By Keith Idec
Floyd Mayweather Jr. has heard all this before.
He is getting too old. He is getting hit too much. He takes off too much time between fights.
These debatable possibilities all are fuel for anyone giving Robert Guerrero a chance to overcome odds (6-1) and a significant skill disadvantage Saturday night in Las Vegas (9 p.m., Showtime Pay-Per-View, $69.99).
Mayweather (43-0, 26 KOs) definitely got hit more during his last fight against Miguel Cotto than we're used to seeing, perhaps more than in any scrap since his narrow win against Jose Luis Castillo in their first fight 11 years ago.
"Floyd Mayweather fought a Cotto that was tired, a Cotto that was a little slow, a Cotto that wasn't at his peak," said Oscar De La Hoya, whose company promotes Guerrero. "What Cotto was able to do to Floyd was he was able to hit him. He was able to make it a fight, to bruise him up, to slow him down.
"So you take Robert 'The Ghost' Guerrero, who's a southpaw, who's younger, who's fresher, who is going to go in there motivated off a great win against Andre Berto. It's going to be interesting."
Boxing's pound-for-pound king still soundly defeated Cotto, whose performance drew praise despite him losing at least nine of the 12 rounds.
Mayweather made it perfectly clear that he doesn't believe Guerrero (31-1-1, 18 KOs, 2 NC) is nearly as dangerous as Cotto (37-4, 30 KOs), even though Guerrero is coming off an impressive upset of Andre Berto (28-2, 22 KOs) on Nov. 24 in Ontario, Calif.
"The difference between Miguel Cotto and Robert Guerrero is Miguel Cotto has a lot more experience than he has," said Mayweather, 36. "Miguel Cotto came into the [ring] as a super-middleweight at 168 [pounds]. I came in 147. So I was in with a super-middleweight fighting a welterweight. They're two totally different fighters. Miguel Cotto is a much bigger puncher."