5 Crucial Mistakes Robert Guerrero Must Avoid Against Floyd Mayweather

Kevin McRae@@McRaeWritesFeatured ColumnistApril 24, 2013

5 Crucial Mistakes Robert Guerrero Must Avoid Against Floyd Mayweather

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    Robert Guerrero will no doubt face the biggest challenge of his professional career on May 4 when he steps into the ring with pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. 

    The 36-year-old Mayweather has been the standard of excellence in boxing for the better part of the last decade and has rarely even been challenged in the ring. 

    But he is coming off a long layoff and has suffered through personal trials that have forced him to take his attention away from the fighting aspects of the sport. 

    Could he be ripe for a young, hungry fighter with difficult and rugged style of Robert Guerrero come May 4 at the MGM Grand?

    Possibly, but only if Guerrero manages to avoid making these five crucial mistakes.

Try to Hit Singles Not Home Runs

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    In his last fight against Miguel Cotto, we saw a different Floyd Mayweather Jr. than we have become accustomed to during his reign of dominance.

    Far from relying on pure speed, defense and counterpunching, Mayweather often found himself engaging his opponent and eating more punches than he has at any point in his career.

    And while he clearly won the fight, the performance was used by detractors as evidence that his skill set has begun to slip just enough to make him vulnerable.

    To win the fight, Robert Guerrero is going to need to employ a similar style. He isn't going to out-box Floyd Mayweather, he's going to need to out-fight him.

    Rather than stalk him around the ring looking to land one shot, while eating dozens of potshots in return, he will need to swarm Mayweather, keep his hands moving and keep landing leather.

    It doesn't even really matter where he lands—head, chest, arms, elbows—just so long as he makes the fight uncomfortable.

Don't Get Lost in the Moment

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    For years now the road to big money in the sport of boxing has run through Floyd Mayweather Jr., and there has been no shortage of men openly lobbying to take their shot at being the first to beat "Money" Mayweather and make a ton of money in the process.

    It's easy to see though how a fighter can get lost in the moment. And that's something Robert Guerrero will need to avoid.

    He must fight like a fighter who is getting his one and only shot and not get swallowed up by a "just happy to be here" mentality. This is the professional fight of his life, and he has the opportunity to establish himself as a true boxing superstar with a victory. 

    But to do that he needs to stay within himself, fight his fight and avoid any unnecessary distractions. He's never been on or even near this stage before. And if he allows that to affect him, he never will be again.

Stay Focused

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    Most of Floyd Mayweather's opponents walk into the ring brimming confidence that they will be the man who finally solves the defensive riddle and takes his zero. 

    And then after three minutes in the ring, most if not all of which is spent without landing a single punch of consequence, they get extremely frustrated. That in a nutshell is the trademark of Money's style. 

    And to win it's something Robert Guerrero is going to need to avoid. 

    He will need to stay within himself, keep pressing forward and making the fight. Getting sloppy and frustrated will leave openings for Mayweather's precision counters and likely lead us to yet another lopsided decision victory for the best in the game.

    This is possibly the tallest task that Guerrero faces going into the fight. But it's also the most important. If he gets sloppy and frustrated he will lose. Just ask Victor Ortiz who after headbutting Mayweather along the ropes out of frustration had his head nearly taken off. 

Don't Believe the Hype

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    In the past, Guerrero and members of his team have been open about their belief that Floyd Mayweather has slipped and is ready to be toppled.

    And that stuff might make good copy and fill the sports pages around the country to hype the fight, but it's something "The Ghost" better not bring with him into the ring on May 4. 

    Assuming that Floyd Mayweather will be anything less than his best is a bad idea, and it's the kind of thing that keeps you from preparing adequately and gets you embarrassed come fight night.

    Robert Guerrero better prepare for the best Floyd Mayweather can bring into the ring because when the chips are down there is no fighter more driven and determined to silence the critics. 

    Mayweather will bring his A-game into the ring, and even if that game has slipped a bit, it's still light years ahead of nearly every fighter on the planet. If Guerrero and his team walk in expecting anything less, they're in for a long night.

Keep Personal Demons at Bay

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    Win, lose or draw, Robert Guerrero will likely face one of the toughest fights of his life after his May 4 showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

    Shortly after the fight he will be compelled to return to New York to face gun possession charges stemming from a March 28 arrest while returning home from a promotional stop for the fight.

    Guerrero attempted to board a flight at New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport while in possession of an unloaded handgun. The gun was legal in his home state, but New York has extremely strict gun laws and imposes significant jail sentences for offenses.

    The gravity of that must weigh heavily on "The Ghost's" mind but he will need to force it to the back burner, at least until fight night, if he wants to have any chance to win.

    Few fighters are smarter, quicker thinkers in the ring than Floyd Mayweather. He finds and exploits every mental edge he finds in his opponents. If Robert Guerrero's mind is even a fraction off where he needs it to be, he'll pay for it.