Floyd Mayweather Jr. will probably beat Robert Guerrero this May. After 43 wins in as many tries, the undefeated champion has earned the benefit of the doubt in any fight he participates in.
That being said, while all signs point to Mayweather emerging from his next bout victorious, there are certain little warning signs that boxing fans should take into account. Most notably: Mayweather’s last two bouts don’t paint a picture of someone who is dominating his competition. He knocked out Victor Ortiz via a (perfectly legal) sucker punch, and you could easily make the case that he lost anywhere from three to five rounds in the Miguel Cotto fight. He obviously won both matches, but he didn’t do it in as dominant of fashion as we have grown accustomed to. (To be fair, he was manhandling Ortiz, just not to the degree he probably should have been.)
In that last bout, the one against Cotto, Mayweather looked noticeably more sluggish than he had in previous fights. If you listen to his version of events – he simply opted to stand and brawl. If you listen to folks who have watched him his entire career – he just looked a little bit slower.
During a recent interview with Ben Thompson of FightHype, Mayweather addressed the talk of him maybe losing his legs.
“I'm laying down right now, but I walk around every day. My legs didn't get amputated. Some fights, they say, "All Mayweather do is run." Then when I go toe to toe, "Mayweather lost his legs." I keep trying to tell you, I'm always in a no-win situation. Like I said before, Floyd Mayweather is here to please Floyd Mayweather. I do want my fans to be happy, but I come first. Last time I checked, I beat a southpaw. Whether I did have legs or didn't have legs, I won.”
Sure, but losing your legs doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to lose fights. And by the same logic, Mayweather having won his last match doesn’t mean he isn’t losing his legs. The two aren't directly connected. He was clearly moving slower against Cotto. Whether that was by choice or not is debatable, but the speed decrease was evident to anyone with functioning eyes.
Nevertheless, Mayweather doesn’t seem particularly worried about Guerrero.
“Like I said before, there's not a blueprint on how to beat me. If he lost before, there's a blueprint on how to beat him,” he told Thompson. “There's not a blueprint on how to beat me. I mean, 43 had a game plan, 43 came up short. This is nothing but 44. This is a guy that's stepping up to the plate, so we gotta see what he can do. He's talking about I'm trying to intimidate him. I mean, listen, the proof is in the pudding. I don't gotta intimidate you. Numbers don't lie.”
No they don’t. Guerrero is a beast and he has a better chance of beating Mayweather than anyone has in the 36-year-old’s last six or so fights, but until somebody beats the champ, there’s no way you can pick against him.