It's fair to say Robert Guerrero will have to rely on some luck in order to beat Floyd Mayweather tonight.
The Ghost is a talented fighter, but Mayweather has shown little to no sign of falling off, even at 36 years old. Although he's been out of the ring for a year, Money May is the heavy favorite. Bovada has the odds on him to win at -700.
Of course, no one would have expected Buster Douglas to knock out Mike Tyson.
Plus, Mayweather didn't look great in his last fight against Miguel Cotto. Add that to the almost yearlong layoff and you've got what looks to be the most vulnerable Mayweather of his illustrious career.
Still, you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who's actually favoring Guerrero.
Don't discount him, though. He's a talented fighter, and he wouldn't be the first to ride his luck against a better fighter.
Since The Ghost can't count on luck alone to pick up the upset, he should follow these three keys.
Shrug off Mayweather's Attack
No one is going to confuse Mayweather for a knockout artist, especially at 36. Six of his last eight fights have gone the distance.
Mayweather is a volume puncher, though. He'll hit Guerrero with a barrage of strikes. Slowly but surely, Mayweather will look to take Guerrero out of the fight.
The Ghost is an extremely tough fighter. He can fully withstand Mayweather's offense in the early and middle parts of the fight. In the later stages, sustaining those blows will catch up to him. That's why Guerrero needs to avoid taking a ton of punches early in the fight.
It's one thing to have the strength and toughness to go the distance. It's another to go the distance and have enough left in the tank to make a major impact late in the fight. Guerrero's likely going to be down toward the end of the fight, should it go that far. He'd need to land a knockout punch in order to pick up the victory because the points difference would be too great to overcome.
He's not going to be able to do that should he be physically spent from taking Mayweather's punches early.
Hit Mayweather Early
Guerrero's best hope is to take the fight to Mayweather early. Money May's best assets are his speed and defense. He's like Houdini in the ring. One second he's here; the next, he's gone. Mayweather's getting up there, but he's got plenty of stamina to be able to dance around the ring for the duration of the fight.
That is, unless The Ghost lands some major blows in the early rounds. By hitting Mayweather early, Guerrero will wear his opponent down. Mayweather would have a much harder time dancing around the ring when he's taken a few substantial hits.
The longer this fight goes, the more it favors Mayweather. Over time, the gap in quality would begin to shine through, and there would be nothing Guerrero could do about it. By taking the fight to Mayweather early, The Ghost increases his chances of landing the one punch that can end the fight.
Be Careful with the Haymakers
Of course, Guerrero should not be liberal with his haymakers. Mayweather is a fantastic counterpuncher. He will have no trouble pegging Guerrero when The Ghost leaves himself open too much.
The catch-22 is that unless Guerrero attempts some haymakers, he won't have any chance to win. Since he must attempt power punches that can end the fight, Guerrero must pick and choose his spots.
Few could have predicted Juan Manuel Marquez would knock out Manny Pacquiao in the sixth round. The Pac-Man left himself vulnerable and paid the price.
The circumstances are a bit different for this fight, but the principle still holds.
While his last five fights have gone the distance, Guerrero has enough power to end the fight with one blow. The strategy carries a massive risk, but it's the only door that leads to a victory. The risk would be mitigated a bit should The Ghost reign in his haymakers a bit.