How Will Mayweather vs. Guerrero Affect Possible Mayweather vs. Pacquiao Bout?

Steve SilvermanFeatured ColumnistApril 22, 2013

LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 17: Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. works out at the Mayweather Boxing Club on April 17, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mayweather Jr. will fight Robert Guerrero for the WBC welterweight title at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 4, 2013.  (Photo by Bryan Haraway/Getty Images)
Bryan Haraway/Getty Images

The boxing world will focus on the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on May 4 when Floyd Mayweather steps into the ring to fight Robert Guerrero.

Guerrero (31-1-1) is a well-spoken, solid fighter who has good power and solid boxing skills. Guerrero pounded out a unanimous-decision win over Andre Berto last November, which earned him a shot against Mayweather (43-0-0).

Both men know how to promote fights. If you watch Showtime's All Access preview of the fight, Guerrero makes it a point to criticize Mayweather for his lifestyle. He plans on teaching the undefeated champion "a lesson" when they get in the ring.

Mayweather believes he has never been fully challenged in the ring, and he rarely has shown respect for any opponent. He makes no attempt to change that habit as he prepares for Guerrero.

Mayweather may deserve a few questions for his training methods. In All Access, he is shown entering the gym for a 1 a.m. training session, and after jumping rope and hitting the speed bag, he plays pickup basketball.

But there is little doubt that Mayweather is the best fighter of his generation. No matter how much work Guerrero puts in, he is unlikely to beat Mayweather. He may hurt him and steal a few rounds, but when the fight is over, Mayweather will still be an undefeated fighter and Guerrero will be wondering what went wrong.

That's why Mayweather vs. Guerrero is unlikely to affect a potential bout between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.

The chances of a fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao are not great. If the fight were going to happen, it would have taken place in 2009 or 2010. That's when the public was craving this bout. It seemed like the two fighters were on the verge of agreeing to a bout, but they never closed the deal.

It could still happen if both fighters are interested, but Pacquiao would have to prove himself again and Mayweather would have to commit to it as well.

A loss to Guerrero would slow the train down. If that unlikely event happened and Mayweather was interested in revenge, he would have to get another bout with Guerrero in six months or so.

If Mayweather wins, he would be free to fight the worthy contender of his choice. After watching Saul "Canelo" Alvarez win a clear but less-than-impressive decision over Austin Trout, Mayweather probably thinks he could handle Alvarez with relative ease. However, he may decide to give Pacquiao the shot he has wanted for so long. Pacquiao would need to beat a worthy contender convincingly before he got a chance at Mayweather.

That means gaining revenge against Juan Manuel Marquez or Timothy Bradley. Pacquiao was knocked out by Marquez in the fourth bout of their rivalry last December. Pacquiao was winning that fight before he got nailed on the button in the final seconds of the sixth round.

Marquez and Bradley have tentatively scheduled a bout in September, but that fight is not a certainty. A fifth Marquez vs. Pacquiao fight would likely produce much more revenue than a Marquez vs. Bradley fight.

Mayweather will be able to fight whomever he wants if he can dispose of Guerrero. If he wants to end his career with a sensational, money-making headline fight, he will finally give Pacquiao his chance, as long as the Filipino fighter can resurrect his career by beating Marquez decisively.

Fighting Guerrero will not keep Mayweather from fighting Pacquiao, unless he suffers a shocking upset.