On May 4, 2013, the boxing world will focus its attention on its most beloved villain, as Floyd Mayweather takes on Robert Guerrero. In the months preceding the fight, Mayweather and Guerrero have made things personal.
To put it simply, Mayweather and Guerrero's rivalry will be the most memorable of 2013.
This will be Mayweather's first fight since May 5, 2012—nearly a full calendar year. In that time, Mayweather has served an 87-day jail term for domestic abuse charges and, clearly, was unable to step into the ring.
The last time we saw Mayweather, he defeated Miguel Cotto by unanimous decision and moved to 43-0.
As for Guerrero, he has developed the nickname of "The Ghost" and is the current interim WBC Welterweight champion. He won that title in Mayweather's absence and took down Andre Berto by unanimous decision.
Much like Mayweather, Guerrero has faced his fair share of adversity while facing illegal gun possession charges.
Beyond the individual stories, however, is the personal nature of a feud that has been brewing since the fight was announced in February. Whether by attacking the character of the competitor or simply downplaying the other's abilities, we've heard it all.
It all starts with the troubles with the law.
Addressing Each Other's Past
When it comes to an individual's personal life, there is a thin line between invasive commentary and appropriate opinion. When it comes to Mayweather and Guerrero, neither fighter has found any lines they're unwilling to cross.
It all starts with religion and crime.
In a recent interview with Joseph Herron of East Side Boxing, Guerrero made statements in reference to what it would take to beat Mayweather. To paraphrase, Guerrero believes that the power of Jesus Christ, his religious figure, can lead him to victory.
At Mayweather's media day, he made pointed comments toward Guerrero's religious affiliation and recent arrest (via ESPN.co.UK):
You've got this guy that's preaching and going to the 700 Club, acting like he's a pastor, but he's got a gun on him. He's got Marilyn Monroe on his wall at his house. Like I said before, guys like that are hypocrites. You live and learn.
It doesn't get much more personal than that.
This has set the stage for a feud worth marveling, as the personal nature has reached a point that most rivalries dare not approach. With Mayweather calling out Guerrero's hypocrisy and the former coming off of jail time of his own, there's an undeniable sense of bad blood.
And we haven't even reached the undefeated factor.
No matter which way you cut it, there is nothing more important in the world of boxing than Mayweather's undefeated streak. By streak, of course, we mean to say the legendary career that Mayweather has put together.
Entering his fight against Guerrero, Mayweather is a perfect 43-0 with 26 knockouts as a professional boxer.
In that time, Mayweather has defeated the likes of Miguel Cotto, Victor Ortiz, Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya and Carlos Baldomir. Those are simply the opponents Mayweather has defeated since November of 2006.
Can Guerrero be the man to make history?
If Guerrero manages to upset Mayweather, he'd go down as the man to do what 43 others failed to succeed in achieving. From superstars to up-and-comers, Mayweather has sent everyone down who has crossed his path.
There's nothing more important in boxing than the potential for his streak to come to a close—the rest is just stunning hyperbole.
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