COMMENTARY | Internet buzz has made Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero the lone candidate for the big money opponent slot against boxing cash cow, Floyd Mayweather on May 4 in Las Vegas. Mayweather, however, has stepped forward to clarify that a Guerrero bout is not as much of a done deal as has been reported.
The controversial five-division world champ and pound-for-pound top dog took to his official Facebook account Wednesday afternoon to issue the following brief, but clear statement:
"As of right now I don't know who I'm fighting on May 4th. Me fighting Robert Guerrero is just a rumor."
Literally minutes later, Golden Boy Promotions CEO, Richard Schaefer, made his own statement to Rick Reeno of Boxingscene.com, declaring that Mayweather's opponent had been selected and that an announcement would be made as soon as all of the contractual formalities had been signed and sealed.
"We had conference calls with our lawyers yesterday and today," Schaefer said. "All parties who are participating [on May 4] have agreed, and now the attorneys are working on the contracts...drafts are circulating. We hope that we are able to announce something by the end of this week or early next week. The contracts are being finalized and obviously I don't want to go and announce something without signed contracts. An announcement is imminent."
Regardless of Mayweather's statement, Guerrero has to remain the frontrunner for the May 4 date after his dominant unanimous decision victory over former welterweight champ, Andre Berto, last November. Looking at the available talent within the 147-154 lb. weight range, the Guerrero match-up is also the one that makes the most sense at the moment. Other qualified Golden Boy-friendly talent is either tied up with other plans or sorely lacking in marketability for such a high-profile fight.
Richard Schaefer's statement gives the appearance of being damage control following the Mayweather declaration as well as an effort to subtly put Mayweather back in line when it comes to signing on to the "right" fight for his company.
The fact that Schaefer is commenting at all is a solid sign that Mayweather will be facing a Golden Boy fighter on May 4. Despite the fact that Mayweather has exclusively handled his business through Golden Boy for the last six years, he is not legally bound to the promotional company in any way and could've taken his business elsewhere. Apparently, whether Guerrero is next or not, one of Golden Boy's fighters appears to be on deck once again..
Given that Saul Alvarez has pretty much gone on record as saying that a clash with Mayweather will happen in September, the only viable alternative is Guerrero, unless something unforeseen happens and Mayweather completely flips the script on everybody.
The backstage maneuverings of the boxing world are always interesting, but impossible to completely sort out based solely on what's leaked to the media. The public rarely gets the full truth when it comes to the exclusive world of closed door business dealings. This particular situation may be a case where nobody learns the actual truth of what happened and why.
All we know is that Mayweather felt the need to make his statement directly to the public while Schaefer apparently felt the need to go directly to the media in response. Of course, the timing could all be a coincidence, but that would be unlikely.
As it stands now, though, Mayweather will be fighting someone on May 4 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The opponent that makes the most sense is Robert Guerrero, but according to Mayweather, nothing is beyond the rumor stage. Golden Boy, on the other hand, is saying that everything has been sorted out and that an announcement is coming very soon.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and as Editor-in-Chief of The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing. For breaking news, additional analysis, and assorted crazy commentary, follow him on Facebook, @TheBoxingTribune or on Twitter, @BoxingBTBC.
Rick Reeno, Mayweather Opponent Selected, Announcement Coming, Boxingscene
Floyd Mayweather's Official Facebook Page