by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr didn’t give Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero a ghost of a chance as he gave the over-hyped, over-matched challenger a clinical boxing lesson to win a unanimous twelve round decision at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
All three judges Julie Lederman, Duane Ford and Jerry Roth turned in identical 117-111 scorecards in favor of the 36 year old Mayweather who retained his WBC welterweight title and added the Ring Magazine belt to his collection while improving his record to 44-0 with 26 knockouts while Guerrero, the WBC Interim welterweight champion and former WBO/WBA lightweight champion fell to 31-2-1 with 18 knockouts.
Michael Koncz, adviser of eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao who had turned down a $40 million offer from Mayweather to fight him some two years ago told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that Mayweather is “still at the top of his game. He is a top notch fighter and there’s nobody who can beat Floyd. The only one who can give him a run for his money is Manny (Pacquiao).”
Asked about the possibility of a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight in the future since Mayweather has a six fight contract with Showtime, Koncz said “Floyd is scheduled to fight in September and Manny in November. After that, anything is possible down the road.”
Pacquiao's strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza told us he believes that if Pacquiao goes through the grueling plyometrics routine and trains the way he did for Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto, he'll have a good shot at beating Mayweather.
The southpaw Guerrero who earned the title shot with an impressive victory over Andre Berto who watched the fight at ringside failed to come out as aggressively as expected enabling Mayweather to connect with some well-timed right straights in the early rounds before settling into a rhythm and totally out-boxing Guerrero who continued to push forward but failed to corner Mayweather or to hurt him as the pound-for-pound king slipped punches effortlessly with some excellent footwork to go with his remarkable hand-speed and overall boxing skill.
Mayweather entered the ring to a chorus of boos which later on in the fight turned to cheers as fight fans appreciated his consummate class.
The only one who disagreed publicly was Guerrero’s father Angel Guerrero who branded Mayweather “a chicken” for refusing to engage and dancing out of trouble.
Working the Guerrero corner as cutman was Ruben Gomez, longtime trainer and friend of former WBO/WBA flyweight champion Brian Viloria who did a good job in stemming the flow of blood from a cut suffered by Guerrero in the eighth round when Mayweather nailed him with a cracking right hand which was Mayweather’s dominant punch throughout the fight.
A solid body shot by Guerrero gave him the opening round 10-9 which he followed up with another good left in round two but Mayweather answered with a big right in round three as he began to feel more comfortable.
Using angles, Mayweather began to impose his will and give Guerrero a boxing lesson and by the end of round six accentuated what his father Floyd Mayweather Sr who worked his corner for the first time since 2000 told him - “he is not in your class.”
The start of round nine was held up for a few seconds as Mayweather forget his mouth-guard even as referee Robert Byrd who cautioned Mayweather just once for repeated holding warned the champion for a low blow.
Mayweather who was a hit in his appearance on “Dancing With The Stars” used the ring like a dance floor as Guerrero repeatedly failed to catch the elusive Mayweather who was content to coast along in the final round, assured of a lopsided victory.
There were a couple of occasions in the championship rounds when Mayweather hurt Guerrero but couldn’t put him away.
In a post-fight interview Mayweather said he was “looking for the knockout but I hurt my right hand” which apparently happened in round six.