By Mike Coppinger
GILROY, Calif. -- Robert Guerrero held court on Thursday at his gym "Gtown Boxing" in his hometown, just days before he departs for training camp in Las Vegas ahead of his May 4 showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
As "Money" Mayweather likes to say, 43 have tried and 43 have failed (actually 42 since he rematched Jose Luis Castillo), but Guerrero (31-0-1, 18 KOs) believes he has a leg up on Mayweather's past opponents. He sat down with BoxingScene.com to talk about the fight.
BoxingScene: What's different about you versus the other guys who have said they would beat Floyd and lost?
Guerrero: I'm mentally strong. I'm a thinker in the world. I'm a thinker in the ring. I can change it up. Floyd Mayweather can change gears and can adapt to any style; so can I. You watch my career, I suggest he goes and watches my fights. He says he doesn't but maybe he does. I can adapt. I can fight different styles. You go look at my fights, you see something different every time. If one thing isn't working in the ring I'm able to change to something else. Hopefully he's ready for that, because he's been picking and choosing who he's going to fight, guys that are tailor made for him, guys that he knows he's gonna beat, guys that he knows he's gonna break down in the ring mentally. Hopefully he's ready. He says he's the real deal like everyone knows he is, I hope he comes and gives it his all, because I don't want any excuses.
BoxingScene: Can you recount the incident in Vegas with Floyd this past weekend? Did it get to you mentally?
RG: He wants to get up in my face and start running his mouth -- that's how he breaks fighters. That's how he breaks every guy. He's been in the media real cool, talking real cool 'Guerrero deserves the fight, this and that,' then he seems me in Vegas and we square up and he just looks at me and probably thinks 'this guy is bigger than I thought.' So he jumps in my face and is running his mouth and I'm like 'alright, here we go.' He can act all crazy and say what he wants, he's wasting his time. That's what he's about, he's intimidating fighters and in this game, psychological warfare is big. You can break a fighter at a press conference. That's what he does. He talks about how big a fighter he is, how he's the best, he's the real deal, he has money and cars and millionaire, private jet, this that. That don't mean nothing to me. It makes me laugh. He's trying to break me down mentally because he knows I'm a threat.
BoxingScene: What are your thoughts on fighting an all-time great?
RG: It's exciting. He is considered pound-for-pound one of the best fighters ever. To be in the ring with him is awesome. To have that opportunity to go out there and beat him and do what I do and show the world how talented I am, it's amazing.
BoxingScene: If you win, what will that mean to your legacy, your career and your life? How will that change everything?
RG: It just goes to show anybody can be beat. It's going to show no matter how big you are, how much money you have, how expensive your car is, your house, your jet, whatever, you can be beat. Anybody's beatable. He thinks that there's no blueprint to beat him, I know that [Jose Luis] Castillo was in that [fight] and everybody else thinks that except him. There is a blueprint to beat him and I'm excited that I have the opportunity to go out there and beat him.
BoxingScene: You like to throw 1,000 punches a fight which is one of your best assets. Mayweather always dictates the pace of the fight, how hard will be to produce that output?
RG: We're gonna find out in the ring May 4 who's gonna dictate. The reason why he dictates fights is because he mentally breaks these guys at weigh-ins, press conferences, stuff like that. In the media he mentally breaks them down and when they do get in (the ring), their gameplan goes straight out the door because they're either so pissed off and they wanna rip his head off or they're in there going 'how am I going to win this fight?' You gotta go in there confident, knowing that you're gonna do what you have to do. You gotta go in there and execute your gameplan and that's what I'm gonna do. I'm coming in there to dictate the fight.
Follow Mike Coppinger on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger