SAN DIEGO – February 22, 2013 – Confirmation that pound for pound boxing superstar Floyd “Money” Mayweather (43-0, 26 KOs) would face Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (31-1-1, 18 KOs) in a pay per view fight main event on Saturday, May 4 in Las Vegas came as no surprise to boxing fans.
The surprise element was the announcement that Mayweather and his promotion team cut a six-fight production deal with CBS/Showtime over the next two and a half years, leaving their longtime home at HBO.
The rest of the undercard has yet to be decided, but it’s expected to include a bout between Mexican star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, a Showtime star, and American Austin “No Doubt” Trout, who is coming off an upset victory over Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto.
What we won’t likely see is an undercard fight featuring Mayweather protégé Adrien “The Problem” Broner, who is squarely in HBO’s stable. Broner is likely to benefit with even more attention from HBO thanks to Mayweather’s departure, as HBO will be counting on the rising star to pick up the slack. As if Broner’s ego needs to be stroked more than it already it.
It’s a body shot to HBO, but not a knockout punch. Despite his stunning loss in December and his unknown future, Manny Pacquiao is still on the roster, as well as pound for pound number one ranked Andre Ward, middleweight star Sergio Martinez, Nonito Donaire, Brandon Rios, and and Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin.
And nothing in boxing is guaranteed. Locking in Mayweather for 30 months is a gamble for CBS/Showtime. Mayweather will turn 36 on February 23. While Guerrero is an underdog, he’s got as good a chance to beat Mayweather as anyone in the last 10 years. Should Mayweather win, his next likely opponent could be Alvarez, another potential threat. Still, even Mayweather with a loss is a big draw.
Guerrero, 29, will get the biggest payday of his life, but still far less than Mayweather will earn. He agreed to a rematch clause and drug testing.
Guerrero is not a big name outside the boxing world. The Gilroy, California fighter is a deeply religious family man who took 15-months off to care for his wife as she fought cancer. Guerrero jumped two weight classes to the welterweight division, and took out top contenders Selcuk Aydin and Andre Berto in succession. The recent fight against Berto was a thrilling fan friendly slugfest.
Fans will get to know and love Guerrero and his story through interviews and features on CBS programming. Mayweather will also benefit; the lure of having a broadcast network at your disposal still matters a lot. Watch for both fighters during March Madness NCAA basketball coverage.
People who’ve expressed surprise at Mayweather’s new deal are under the misimpression that loyalty trumps cash. Mayweather is the world’s best paid athlete and graced the cover of ESPN Magazine’s “The Money Issue.” He intends to stay there as long as possible. Gambling, spending sprees and entourages aside, Money is all about the money. A boxer’s earning years are finite like any athlete and subject to ending thanks to one punch. No one should find fault in Mayweather’s decision.
Whether it turns out to be the right move for CBS/Showtime, only time will tell. The networks have made their own version of the bets Mayweather posts on Twitter. You win some, you lose some.
BOXING BRIEFS: Lamont Peterson returns to the ring 14 months after his surprise split decision victory over Amir Khan Friday night on his home turf in Washington D.C. at the D.C. Armory. Peterson (30-1-1, 15KOs) will face Kendell Holt (28-5, 16 KOs) of Paterson, New Jersey.
Peterson wasn’t able to capitalize on his big victory at the end of 2011 when he tested positive for banned substances and was suspended. He needs a big win to prove himself claw his way back into the Saturday night lineup against major opponents. But he can’t overlook Holt, who is known to strike early. Peterson needs to control the ring and pay attention to Holt’s speed. Having the home town fans on your side won’t hurt either.
Watch Peterson vs. Holt on “Friday Night Fights” on ESPN 2, WatchESPN, and ESPN Deportes at 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific Time (delayed to the West Coast).
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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Copyright © 2013 by Falcon Valley Group
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