If it were Floyd Mayweather Jr., and not Robert Guerrero, who had been arrested on Thursday at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport for having an unregistered gun, Twitter's servers might have exploded from the unmitigated hate that would have ensued.
Guerrero made a massive error in judgment by bringing an unloaded pistol and three unloaded high-capacity bullet magazines with him on a promotional trip that brought him to Virginia and New York.
At the end of the day, though, it shouldn't affect Guerrero's bout with Mayweather, and he probably won't spend a day in prison.
Guerrero is scheduled to fight Mayweather, boxing's best fighter, on May 4 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas in the year's first mega event. He had flown to the East Coast where he appeared Monday on The Christian Broadcasting Network's "700 Club," along with his wife, Casey, to talk about their faith.
He informed a Delta ticket agent at JFK early Thursday while attempting to board a flight to Las Vegas, where he is in training, that he had the pistol in a locked box.
New York has the strictest gun laws in the nation. The Delta agent was required by law to inform the police, which she did. Guerrero was arrested. He has a May 14 court date.
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said Guerrero was charged with one count of criminal possession of a firearm and three counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon. If convicted, Brown noted in a news release, Guerrero will face up to seven years in prison.
Many have drawn comparisons between Guerrero and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress, whose unregistered Glock went off while he was in a New York night club. Burress shot himself in the thigh and wound up serving time in prison.
The situations, though, are vastly different. Though both Burress' gun and Guerrero's gun were unregistered in New York, they were registered in different states. But Burress' gun went off. Not only did Guerrero's gun not go off, he had advised the ticket agent that he had it with him.
A better comparison than Burress is Meredith Graves, a Tennessee woman who was arrested Dec. 22 at the 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center after attempting to check her gun. She pleaded to a misdemeanor and did not have to go to jail.
That's likely what will happen with Guerrero, too, who returned to Las Vegas after being released on his own recognizance.
Team Guerrero jointly issued a statement with Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions early Thursday evening in which he indicated the May 4 bout would proceed.
"We are very pleased Robert Guerrero was released on his own recognizance this afternoon in the wake of this incident and that he is on his way back to Las Vegas to continue training for his highly anticipated May 4 bout against Mayweather," the statement read.
It's going to turn out to be little more than a hassle and a life lesson for Guerrero, who turned 30 on Wednesday. The Nevada Athletic Commission may have questions for him, but its precedent has been to allow fighters accused of crimes to compete.
Mayweather had pled guilty to domestic violence charges in 2011 and appeared before the commission in January 2012 to seek a license to fight Miguel Cotto. In Mayweather's case, he faced jail time, but he was allowed to fight before reporting to jail.
So, there are few serious obstacles to the Mayweather-Guerrero bout. Guerrero's training schedule undoubtedly became a mess in light of the promotional trip and unexpected arrest, but he still has five weeks to prepare.
It's never good to be arrested, but this day went about as well as Guerrero could possibly have hoped once it happened.
Brown delivered a foreboding message with his statement: "I hope that Mr. Guerrero fights better than he thinks. For anyone who hasn't gotten the message, let me be crystal clear. You cannot bring an unlicensed weapon, loaded or unloaded, into this county or this city. And if you do, you will be arrested and face felony charges." Yet, the whole incident should wind up being more of a hassle for Guerrero than anything else.
He's going to face an unending serious of questions about the case between now and the time he walks to the ring to face Mayweather. On the positive side, ratings for Showtime's All-Access preview show will likely soar when it documents the event, which will help the pay-per-view sales.
Guerrero made a dumb mistake. He had no reason to have a gun with him, and he paid for it.
It's not, though, like he's a thug. If someone prepared a list of 1,000 boxers who might one day be arrested for possession of a gun at an airport, Guerrero's name would probably not be on any of those lists.
He's going to have to pay the consequences for his ill-advised move, but he'll get the last laugh if he's able to defeat Mayweather on May 4.
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