COMMENTARY | As someone who has moved up several weight classes to win titles in each new division, Robert Guerrero has a lot in common with Manny Pacquiao. If the unsubstantiated rumors and internet buzz are true, though, Guerrero might like to share one more thing with the Filipino icon-- a boxing ring.
Reports have surfaced in the media of Guerrero's efforts to break free from his contract with Golden Boy Promotions. Citing a violation of the Muhammad Ali Act, the four-division former world champ (counting interim world titles at welterweight and lightweight) is looking to become a promotional free agent just about eight months after earning the biggest payday of his career in a one-sided loss to Floyd Mayweather in May of 2013.
The push to distance himself from his promoter has generated all sorts of speculation, including the idea that this is all being done in an effort to get a shot at Manny Pacquiao later this year.
On the surface, the move away from Golden Boy would be an odd one since the promotional company headed by Oscar De la Hoya and Richard Schaefer has a great number of quality fighters in the welterweight and junior welterweight divisions who could provide a seemingly endless series of good paydays for Guerrero. The fighter from Gilroy, California and his team, however, may be focused on bagging another major pay-per-view check in the here and now rather than a series of solid pay-outs over the course of several years.
If this is the case, then Pacquiao is the only logical opponent for Guerrero. And it seems as though this line of thinking coincides with where Team Pacquiao seems to be at the moment.
Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, recently conducted a video interview with Secondsout.com where he tossed out the idea that Manny may be searching for a recent Mayweather opponent for an upcoming fight date.
"You look at Mayweather's last, like, four fights," Roach said. "If we can fight one of those guys that he went the distance with to knock that person out and be impressive, it puts us even closer to Mayweather because that's the fight we really want eventually. The thing is we want Mayweather."
When asked, specifically, if he could see a possible Robert Guerrero-Manny Pacquiao bout in the future, Roach didn't hesitate in his approval.
"Yes I could because Guerrero has sparred with Manny many times and he thinks he gets the best of Manny...I see it a different way...I would love that fight and I think it's a great fight. He went the distance with Mayweather and I think if Manny knocks him out, it puts us even closer to a Mayweather fight..."
Pacquiao-Guerrero would be a very tough sell to the buying public, especially considering how Mayweather-Guerrero struggled to generate a buy rate that, according to reports, either hovered around one million or stopped right below it. Guerrero, even if he has a chance to take a tune-up fight or two before meeting Manny, would still be the guy who was easily bested in every second of every round by Mayweather.
Still, Top Rank and Team Pacquiao have gone this route before, taking on Oscar De la Hoya, Ricky Hatton, and Shane Mosley after Mayweather had already defeated each one.
But before fans and media start counting down to Pacquiao-Guerrero, there's the issue of Golden Boy's insistence that their contract with Guerrero is legal and binding. A Guerrero who opts to walk into this kind of legal battle better be prepared to sit on the shelf, inactive, for a long time while the legal system sorts the mess out.
For the 30-year-old Guerrero, who has already lost large chunks of his career due to his wife's battle with cancer as well as a prior contractual dispute with former promoter Goossen Tutor, the decision has to be made whether the risk of pursuing independence is worth the possible reward.
Fans will likely reject Pacquiao-Guerrero and if Top Rank never gets around to making this bout with a liberated Guerrero, the talented southpaw would've wasted precious career time chasing a dead end.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and is the author of Notes from the Boxing Underground. 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.
Sources: Secondsout, RingTV
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- Manny Pacquiao
- Robert Guerrero
- Floyd Mayweather