Floyd Mayweather vs. Robert Guerrero: Grading Money May in Win over the Ghost
Ring rust and old age were supposed to be two of the factors that Floyd Mayweather would face when he stepped into the ring with Robert Guerrero.
Neither of those factors were on display as Mayweather (44-0) pounded out a unanimous decision over Guerrero (31-2-1).
Mayweather dominated the fight with his sharp, accurate punching. Guerrero was very aggressive throughout, coming after Mayweather and looking for his openings, but he could not find them.
Mayweather may not have been in the ring for a full year, but he found his timing after the second round and put on one of his sharpest performances in recent memory.
Here's a look at Mayweather's grades for his performance against Guerrero.
Speed and Quickness
Mayweather did not appear to have the same foot speed and quickness in the first two rounds that fight fans are used to seeing.
He fought both of those rounds relatively flat-footed, as he attempted to learn what kind of offense Guerrero would throw at him. The first round was even, but by the last half of the second round, Mayweather was finding his rhythm. His hand speed started to take effect in that round.
Once the two fighters got to the third round, he started moving very well, and his speed and quickness were major advantages throughout the rest of the fight.
At the age of 36, it was expected that a bullish Guerrero would be able to charge at Mayweather and get in hard punches. Mayweather's defense had not been at a peak level in his most recent fights, and Guerrero thought he would be able to hit and hurt Mayweather.
That was not the case. Guerrero could not hit Mayweather with any effective combinations. Guerrero hit Mayweather with a few effective body punches in the first half of the fight, but they were not enough to throw Mayweather off of his game.
Mayweather was effective at both evading punches and smothering them. He made Guerrero look awkward on a number of occasions, and that's because Mayweather is a very effective defensive fighter.
Aggressiveness and Showmanship
There were some boos for Mayweather in the final round because he knew he was far ahead and decided to get on his bicycle and avoid punches.
However, those boos should not matter. After using the first two rounds to get warmed up, Mayweather was very aggressive throughout the fight and threw a lot of hard punches.
He was particularly effective with his straight right hand. That has always been a signature Mayweather punch, and he punished Guerrero throughout the night with it.
As the fight went along, he mixed in hard jabs and the occasional left hook. He was an aggressive but not reckless fighter and put on an impressive show with his stylish lead rights.
Timing has always been one of Mayweather's best attributes in the ring.
He understands what it takes to win.
He knows when his opponent is vulnerable to movement, when defense is effective and when it's time to be aggressive.
This is because he is a true student of boxing. He may not do much studying before he gets in the ring, but once he sizes up his opponent by fighting one or two rounds, he knows how to take charge and dictate the pace.
That was the case once again in his fight with Guerrero, and that's why he won easily.
There's an impression that Mayweather is a speedster and a defensive impresario, but that he lacks power.
He may not have as much power as some of the great knockout artists, but he has enough to hurt his opponents.
He certainly got to Guerrero with his straight right power shots and his occasional left hooks. Those punches hurt Guerrero and kept him off-balance.
Mayweather is not going to pulverize many opponents, but he has the power to hurt and stun.
This is perhaps Mayweather's greatest technical asset.
He is at home in the ring and very comfortable fighting. He makes his opponents look as if they are somewhat amateurish. Even when fighting an accomplished fighter like Guerrero.
Mayweather uses every inch of the ring to his advantage. When Mayweather is in the middle of the ring, nobody can touch him.
When he goes to the ropes, he knows how to slip his opponent's punches and sap his power.
He ranks with Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali as one of the greatest ring generals in ring history. He displayed all of that against Guerrero.
It's all about winning for Mayweather.
Whether he is on his game or struggling in any aspect, he finds a way to win.
Against Guerrero, he was sharper than many observers thought he would be, and he dominated the fight.
Each of the judges gave Mayweather a 117-111 edge. There was never any point that he was in a hint of trouble.
That's what it's about when you get in the ring. Mayweather has always found a way to win.
If he keeps fighting long enough, that won't always be the case, but it certainly is now.