Mayweather vs. Guerrero 2013: Why Guerrero Isn't Floyd's Most Dangerous Opponent
Robert Guerrero may have just one loss in 35 professional fights, he may be a top-five welterweight in the world, but he isn't Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s most dangerous opponent to date.
The reason? It all begins and ends with experience inside the ring.
Why did Miguel Cotto prove to be Mayweather's greatest challenge? Well, besides the fact that the Puerto Rican was a four-time world champion in three different weight divisions, he had 39 fights to his name before the bout with Mayweather in May 2012.
But more than his workload, it was about the fighters he faced. Before touching gloves with Mayweather, Cotto fought fighters such as Manny Pacquiao, Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito and Joshua Clottey. He had experience against a variety of top-notch boxers with different styles.
In turn, Cotto was the only fighter who finally got Mayweather to open up a little bit, forcing the undefeated great to be more aggressive, as opposed to his customary defensive-minded, counterpunching style. Cotto actually made Mayweather bleed, which was basically unheard of before the encounter.
Yet, despite giving Mayweather the fight of his life, Cotto lost on the scorecards, 117-111, 117-111, 118-110. And all told, he still only connected on 21 percent of his punches (23 percent of power punches), according to CompuBox (via BoxingScene.com).
So, if a boxer with Cotto's resume turned in one of his greatest career performances against Mayweather and Mayweather still gained separation on him, how can you expect Guerrero to do any better?
Guerrero (31-1-1, two no-contests) may have 35 professional fights to his name, but Andre Berto was the first prime opponent he faced in his career. He defeated Berto via unanimous decision in November, but it wasn't exactly a technical masterpiece. Berto landed a greater percentage of total punches and power punches in the fight but was less active. Both fighters were a mess by the time it went to the scorecards.
Plain and simple, Guerrero isn't technically sound enough or experienced enough to be Mayweather's greatest challenge.
Boxers used to say they were baffled by Manny Pacquiao's speed in the ring, despite watching plenty of tape before the bout. The same can be said about Mayweather's incredible defense and counterpunching ability.
Guerrero may think he can get through Mayweather's defense, but he will soon learn that it is far easier said than done. If he throws as many punches against Mayweather as he did against Berto without being more precise, he's not going to bloody Mayweather—he's going to wear himself out in the later rounds.
And that is when Mayweather will likely exert his dominance, cruising to a victory via unanimous decision.
Will Robert Guerrero upset Floyd Mayweather Jr?
One thing the challenger does have going for him is the fact that Mayweather hasn't fought in a year. Early on, Mayweather's rust may show.
Also, Mayweather is now 36 years old. That's when experienced boxers begin to generally slow down.
But both of those things won't matter, because Mayweather's expert defense and technique will be too much for Guerrero. Mayweather doesn't need to be overly aggressive or knock someone out to win a fight; he's shown that time and time again.
Guerrero is a respectable fighter, but he will receive a wake-up call from a true great on May 4 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
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