Tuesday, 13 December 2011 19:49

Q&A with Robert Guerrero: "I've Got Mayweather Figured Out"

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On December 9th, FightSaga.com interviewed interim WBA Lightweight Champion Robert Guerrero to discuss his potential superfight with Floyd Mayweather, Jr?

With talks between Team Mayweather and Top Rank seemingly at a standstill, Mayweather vs Pacquiao doesn't seem any more likely now than a year ago. And with Lamont Peterson's thrilling upset of Amir Khan last week, 'King Khan' is at least temporarily out of the 'Floyd Mayweather Sweepstakes.' 

Enter Robert Guerrero.

The 28 year old, 5'8" fighter is 29-1-1-2NC with 18 knockouts and is a former IBF Super Featherweight Champion, former two-time IBF Featherweight Champion and the current WBA interim Lightweight Champion. He's also a naturally big, strong, aggressive southpaw with excellent footwork who, according to some experts, has a real and legitimate chance of defeating Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

There seems to be a buzz starting to build around the possibility of you getting in the ring with Floyd Mayweather.

Robert Guerrero: Yeah, I'm excited about it. I think both Shane Mosley and Victor Ortiz exposed some glaring weaknesses in Floyd's game. I've been able to pinpoint four weak spots that I would like to exploit on May 5th.

FightSaga: No disrespect, but we've heard these kinds of things from other fighters in the past. Can you give us some examples without giving your away your strategies?

Robert Guerrero: Sure. I mean the most important thing is you have to fight like Floyd fights. He's very patient and waits for you to give him the opportunity. He comes in and hits you once with the right hand and then pops out real quick. Other guys will come in and try to throw several shots and then they get hit themselves. Floyd likes to hit and not be hit. He's very smart.

Also, Floyd is always in excellent shape but everyone gets old. (But) let's face it, an old Floyd Mayweather is still better than 99% of the fighters out there but I'm in that 1% who can take him.

On February 24th he'll be 35 years old. At 28 years old, I'm at the apex of my career, both mentally and physically. I'm a southpaw with great punching power - And I'm smart. When Ortiz had him on the ropes in the fourth round, I saw Floyd's skills had deteriorated a little. His movements, defensively, were a little slower than what I'd seen in the past. His reaction time was slower. When I saw Ortiz get to him on the ropes I knew that if I fought a smart fight, I could take Floyd out.

Floyd likes to lean back on the ropes and bend way back so his head is out of range as you try to hit him over and over again. Young fighters get frustrated because he's so difficult to hit. I've studied (film) with my team and with some of the greatest minds in boxing.

I don't want to say too much but I've got some surprises for Floyd on May 5th.

In order for me to win this fight I have to knock Floyd out. It's very difficult trying to out-point him or win a decision trying to box with him for 12 rounds. I don't want to leave it in the judge's hands and have what happened to Marquez against Pacquiao happen to me. I have devastating power in both hands and I'll need to use it. But at the same time, I can't force it. I need to fight just like Floyd (and) be patient and take what my opponent gives me. I can create opportunities for myself but I have to be very selective and really careful.

FightSaga: Yes, that's true. You've really got to be focused every second when you're in the ring with Floyd. Victor Ortiz really found that out.

Robert Guerrero: Yeah, but Victor really lost the fight because he didn't move his head. In that third round Floyd started touching him over and over because he was a stationary target. Throwing a lot of punches (as your strategy) for the best defense is a mistake with Floyd. I mean, he's one of the best counter punchers in the business. I've got to keep my head moving (and) make myself a tough target for him to hit. Defense will be my number one priority until I drop the bomb.

FightSaga: What about the mental aspect of fighting Mayweather? What will you do to prepare for that part of the fight?

Robert Guerrero: I have to be patient and stick with my game plan at all costs. Floyd likes to rattle his opponents with mind games before the fight even starts. They're so agitated by the time they get in the ring they're already out of their game plan. Then they find out how hard he is to hit and it pushes them over the edge.

I know this guy like the back of my hand. Believe me - I've got Mayweather figured out. You don't get that many opportunities to hit Floyd. That's why you have to be so patient. You might only get three or four opportunities to take him out in the whole fight. ... When the opportunity presents itself, you need to make sure you capitalize on it.

FightSaga: Wow, that's good stuff. Floyd really is hard to get to but he also frustrates his opponents when they start getting hit when they're trying so hard not to.

Robert Guerrero: Oh yeah, he's going to hit you no matter how well you prepare. When he hits you have to tell yourself, "I knew that was coming." Also, you have to stay on track. You have to expect it and incorporate it into your game plan. Most fighters get frustrated and resort to headbutts or start trying to rough him up. I have to keep his punches to a minimum. I know what to expect. I'm ready.

FightSaga: You sound very confident. I didn't expect that.

Robert Guerrero: Thanks. Yeah, I have no doubt I can do this. I've really done my homework. And there are a lot of trainers and insiders who think I can beat him too.

If you talk to guys like Manny Steward, a fight between me and Floyd is really a pick 'em.

Even Floyd's father, Floyd Sr., said I have the talent and the skills to beat him. I'd have to make a stupid mistake and give it to him in order for him to win. It sounds funny but I feel honored to be the first guy to knock Floyd out. It's hard to do.

FightSaga: Let me bring up a few points though... You injured your shoulder and had to cancel your fight with Maidana (in August). You haven't fought in a long time and there's the possibility of ring rust. You've never fought in the 'bright lights' like this. Even though you say you're prepared, it can be intimidating.

Robert Guerrero: Yeah, my shoulder is great right now. I had corrective surgery and, for the first time in years, it feels really good. Unfortunately, injuries is a part of boxing. Floyd has fragile hands. It's just part of the territory.

I haven't fought in awhile but it hasn't been that long. I will get the best sparring partners in the world and will be sharper than I've ever been. Like I said, I respect Floyd a lot and will make sure I am on top of my game. I feel like some of these things can help me get the fight. You know how Floyd likes to hand pick his opponents... Maybe this will make me look more attractive to him.

FightSaga: There are a lot of other guys who want to get in the ring with Floyd so why should you be the guy? Some have bigger names and would draw more interest in the fight.

Robert Guerrero: Give me some names.

FightSaga: PacMan, Sergio Martinez, Bradley, Khan. There are several. Oh, and Canelo.

Robert Guerrero: When you go down the list I think you'll see me at the top. I heard Mayweather has already rejected Sergio Martinez. He's just too big. I think Pacquiao's performance against Marquez has really taken a lot of the excitement out of that possibility. I know Floyd would love that one now but I don't see Top Rank letting that one go down. Nobody I know wants to see Bradley take on Floyd. I think he needs to get a few more fights under his belt first before he steps in there with Mayweather. Canelo is a huge draw in Mexico but he's still being built up right now. I don't see them putting him in there and risking everything they've worked so hard for.

So that leaves me and Khan.

Let's be real here. Its Cinco De Mayo and the Mexican fans deserve (to see) a Mexican warrior going 'head up' with Floyd. I'm a huge draw in the Hispanic market, myself, and I speak both Spanish and English really well. I'd sell more tickets than Khan here in the US and Freddie (Roach) said he needs a couple of fights at welterweight before he steps in there with Mayweather. Plus, now Khan is busy with Peterson.

I know my name isn't as big now but when the folks at 24/7 start doing their thing, people will see I have a great human interest story.

With all the adversity I had to go through, combined with my accomplishments in the ring... When those two things come together, they'll understand that I can become the next mega star in boxing.

Lastly, I'm willing to take any test Floyd wants - I would demand it myself.

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.

FightSaga: Thanks for your time. We appreciate it.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Robert Guerrero on May 5th?

Follow Robert Guerrero on Twitter 

Richard V. Powell

Richard Powell is an investments professional and respected Las Vegas boxing insider with strong connections on the west coast. Known for his positive approach and friendly demeanor, he gives fighters advice and added exposure and is a frequent guest on boxing radio shows.

Contact Richard at richardvpowell@aol.com


{youtube}eAN7CNQjJZg{/youtube} HBO Boxing: Robert Guerrero - Greatest Hits (HBO)