COMMENTARY | Boxingscene is reporting that Floyd Mayweather's (43-0, 26 KOs) next opponent has already been selected and that the five-division world champ will be facing former two-division world titlist and current interim WBC welterweight champ, Robert Guerrero (31-1-1, 18 KOs).
If the stories are indeed true, Mayweather-Guerrero will take place on May 4 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas with Saul "Canelo" Alvarez vs. TBA as chief support. Although a network has yet to be named, it's likely that Mayweather will stick with HBO PPV and not move along to Showtime.
Last year, the thought of matching the former featherweight and super featherweight world champ against Mayweather was amusing to some. This year, however, after a solid win over Selcuk Aydin and a dominant unanimous decision victory over Andre Berto, the match-up doesn't seem so far-fetched.
Guerrero is 29 years of age and, despite competing at 126 lbs. just four years ago, has looked impressive in every weight class he has visited. "The Ghost" has captured world titles at 126 and 130 lbs., but also managed to win an interim title at lightweight before jumping over junior welterweight to compete at 147 lbs.
Along the way, Guerrero has faced some pretty solid opposition. Other than Aydin and Berto, the native of Gilroy, California has scored wins over fighters like Michael Katsidis, Vicente Escobedo, Malcolm Klassen, and the aged Joel Casamayor. His lone defeat came via close split decision to Gamaliel Diaz back in 2005.
But boxing is definitely a "what have you done for me lately" sport and Guerrero's impressive dismantling of Andre Berto surely won him status as top contender for the coveted pay-per-view clash on May 4.
For Mayweather, there were only two opponents who made much sense for his return to the ring. Guerrero and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez were the favorites all along, and rightfully so. Guerrero, because of his recent wins at welterweight and Alvarez because of the 22-year-old's status as a box office attraction among Mexican and Mexican-American fight fans. If the reports are accurate, though, Guerrero will be getting the nod and the bigger money fight with Alvarez will be put off for later, presumably after the Mexican battler gets a bit more street cred with at least one more big fight under his belt.
While it was true that Mayweather had many options for this next fight, few were as marketable or as fan-pleasing as Guerrero or Alvarez. Mayweather's informal partnership with Golden Boy gives him access to an entire stable of quality fighters from 140 lbs. to 154 lbs., but only these two fights were logical fits right now.
Other than Guerrero and Alvarez, viable alternatives included Devon Alexander, Paulie Malignaggi, Josesito Lopez, Amir Khan, Alfredo Angulo, James Kirkland, Erislandy Lara, Marcos Maidana, Cornelius Bundrage, and Victor Ortiz. But for one reason or another, none of these potential opponents made much sense, at least not in the immediate future.
So, the question is whether Guerrero, at the end of the day and after close scrutiny, is the right opponent to put on a good show against Mayweather.
Seeing as how he had been actively pursuing this bout, even while competing at lightweight, he certainly seems to have the confidence needed to go after boxing's biggest game.
Stylistically, though, he could very well be tailor-made for Mayweather with an aggressive style, but relatively low-level footwork. However, Guerrero is also the no-nonsense fighter who walked right through Berto and kept him pinned against the ropes while administering punishment. And he's also the fighter who controlled the mid-ring action in that same bout with smart, sharp punches utilizing a lanky frame to his advantage.
If Mayweather sees Guerrero at his full potential, interesting things could happen. Maybe not an upset, but Mayweather might need to go to battle that night-- And that's something we don't see too often from "Money."
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 vs. Guerrero is Close To Done For May 4th, Boxingscene