Old plan is new game for pugdom's pound for pound kingpin
Mayweather cites bad paw, but hands it to Guerrero at post-fight; "Money" eyes September return
Postfight press report by Chris Cozzone
Photo by Mary Ann Owen/ BoxinginLasVegas.com
A new, old blueprint might've blackened the hopes of a war and bored a crowd to booing, but no one could deny that age-defying Floyd Mayweather Jr. had retained his pound-for-pound supremacy with yet another virtuoso performance.
Before a crowd of 15,880 at the MGM, the unbeaten Mayweather, 44-0, 26 Kos, pulled on Robert Guerrero's strings, pot-shotting him repeatedly throughout most of the fight, resulting in a lopsided unanimous decision scored 117-111 across the board. Surprised, disappointed and somewhat shell-shocked, the "Ghost," 31-2-1, 18 Kos, endured a phantasmagoric evening, losing for the first time in eight years.
"I kept telling you, it's different when it's at this level," Mayweather lectured the press at the post-fight presser. "This is the pinnacle of the sport. This is chess – not checkers. You have to be prepared for this."
Guerrero, Mayweather implied, was not.
"I knew Robert wasn't gonna lay down," said Mayweather, going easy on his overwhelmed foe. "He was tougher than I thought he was."
Floyd might've been the only one at the MGM who was thinking that.
Still, Mayweather waived his right to rub it in when he welcomed the dejected Guerrero into the media center. "C'mon champ," he pepped up his former opponent, giving him a hug.
Not quite as animated as he'd been at the weigh-in, promising a beatdown of an upset, Guerrero, quite the gloomy Gus, spoke briefly, mainly to assure fans, perhaps himself, that God hadn't looked the other way earlier in the evening.
"God's great – he put me in this position," said Guerrero. "You know what? I came up short. But I still praise God with all my heart – that's what it's about. Win, lose or draw, I'm here to spread the word."
Minutes before, Mayweather had told the press, "He believes in God, I believe in God, but this is not about religion."
The pre-fight build-up, as seen on Showtime's "All Access" had been all about fathers, sons and the holy "Ghost."
"Floyd's a great fighter," said Guerrero. "He moved real good in the ring. But you know what? I'll be back."
Guerrero did not elaborate, but an hour before in the ring, he'd implied that coming back meant waiting: "When Floyd retires, I'll get that shot again," he'd said.
Mayweather, on the other hand, and not the one he'd said he'd injured in the late rounds, said he'd most likely be back in September. He said he was "hopeful" of "Canelo" Alvarez, but that he was in a position to mull it over.
"I'm closer to 40 than 21," said Mayweather. "I'll take some time off, talk it over, see what we come up with. I earned my stripes and I'm not in a rush. Canelo Alvarez is a hell of a fighter but against Austin Trout, I thought it was a lot closer."
With one bout down on his six-fight contract with Showtime, there was much talk about future opponents – or lack thereof. Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer vaguely mused over several possibilities coming up from lighter weight classes, a list that included Danny Garcia ("after cleaning up at 140"), Amir Khan (which brought chuckles from press row) and even Adrien Broner, who was in attendance. When asked whether he'd consider fighting his homey, Floyd, Broner flipped off the press with both hands.
Who could possibly challenge, daresay beat Mayweather? Schaefer's answer was: "Somebody strong, physical . . . and with a red head."
Whether it's Canelo, Khan or King Kong, fans should not expect to see a brawling Mayweather but a defense-conscious boxer who puts preservation before punishment.
"Against Miguel Cotto, I got hit with shots I shouldn't have been hit with," said Mayweather. "I felt I had to bring the master back … my father."
Prior to Jr's appearance, Sr. had entertained the podium, soaking up a lot of the credit for this new-old, hit-and-not-get-hit Floyd.
"My son was getting hit and now he ain't," said the elder Mayweather. "It's so plain, even Ray Charles could see it.
"Floyd is back – the real Floyd."
. . . .
Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer confirmed a September 14 card at the MGM.
"No doubt about it," he said. "It'll be Mayweather, depending on his hand, or Canelo." Miguel Cotto was mentioned as a possible foe for Alvarez.
In what's turning out to be an annual war between promoters, venues, networks and beer, the fight will go up against Top Rank's Juan Manual Marquez vs. Timothy Bradley bout two miles across town at the Thomas & Mack Center.