SAN DIEGO, May 3, 2013 – The build-up, the hype, the trash talk and the anticipation is nearly over. As boxer Robert Guerrero said after Friday’s weigh-in, “It’s time to rock and roll, man!”
Saturday night’s all right for fighting as Mayweather (43-0, 26 KOs) and Guerrero (31-1-1, 18 KOs) vie for the WBC welterweight title and the unoffical title of best pound for pound boxer in the world. The event gets underway at 9 p.m ET/6 p.m. PT on Showtime PPV. The fight will also be shown in 400 movie theaters in the United States, as well as countless bars and living rooms.
Both fighters made weight with ease, Mayweather at 146 pounds and Guerrero right at the limit of 147 pounds. The pair are in exceptional condition. Guerrero is naturally the smaller fighter but he looked as if he’s settled in nicely in the welterweight class.
Unlike the final news conference earlier this week, there was no trash talk. Instead, the pair engaged in an intense face off in complete silence. The crowd in attendance at the MGM Grand Arena who had waited hours to get in filled in the soundtrack with roars, cheers, and booing.
Mayweather sounds more like the promoter than the fighter in his interviews, lavishing thank yous on the fans, his partners at Showtime, and his father Floyd Sr. and uncle Roger, with whom he’s had a volatile relationship over the years. He stayed 15 mintues after the weigh-in signing autographs.
Mayweather will have been out of the ring 364 days by fight time, but says he’s in tip top shape and ready to fight. “I always control the tempo. My thing is to go out there and be me.”
Guerrero may be the underdog but he seems not the least bit intimidated. Asked what he was thinking about during the lengthy staredown with Mayweather, a pumped up Guerrero responded, “I’m thinking about getting down, that’s what I’m thinking about… When we get in the ring, it’s on! We got to beat him down, that’s what we gotta do. We gotta take full advantage of him.”
Therein lies the question. Everyone knows Mayweather is a defensive genius, deflecting even the best efforts of determined opponents to get to him, while patiently waiting for opportunities to pick fighters apart. Many have tried to imitate Mayweather’s shoulder roll, but no one compares to the original. Mayweather has the balance to squirt away and get out of trouble if he thinks it’s coming. Fighters who try and pin him to the ropes or a corner also leave themselves open for a shot.
Miguel Cotto lost to Mayweather a year ago but acquitted himself well, bloodying Mayweather’s nose for the first time anyone could remember. Guerrero would do well to employ some of the same tactics as Cotto by being aggressive and pushing forward, but he has to shut down Mayweather’s counterpunching opportunities or he will suffer for it. Mayweather is so skilled and fast that it’s hard to concentrate on your own attack while wondering where and when Mayweather will come at you.
Guerrero has a potent weapon in his mental strength and his strong Christian faith. His personal story is well-publicized. He gave up his featherweight title in early 2010 to take care of his wife Casey and young children Savannah and Robert Jr. as she fought leumekia. Casey underwent a bone marrow transplant thanks to a match with Katharina Zech, a 22-year-old from Germany through the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry. Casey recovered and is now in remission. Guerrero is this year’s “Ambassador of Hope” spokesperson for BeTheMatch.org to help register minorities into the national bone-marrow registry.
Guerrero’s attitude helps take away Mayweather’s mind games, and that’s a big plus for him. If heart and faith made fights, I’d back Robert Guerrero all the way. There is much to be admired about him and it would be quite the story if he pulled off a win.
But it would be an upset. No one who’s watched boxing the past 15 years can ever bet against Floyd Mayweather. He’s won 43 fights for a reason. All but one were knockouts, TKOs, or unanimous decisions. The lone split decision came against Oscar De La Hoya in 2007. To win on the judges’ scorecards against a champion, you must win decisively. Guerrero will fight well, and fight hard. Mayweather’s face may show the effects. But his record will show another win in the end.
On the undercard, Daniel Ponce de Leon and Abner Mares both weighed in at the 126 pound limit for their featherweight contest. Leo Santa Cruz and Alexander Munoz also made weight for their junior featherweight matchup at 122 pounds. These will be excellent bouts; the Ponce de Leon - Mares matchup is worthy of headlining its own event. Look for the powerful Ponce de Leon to score a knockout here. Santa Cruz is an exciting up and coming fighter, and he’ll bring the action.
Be sure to join our Communities live chat for the May Day event, starting at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. We will be reporting from the most exclusive viewing party in Southern California, among a partisan Robert Guerrero crowd. The boxing theater will be rocking and so will the conversation. Don’t miss it.
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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