By Chris Robinson
It was a crowded scene on Wednesday afternoon in Las Vegas, as Floyd Mayweather held his latest open media workout inside of his personal gym.
Mayweather (43-0, 26 KO’s) defends his WBC welterweight crown against interim champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero on May 4th inside of the MGM Grand in a Showtime pay per view attraction that figures to entertain.
A few hours before Mayweather’s arrival, another one of this generation’s greats made an appearance, as four-division world champion Roy Jones Jr. fielded questions from various members of the media.
Jones was in the building with former light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal, who he has been mentoring ahead of his May 24th match with former IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute.
Calling his short time with Pascal “wonderful”, Jones feels that the Bute scrap, set to go down in each man’s adopted province of Quebec, Canada, is just what he needs at the moment.
“Very good fight,” stated Jones. “You couldn’t ask for a better fight, especially for Canada. It’s a wonderful situation and wonderful fight.”
I asked Jones for his thoughts on Mayweather’s assignment with Guerrero, and he seems to see advantages on both sides.
“I feel that ‘The Ghost’ is a good opponent for him,” Jones claimed. “He’ll make Mayweather think a little bit. Also, I think Floyd is a little quicker. ‘The Ghost’ is hard to beat, a test. And Floyd’s quickness and smarts will be a test.”
Jones was questioned for his thoughts on how to beat a fighter like Mayweather but he seemed to laugh it off.
“Aint my job to tell it,” said a grinning Jones.
This past weekend, in New York, two-time Cuban gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux produced the biggest triumph of his professional career with a commanding unanimous decision victory over Nonito Donaire.
Appearing to befuddle Donaire at times with his counter-punching, footwork, and quickness, it was a classy performance for one of the sport’s finest talents.
Calling the fight from ringside for HBO, Jones feels that Donaire, who dealt with camp distractions and the impending birth of his first child while in training, simply wasn’t prepared for the challenge that Rigondeaux presented.
“Rigondeaux is a good fighter,” said Jones. “He fought a very good fighter last week. I thought he definitely won the fight. Donaire is one of my favorites. Donaire is a very good fighter, but to me, he just had a lot going on and he didn’t focus on Rigondeaux like [he] needed.
“If you’re going to fight Guillermo Rigondeaux, you need to fully focus on Rigondeaux,” Jones continued. “No distractions.”
This past December, another one of the game’s top prizefighters suffered a horrific loss as Manny Pacquiao was knocked out cold from a counter right hand from Juan Manuel Marquez.
There are talks of Pacquiao returning this October, possibly against Mike Alvarado, who is coming off of a rousing victory this past month over Brandon Rios in a highly-anticipated rematch that didn’t disappoint.
And while Alvarado is riding a career high, Jones doesn’t see him as a formidable challenge for the eight-division champion from the Philippines.
“Mike Alvarado is a good fighter, but he can’t beat Pacquiao,” Jones said convincingly. “He’s a good boxer, but his best competition is the one he just fought, Brandon Rios. That’s a good fight for him. But, with Pacquiao, he’s going to try to act like the fighter and Pacquiao’s too strong. If Rios can knock you out, Pacquiao punches harder than Rios.”
As for any ill-effects that might have come from Pacquiao’s knockout loss, Jones feels it is all mental.
“Y’all got to understand, everybody is going to say that about a fighter, but the only thing I could be saying about him is his confidence,” stated Jones.