Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Robert Guerrero on May 5th?Written by Lee Cleveland
With Amir Khan temporarily out of the picture and negotiations with Top Rank seemingly derailed, Robert Guerrero (29-1-1-2NC, 18 KO) believes he should be next in line to challenge WBC Welterweight Champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (42-0, 26 KO).
So why should Robert Guerrero be Floyd Mayweather, Jr's next opponent?
The ultimate question should be: Why shouldn't Robert Guerrero be Floyd Mayweather's next opponent?
The 28 year old Guerrero is a world champion in three weight divisions and the current interim WBA Lightweight Champion. Moreover, he's already defeated some pretty stellar opposition including Jason Litzau, Joel Casamayor, Vicente Escobedo and Michael Katsidis.
Lightweight to Welterweight
Although some argue Guerrero would be too small for Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Guerrero stands at 5'8" and is naturally large for a lightweight so a move to welterweight (147lbs) isn't inconceivable and has always been eminent. And while to some it may seem like a stretch size-wise, then-lightweight Roberto Duran leaped to welterweight and upset Sugar Ray Leonard in their first bout in 1980 and Manny Pacquiao, as a lightweight, accomplished the same feat in 2009 by moving up two divisions to conquer the naturally bigger Oscar De La Hoya. Most recently, WBO Lightweight Champion Juan Manuel Marquez waged an epic battle against WBO Welterweight Champion and top pound-for-pound sensation, Manny Pacquiao.
Some of boxing's greatest welterweights were former standouts in the lightweight division such as Barney Ross, Henry Armstrong, Pernell Whitaker, Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley and, yes, Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Famed trainer Buddy McGirt, yet another former world champion in the lightweight and welterweight divisions stated:
"Guerrero's always been a big lightweight in my eyes.I don't see welterweight being a problem if Robert puts on the weight properly. Look at Marquez...he put on the weight nicely and in my opinion beat Manny. Robert is a bigger lightweight then Marquez so I don't see any problems with him moving up. Mayweather has had issues with southpaws...Zab Judah, Chop Chop Corley and even Victor gave him problems. Robert's very strong but he's a technician as well.... My pick is Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero in a unanimous decision." (Source: BoxingScene.com)
If Guerrero and Mayweather fight next year, Robert will have a few obstacles to overcome but size will not be one of them.
Styles Make Fights
Mayweather vs Guerrero is an intriguing match-up that, in the opinion of some insiders, is guaranteed to intrigue and excite the masses. Floyd would have an advantage in speed and he's more technically proficient and experienced - As a result, Mayweather would most likely be a strong favorite but some experts think it would be a close, exhilarating match-up nonetheless.
Emanuel Steward believes Mayweather vs Guerrero is a toss-up and Roberto Duran, a boxing legend and former world champion in the lightweight, welterweight, jr middleweight and middleweight divisions, uttered:
"I think its a great fight. It reminds me a lot of my fight with Sugar Ray Leonard when I moved up from lightweight to welterweight and beat him. You have a fast American fighter against a bruising Latin fighter. Styles make fights and this is a very interesting match-up. I feel that Robert will pull off the upset in Las Vegas and I must be there to see it. Guerrero by unanimous decision."
In addition to treating the fans to a crowd-pleasing affair, fighting the aggressive Guerrero would give Mayweather an opportunity to enhance his legacy, subdue his critics and showcase his skills against a young, strong, hungry top-tier fighter who is both exciting and threatening.
Cinco De Mayo
Having set May 5th as the date for his next bout, Floyd Mayweather, Jr - from a promotional standpoint - could benefit most by fighting a Mexican or an American fighter of Mexican descent. For fight fans, especially those with Mexican heritage, what better way to culminate festivities on Cinco de Mayo than watch a top fighter of Mexican descent challenge a brash, supremely-talented veteran of the game who is arguably the world's best?
In agreement, Robert Guerrero asserted, "...That's Cinco de Mayo, which is the day that Mexicans celebrate their independence and their heritage, so what better day than for Floyd Mayweather to be fighting a Meixcan-American." (Source: RingTV)
Good Guy vs Bad Guy
The gentlemanly, well-spoken Guerrero is viewed by many as one of the nicest fighters in boxing as most who have interviewed him will attest. His clean image and friendly persona are in stark contrast to Floyd Mayweather - a fighter who is viewed by many as contemptuous and arrogant.
Former heavyweight champion Sonny Liston once said: "A boxing match is like a cowboy movie. There's got to be good guys and there's got to be bad guys. And that's what people pay for -- to see the bad guys get beat."
Whether it's boxing or pro wrestling, when a match has the 'Good Guy vs Bad Guy' element, it's always more intriguing... and more profitable.
"This is really a classic good vs. evil match-up. I'm not saying Floyd is evil but he has worked hard to get a lot of people hating him and I'll take my fans any way I can get them. I see nothing but positives with this match-up," said Guerrero.
Mayweather vs Pacquiao is still the biggest fight in boxing but if it doesn't happen May 5th, Mayweather vs Guerrero seems to make the most sense for the fans, Mayweather, Guerrero and the sport of boxing.
Will Floyd Mayweather, Jr. fight Robert Guerrero in May?
December 9th Interview - Q&A with Robert Guerrero: "I've Got Mayweather Figured Out"
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.