Floyd "Money" Mayweather is no stranger to being the center of attention, and he hopes to be precisely that when he faces Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Mayweather's better half may very well steal the show, however.
Mayweather's fiance, Shantel Jackson, boasts a burgeoning modeling career and has been quite visible alongside Mayweather—over the past year especially. The wives and girlfriends of elite athletes always find themselves in the spotlight, and that has been the case with Jackson thus far.
Jackson first rose to prominence when she was spotted in the crowd at Mayweather's fight against Miguel Cotto one year ago. Jackson, who goes by the stage name "Miss Jackson," stood out, as she wore a fairly risque outfit while cheering on her man.
The interesting thing about Mayweather is that he is one of the few boxers who transcend the sport today. While true boxing fans watch his fights, fringe fans watch as well because his fights are big events in society. Those fringe fans aren't necessarily focused solely on the fight, so Jackson will be a topic of conversation.
Mayweather's fights aren't always exciting, as he tends to employ a defensive strategy. Saturday's fight should be no different as he attempts to guard against the presumably aggressive Guerrero. Mayweather isn't the type of fighter who is going to trade power punches, so it's entirely possible that some people will be bored by the fight.
Luckily for those viewers, there is always plenty going on aside from the fight itself. Jackson will be one of those distractions, as Showtime figures to put the camera on her throughout the fight. If Jackson isn't already a star, she most likely will be by the time Saturday's fight comes to an end.
Sports fans have seen firsthand how an attractive significant other can upstage athletes. The most recent and perhaps best example happened during the 2013 BCS National Championship Game between Alabama and Notre Dame. The Crimson Tide rolled past the Fighting Irish, so the broadcasters naturally had to find something interesting to talk about.
That came in the form of Katherine Webb, who is the girlfriend of Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron. The former Miss Alabama USA was shown in the crowd, and then the true entertainment started. 73-year-old renowned broadcaster Brent Musberger waxed poetic about Webb and wouldn't stop talking about how beautiful she was.
Musberger got into a bit of trouble and ESPN issued an apology, but it was probably the best thing to ever happen to Webb. She soon became a household name, and it can certainly be argued that she eclipsed the popularity of her quarterback boyfriend, who could very well be playing in the NFL by 2014.
Polished announcer Brian Kenny isn't likely to "go Musberger" on Jackson, but he could definitely help put her over with a few nice words. As much as sports fans love athletic feats, they seem to love side storylines just as much, so look for Jackson to be an integral part of Showtime's broadcast on Saturday night.
Whether Mayweather wins or loses, Jackson will probably be the real winner, as boxing fans everywhere will be talking about her for days and weeks to come.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter