As much as the boxing world wanted to believe Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero could present a challenge on May 4, Floyd “Money” Mayweather was in no position to throw away his spotless record to the 31-year-old challenger.
The hype surrounding the May Day fight was a direct result of hoping (and perhaps praying) fans would see a fight worth watching. It wasn’t enough to see Money back in the ring after a year-long layoff; boxing fans wanted to see a fight that would keep them on the edge of their seats.
What we got instead was a one-sided affair that clearly announced the return of the same Mayweather we’ve grown to expect in his 44 professional bouts. He looked as good as ever, using his speed, defensive prowess and boxing acumen to dismantle the powerful southpaw in impressive fashion. It wasn’t much of a fight.
As a result, we’re left to wonder what’s next for Money and the rest of the sport. There just doesn’t seem to be a challenger worthy of going toe-to-toe with the pound-for-pound kingpin, and there may not be one before Money retires upon the completion of his current Showtime/CBS contract.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest takeaways from May Day, and look ahead to the future for both fighters.
There’s Great, and Then There’s Mayweather
Guerrero may have been considered the favorite against any other fighter, but he wasn’t even close to holding up against Mayweather’s bevy of big rights and well-timed counterpunches. Just as everyone expected, the Ghost just couldn’t live up to the hype.
That fact doesn’t reflect as badly on Guerrero as it does favorably on Mayweather. The 31-year-old is a tremendous fighter whose 31-1-1 record prior to the fight spoke for itself. Even after jumping to the welterweight division two fights prior, Guerrero looked more than capable of using his power and aggressiveness to upend Selcuk Aydin and Andre Berto in 2012.
The Ghost is a tremendous fighter with the chops to take down nearly anyone at the division, but greatness doesn’t trump the talent of the best fighter on the planet. Guerrero is now left to rest and repair, in search of a challenger against whom he can regain his edge and climb back atop the division.
Just a Number
Mayweather’s one-year layoff and two-month stint behind bars raised some big questions about his preparedness for May Day. At 36, it’s only a matter of time before Money begins to decline, right?
With his unanimous 117-111 destruction of Guerrero last weekend, Mayweather proved Father Time hasn’t had much (if any) effect on his feet or hands. In fact, Money looked better than he did against Miguel Cotto in May of 2012.
With just five fights remaining in his professional career, the pound-for-pound champ will likely bow out before we ever see the effects of age begin to wear away at his skills. For Mayweather, the only numbers that seem to mean anything are 44 and zero.
More Where That Came From
As long as Money remains atop his game, there isn’t a fighter in the division who can best the five-division champ. Try as they may, promoters are going to have a hard time finding quality competition for Money.
Given his imminent departure from professional boxing, fans are going to want to see Mayweather take on elite competition to solidify his legacy as perhaps the best fighter of all time. Not to suggest that that won’t be the case anyway, but he stands to gain more from going toe-to-toe with the best of the sport and walking away with five more victories.
But with Manny Pacquiao still unlikely to fight Money before he retires, and very few suitable challengers outside the 34-year-old, boxing fans shouldn’t expect Mayweather to have to climb mountains to take down his final five opponents.
There just aren’t any mountains tall enough to challenge him.