By the time he enters the ring against welterweight rival Robert Guerrero on May 4 at the MGM in Las Vegas, Floyd Mayweather Jr. will have been out of action for nearly a year to the day since earning a unanimous decision victory over Miguel Cotto for the WBA’s junior middleweight belt.
Mayweather (43-0, 26 knockouts) will be defending his WBC 147-pound title on Showtime Pay Per View against Guerrero (31-1-1, 18 KOs), whose verbal jabs and mind games aimed at the pound-for-pound king have included mocking him in effigy with a pinata fashioned in his likeness, saying that age has caught up with him, and vowing to to deliver upon Mayweather “the worst beating”of his career.
During a media conference call on Wednesday, the 36-year-old veteran dismissed his rival’s assertion that God wants Guerrero to humble him, and also addressed the notion that Guerrero’s aggressive southpaw style can trouble him as left-handers DeMarcus Corley and Zab Judah did during their unanimous decision losses in May of 2004 and April of 2006, respectively.
“He [Guerrero] believes in God, I believe in God. This reminds me of the fact that this fight is not about church,” said Mayweather, among other things.
“This fight is not about being a Catholic, or being a Christian, being a Jew, being a Muslim. It’s about two fighters competing, testing their skills against one another. That’s what it’s about.”
Below are Mayweather’s responses to questions asked by RingTV.com.
Floyd Mayweather on Guerrero’s assertion that God put him in position to humble Mayweather:
“[Chuckles.] I’m going to be honest. I’m not trying to be rude. I couldn’t even comment on that. I mean, I can’t even comment on that. You know? Like I’ve said before, once again, he believes in God, I believe in God.
“This reminds me of the fact that this fight is not about church. This fight is not about being a Catholic, or being a Christian, being a Jew, being a Muslim. It’s about two fighters competing, testing their skills against one another. That’s what it’s about.”
On the potential for an aggressive attack by Guerrero similar to those by Hernandez, Corrales, Gatti and Hatton:
“You know, that’s been everybody’s game plan. Everybody says they’re going to put a lot of pressure on me. That’s the question in everybody’s game plan, to keep pressure on me.
“You’ve been covering me for I don’t know how many years, and everybody’s game plan has been ‘Keep the pressure on, throw a lot of punches.’
“And, like I’ve said before, as long as everybody’s got the same game plan, I’m going to keep having the same game plan.”
On the notion that Guerrero believes that his southpaw stance will cause problems as did Corley’s and Judah’s:
“Well, the last time I checked, I was 43-0. So… I don’t think that he’s a better boxer than Zab Judah. He’s not faster than Zab Judah, and I don’t think that he has faced the competition that Zab Judah has faced. As far as Corley… he don’t punch as hard as Corley.
“I don’t think that he’s a harder puncher than Corley, and we’ll just have to see how the fight plays out. You guys have covered me. Everybody who is on this conference call has covered Floyd Mayweather for many, many years, and everybody had a game plan.
“Everybody’s game plan was to throw a lot of punches and keep pressure. But you’ve gotta realize, you can’t go to basically a gun fight and don’t think that you’re not going to get shot. You’ve got to realize that the difference between me and him is this: He’s shooting a .25, and I’ve got an Uzi. I’ve got an old school Gatling [gun.]
“But we’ll just have to see how the fight plays out. Everybody’s got a game plan, and my game plan is to just adjust and adapt once I get into that squared circle, but once I get in there, he’s got to adjust and adapt to me, because I control the tempo. Always.”
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]