Still not confirmed, and probably won’t be until the first week of January, but according to multiple sources, Floyd Mayweather will step into the ring for the first time since coming out of prison against Welterweight champion Robert Guerrero, which will probably happen on May 4, 2013.
Floyd Mayweather hasn’t fought two fights in a single year since 2007, with a couple of semi-retirements and going to prison getting in the way. His most recent fight was on May 5, 2012, beating Miguel Cotto to claim the WBA (super) Light Middleweight champion, adding it to his current WBC Welterweight title. You usually don’t get to keep belts in different weight classes, but different rules apply to Mayweather, fighting only four times since December 2007.
His opponent? The ghost, 29 year old Robert Guerrero. Somewhat of a mystery, no one saw Guerrero making the sudden and quick rise through the weight ranks in the last few years. A Featherweight champion since 2006, Guerrero moved up to Super Featherweight in 2009, taking some time to win the title. He moved up to Lightweight a year later and beat Selcuk Aydin and Andre Berto in 2012 to win and retain the WBC interim Welterweight title belt. If he steps into the ring with Mayweather, it’ll be for Mayweather’s WBC Welterweight ring.
Guerrero isn’t some up coming young gun with an immaculate record. He’s been in the pro circuit since 2001, compiling a record of 31 (18 by knockout)-1-1-2. His loss came way back in 2006 to Gamaliel Diaz, followed later with No contests. Since he began his rapid ascent up the weight ladder, it’s been smooth sailing, although his last five wins have come through the scorecards.
Despite all the talk about Mayweather having a wealth of option, it was really easy honing and choosing Robert Guerrero as his setup guy for (probably) Saul Alvarez in September. Once again, despite the rumors, Mayweather hasn’t taken on two fights (with four months between them nonetheless) in quite some time, so it won’t be surprising if that one doesn’t actually happen. Still, Alvarez, a Light Middleweight champion, despite his young age, is good for the PPV and box office numbers. Guerrero has proved he’s a solid fighter at 147 lbs. There weren’t that many other lucrative options left.
Devon Alexander, Paulie Malignaggi, Josesito Lopez, Amir Khan, Alfredo Angulo, James Kirkland, Erislandy Lara, Marcos Maidana, Cornelius Bundrage, and Victor Ortiz were also taken into consideration, but none of them offered the right kind of credibility to future fights. Too many recent losses and/or not enough marketability.
Guerrero has actually been seeking a fight with Mayweather, like anyone, for quite a while. Not just for the money, but Guerrero believes he can beat the biggest draw in the boxing world. He doesn’t have the kind of foot-work that can give Mayweather a lot of trouble, but he has a very aggressive style, which he demonstrated impressively in his win against Berto, using his frame to his advantage.
The Manny Pacquiao fight is no longer an option, or at least not a very lucrative one, like it used to be. That actually makes Mayweather very happy, despite what some say it does to his legacy. Eventually, it’s all about the money and remaining undefeated. Choosing Guerrero and later Canelo seems like the right way to go.