Floyd Mayweather Jr. will put his perfect 43-0 record to the test against challenger Robert Guerrero on May 4 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Mayweather, who scored a spectacular victory against Miguel Cotto in May 2012, will be entering the ring for the first time since serving his 87-day jail term for domestic abuse. He aims to put his transgressions behind him and move forward with his sterling boxing career.
Guerrero is coming off a convincing victory over Andre Berto in November. He aims to use the confidence-building win to give Mayweather a battle.
Here's a look at my predictions for before, during and after the fight on May 4.
1. Mayweather—in true Money May fashion—doesn't give Guerrero credit for his convincing victory over Andre Berto in November. He points to Berto's loss to Victor Ortiz in April 2011. He then points to his victory over Ortiz in September 2011.
"I beat down Ortiz in September," Mayweather says. "And, no, there wasn't anything controversial about that fight. If anything, the 'controversial ending' prevented me from completely busting up Ortiz over the course of 12 brutal rounds. Oh, yeah, and I'm the greatest in the world."
2. Guerrero has publicly said that if Mayweather touches him during the weigh-in, he will retaliate. This was in response to Mayweather grabbing Ortiz by the throat before their fight in September.
I expect Mayweather to indeed get physical with Guerrero during the weigh-in, perhaps a slap this time (to openly challenge his manliness). Guerrero will then go after Mayweather, almost pushing him off the stage before it is broken up.
Mayweather responds, "That's the most damage you're going to do against me for the rest of your career. Peace, I'm out."
3. In true Money May fashion, Mayweather brings out some celebrities as he walks up to the ring on fight night. Justin Bieber is once again at his side, albeit the hardcore version. Of course, 50 Cent is also there, looking really menacing and serious.
Last but not least, Tim Robbins comes out, accompanied by narrator Morgan Freeman, exemplifying that Money May is a free man now (if you don't get the reference, watch Shawshank Redemption...now).
1. Guerrero comes out aggressive, looking to get through Mayweather's historic defense. He lands a few nice punches in the early going—shocking everyone—but Mayweather eventually centers and proceeds to use a bunch of erratic movements and angles to frustrate the challenger.
As the two fighters are about to go back to their corners after the fifth round, Mayweather yaps, "Who's 'The Ghost' now? Are you blindly punching at this point?"
2. But, as Mayweather begins to get comfortable, Guerrero fights back, determined not to let the 36-year-old cruise to an easy victory. He pressures Mayweather, finding ways to get some more shots in a la Miguel Cotto, and testing Mayweather's age.
He doesn't do enough to create any serious damage to the undefeated great, but he does expose the fact that Mayweather is human, as was exemplified against Cotto. Pundits and fans alike begin to question whether Money May is finally slowing down.
3. The last two rounds of the fight get the best of Guerrero, not Mayweather, despite Mayweather's age. The fact of the matter is, Guerrero isn't able to get through Mayweather's defense enough, and Mayweather's expertise in the ring begins to show down the stretch.
Mayweather, despite not being very aggressive throughout the fight, takes it to Guerrero before the bell, solidifying his victory. He finishes like the champ that he is.
1. Mayweather handles his victory with class. His entourage obviously hypes him up before the scorecards come in, but he goes over to Guerrero and congratulates him on a fine effort, just as he has his previous opponents after trash-talking before the fight.
Guerrero responds in turn, congratulating Mayweather and noting his respect for the tactical great.
2. Two judges score convincingly for Mayweather, but one scores it an even match. Mayweather still wins, but murmurs circulate throughout the MGM Grand about the unpredictability of the judging process. It only fuels the speculation that some judges are affected by outside influences.
3. Mayweather goes on to fight Canelo Alvarez, while Guerrero uses his inspired effort (as well as a nod that one judge scored it an even match) to land a promising bout in the future. Both fighters come out of the bout with future aspirations, although Mayweather's corner begins to prepare relentlessly for Alvarez, who they secretly believe has what it takes to shock Mayweather as he ages.
Do you have any bold predictions for before, during and after the fight? Leave your comments below.