by David P. Greisman
John Scully (Mayweather): “A lot of people are listening to the hype and think Guerrero is going to win. I’ve seen a lot of people say that, and I understand the reasons why. Maybe Mayweather’s older, he’s slowed down a little bit, Guerrero’s hungry, etc., etc. But until somebody gives me a reason to believe otherwise, I still feel the same as I’ve felt for the last five years — I don’t see anyone beating Mayweather. That holds true for Saturday night.
“I think his speed and his intelligence and especially his conditioning, I think that gets lost on a lot of people. A lot of times guys like Floyd, unfortunately they get labeled — because they’re fast, and Roy [Jones] had the same thing — people say they’re just using their natural gifts. But Floyd is in tremendous shape. I know people who train at the gym with him, and they tell me how hard he trains. He’s a tremendous worker. I think being in that kind of shape, with those kind of skills, it’s almost an unbeatable thing.
“I still think [it ends by] decision. Guerrero’s tough enough to dig in. He’s got a lot of fight. I don’t think it’s going to be an annihilation, but I don’t think it’s going to be close.”
Sam Garcia (Guerrero): “I’ve got Robert Guerrero, the hometown guy. I think he’s going to rough him up. I think he’s got a good game plan. And I think that his strengths are to the few weaknesses that Floyd has, if he has any. That would be that he’s going to try and box, and that’s going to play right into Robert’s hands. He’s not going to have to worry about a guy putting pressure on him. He’s not going to have to worry about fighting back or being on the ropes or giving away rounds by getting outworked.
“I think Robert’s going to be the one pressing the action. I think he’s going to be the one pumping the jab. I think he’s going to be the one to land the left hand to the body. I think the left hand to the body is key for him. The left uppercut to the body is his best punch. He’s put a lot of guys down with it in the past. I think he’s going to carry the rounds by outworking and roughing up Floyd for 12 rounds and a decision.
[Garcia was then asked whether it’s that Guerrero is that good, Mayweather has slipped somewhat, or a combination of both.] “I think it’s a little combination of both. I think Robert is really good. I think he’s one of the best fighters in the world. But it’s not so much like he’s got all these great tools. He’s not real flashy. He just does everything really well, and he’s a tough guy. Mentally in boxing, I’ve seen so many great, talented fighters wilt under certain kinds of pressures, whether it be outside the ring or inside the ring.
“Robert Guerrero’s gone through about as bad as you can go through for any human being: sleeping on hospital floors while his wife was going through cancer treatments, and he still powered through and got through it. He’s got a lot to fight for. He’s got a lot on his plate. He’s got a lot of motivation. … In boxing, you’ve got to be on your a-game all the time, and at what point can you say Floyd is not on his a-game anymore. I think this might be the point. You saw a little bit of slippage from the Cotto fight. He can’t possibly be this invincible guy that everyone thinks he is forever, right?”
Eddie Mustafa Muhammad (Mayweather): “I just think that Floyd has too much experience in the big fights on the big stage. Robert Guerrero, he’s only been on the big stage if he calls [Andre] Berto a big stage. But Floyd’s been on it numerous times, And skill-wise, Floyd is a very skilled fighter, as we all know. And then the other intangible is that 43 have tried and 43 have failed. So that’s it a nutshell. I think Floyd wins either by decision or Floyd stops him in nine or 10 rounds. Guerrero will survive by heart, because he’s that type of fighter. He has a lot to prove. But it’s going to be a lot more than that.”
Ronnie Shields (Mayweather): “I think Floyd Mayweather is going to win. He’s got too much experience, and he’s just too good of a fighter. He’s a very smart, intelligent fighter, and he’s not going to be lured into whatever Guerrero wants to do. He’s going to put Guerrero in a different position than he’s ever been in his life. Floyd took this fight very seriously. I think you’re going to see Floyd really go out and prove to people why he’s the best fighter in the world today. Floyd Mayweather by unanimous decision.”
Henry Ramirez (Mayweather): "I'm picking Mayweather by decision, unless he somehow gets old overnight. I expect Guerrero to be very aggressive and try and make it an ugly fight and push the pace. He will have some success, but in the end Mayweather's skill and defensive smarts will have him cruise to a unanimous decision."
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at [email protected]