COMMENTARY | Earlier this year, boxing writers became intimate friends with Robert Guerrero's publicist, who seemingly filled their in-boxes daily with all sorts of press releases beating the drum for a big money showdown with Floyd Mayweather.
The messages were persistent and almost quaint in their innocence. Did anyone think that a former featherweight/super featherweight who had never really fought above lightweight (except for one bout with the ancient, rickety-legged Joel Casamayor) could move up two divisions and immediately establish himself as a force at welterweight? To make the beating of the drum more absurd, Guerrero hadn't even fought in about a year. The ambition of calling out the pound for pound best fighter in the world had to be admired, but, really? Robert Guerrero? Good fighter, no doubt, but how could any reasonable boxing person even entertain such an idea?
In the end, Mayweather and his team went with the popular sentiment and walked right by Guerrero without giving him a second look. Mayweather would choose to fight Miguel Cotto in a long-awaited contest that only became possible after Cotto severed ties with promoter, Bob Arum. Ultimately, it was the right move to make at the right time.
But, guess what? The idea of Mayweather facing Robert Guerrero is not so absurd anymore. A lot has changed over the last four months or so.
Without the big money fight he wanted, Guerrero shelved the media blitz and started earning his place the old fashioned way.
A solid win over perennial WBC top contender, Turkey's Selcuk Aydin, who had been waiting his career away to get a shot at Mayweather or Andre Berto, earned Guerrero the interim welterweight title. "The Ghost" had officially arrived at 147 and had to be regarded, at the very least, as a legitimate player in the welterweight division.
Last Saturday, four months after the Aydin win, Guerrero busted up and decisively beat Andre Berto, a two-time world champ who has been near the top of the division for most of the last four years. Guerrero would take control from the opening round and never let go. Even during Berto's best moments, Guerrero kept pushing forward, stubbornly working to regain control.
After the victory, Guerrero called Mayweather out (as most successful welterweights tend to do these days), but this time the challenge didn't seem so crazy. The barrage of "Guerrero wants Mayweather" press releases from months prior almost seemed prescient.
Where media manipulation had failed, old fashioned hard work was paying off.
Now, Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions has affirmed that discussions with Mayweather's people are indeed underway:
"I have started conversations with Team Mayweather for a potential fight between Robert and Floyd," Schaefer said at a recent press event. "I think if a fight with Mayweather can happen, it would be a fascinating match-up. Because with Floyd, you have unquestionably the best pound-for-pound fighter, the most talented and gifted athlete [in boxing]. Whoever Floyd fights, he makes it look easy... I would be interested to see, 'Can he win, let alone make it look easy, against Robert Guerrero?' I have my doubts because Robert really showed us what he's all about. It would be a great match-up."
Of course, this is coming from Guerrero's promoter, who definitely has his own reasons for building up a potential Guerrero-Mayweather bout. Team Mayweather has said nothing about any upcoming plans and seems not to be talking boxing at all these days.
However, Schaefer, who has worked closely with Mayweather in each of his last six bouts, has told the media that the five-division world champ may choose his next opponent the coming week, strategically done during Pacquiao-Marquez IV fight week. According to the Golden Boy CEO, Mayweather will likely be choosing from a list of three candidates-- Guerrero, Saul Alvarez, or Miguel Cotto (provided he gets by Austin Trout this Saturday).
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 The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing.
Keith Idec, Schaefer on Mayweather-Guerrero, Discussions Begin, Boxingscene
- Sports & Recreation
- Robert Guerrero
- Floyd Mayweather
- Miguel Cotto