By Jake Donovan
Robert Guerrero has proven throughout his career to be ready for nearly any challenge that comes his way. There were only two occasions where it didn’t hold true, and both were erased to a certain degree. His lone loss – an upset split decision defeat to Gamaliel Diaz – was emphatically avenged six months later, while a points loss to Orlando Salido was changed to a no-contest after his opponent tested positive for a banned substance.
Just as he’s been able to handle himself inside the ring, Guerrero was well prepared for the pending questions from a field of reporters during a recent conference call to promote his May 4 showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr. The event takes place at the MGM Grand and will air live on Showtime pay-per-view.
With such an event comes pre-fight coverage, though Guerrero’s role in the promotion also resulted in a shocking arrest. The three-division titlist made headlines after he was detained at JFK Airport in New York City for violation of New York State’s strict gun laws. A court case is still pending, though all focus remains on fight night.
Naturally, talk shifted to the incident in question, as well as also being addressed by Mayweather Jr. himself. The pound-for-pound king referred to Guerrero as a hypocrite to his strong Christian faith, as revealed during the most recent episode of Showtime’s ‘All Access’ four-part documentary series promoting the event.
While Guerrero rightfully refused (for legal and practical reasons) to talk about the pending charge, he tackled the recent headline-making quote without hesitation.
“We’re all hypocrites,” Guerrero simply stated when asked of his thoughts on Mayweather’s claim. “If you were a perfect person, you wouldn’t need Jesus Christ. To call someone a hypocrite is laughable.”
Neither fighter has had much of anything to say in the month following the aforementioned incident. Guerrero preferred to instead focus on training rather than fielding questions best suited for his lawyers to answer, while Mayweather has been less accessible for this event than for past fights.
Still, when the opportunities arose for either fighter to speak to the media, Guerrero knew exactly what to expect from the event’s A-side. The talk doesn’t bother him, nor does the underdog status despite consecutive strong showings in his lone two welterweight fights - distance wins over Selcuk Aydin and Andre Berto – during a year-long stretch of inactivity for Mayweather Jr.
“Floyd can talk, he can say this and that, whatever he wants. I’m mentally ready for this,” Guerrero insists. “I’ve endured far tougher things than listening to Floyd talk to get mad out. I’m blessed… to have my wife here every day.
“For Floyd to act the way he acts, it’s just the way he is. He lives his life his way, and I live mine another way. Floyd’s gonna be Floyd. That’s part of his game, to get under your skin. But he’s in for a fight and he knows he is.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox