In a marquee bout shaping up to be one of the best of 2013, Floyd “Money” Mayweather (43-0) will square off against Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (31-1-1) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, May 4.
With so much history on the line in a matchup this huge, the excitement over the possible long-term implications of the Mayweather vs. Guerrero outcome has the boxing world at a fever pitch.
This is a historical outlook for each fighter going forward—covering both a win and loss for each man—and how this fight impacts that long-term projection.
How a Mayweather Victory Impacts History
Most boxing experts and fans expect Mayweather to beat Guerrero in this bout, but that doesn’t mean this won’t be an incredibly tough fight for Money.
Fans can’t forget this is a 36-year-old champion squaring off against a 30-year-old challenger.
If Mayweather wins this fight via unanimous decision, technical knockout or decisive knockout, the questions about Father Time catching up to the undefeated superstar and slowing down the speed that made him elite will go unfounded for at least one more fight.
What Money wants to avoid at all costs is getting into a slugfest with Guerrero.
When these megafights go to the judges’ scorecards, the decision almost always goes in the favor of a champion the caliber of Mayweather, but an aggressive fighter like The Ghost can win rounds.
If Mayweather can’t get any real edge in this fight and wins by split decision in a close brawl, the questions about his speed, power and the possibility of ring rust will start to creep into the conversation once again.
If Money wants to continue to be looked upon as the pound-for-pound toughest fighter in the sport and keep his legendary undefeated streak, he must beat Guerrero handedly Saturday night.
How a Guerrero Victory Impacts History
Just like in his previous fight against Andre Berto, the odds are stacked against Guerrero in this big-time matchup against Mayweather, but fighters with nothing to lose are typically the most dangerous.
If Guerrero is able to use his decisive power advantage to beat Mayweather on Saturday night, the boxing world would be rocked to its core. The undefeated champion would be handed his first career defeat, and The Ghost would go down in history as a bona fide upset king.
In the same way Buster Douglas has gone down in history as the man that took down the mighty undefeated Mike Tyson, Guerrero would be held in the same regard if he were able to hand Mayweather a loss; even if it was via a decision.
Mayweather is widely regarded as the best boxer of the last decade and one of the best fighters of all time, but losing to The Ghost on Saturday would throw a serious cloud of doubt over where Money would rank amongst the all-time greats.
The possible victory for Guerrero would mean an immediate rematch that could become a superfight of epic proportions, but much of the aura around Mayweather and his unbeaten streak have carried would be gone.
As much as the win would make The Ghost into a mainstream star, it would be even more devastating to Money and his allure as one of the greatest of all time.