guerrero the absolute best challenge to Floyd Mayweather at welterweight? Probably not. But after being in prison for a short stint and the undeniable effects of age slowly creeping in, this is a good tune-up fight for Floyd, who had in my opinion, his toughest competitive test since 2002, last May against Miquel Cotto, and hasn’t fought since. Not only does it make sense for Mayweather to take this fight as opposed to anyone else at 154 or 147, it makes sense for boxing too, since there is really nobody else at the moment who can properly fill the spot of a polarizing “opponent” for the biggest draw in the sport, (other than Canelo Alvarez, who will no doubt be next in line for a match with Floyd, considering he passes his 44th professional test.)
Now to the latter.
Anticipating what will happen in a prize fight is like trying to predict the weather. You can see a front forming, you have a sound idea of what it will create based on past events, but even the professionals are only right 70% of the time. When a cold front meets and overtakes a warm front, you get rain. Most of the time. When the greatest boxer in the world fights a flat-footed grinder with half his natural speed, he gets a decisive win. Most of the time.
Technically, I see a lot of unintentional clinching taking place as levels change during exchanges, and a lot of missed punches by Guerrero, even as he creates angles on a rusty Mayweather. Floyd is a master at the same shoulder-lean style that Berto attempted to implement in his fight with Guerrero, and he can land brilliantly-timed counter-right hands off of that slip. At the very least, he’ll be hard to hit.
This all may sound as though I’m looking past Guerrero. On the contrary, the ‘Ghost’ has a few things going for him that could easily lead to a win in this unpredictable sport.
One is that a seasoned southpaw can always present problems for even the greatest fighters. This brings to mind Floyd’s match with DeMarcus Corley, in which Corley was able to find the perfect angle a few times, but he never had the power to hurt Mayweather. Guerrero has that power and is very committed to finding the angles that compliment his left hand.
Another factor in the Ghost’s favor is that he seems grounded enough emotionally to not let the pre-fight media hype derail his focus. Victor Ortiz was not that grounded and it showed from the beginning of his documented training. A mega-fight with the greatest boxer in the sport can cause even the strongest mental competitors to lose their center, as pressures from all angles create the illusion that you must be someone you’re not. You can embrace the game of character-play like Floyd has, or you can falter by embellishing your personality to the point that you forget who you really are and what got you here. I don’t see Robert Guerrero giving into that game, which is a huge mark in his favor.
In the ring, all of that gets thrown away, and it becomes a showcase of nothing but what you have at that very moment. That’s what we love about combat sports. Floyd, for all his silliness, is a grand-master of that showcase. Robert Guerrero has, for all his ability, a ‘puncher’s chance’.
Which is exactly what all of Mayweather’s 43 prior professional opponents have all had.
Mac Danzig is an American vegan MMA fighter with Championship belts from Gladiator Challenge & King of the Cage. Best known for winning Spike TVs ‘The Ultimate Fighter 6’, Mac does double duty as a single father to his 4 year old daughter, Nova, and a full-time fighter in the Super Bowl of MMA, the UFC.