Boxing: Floyd Mayweather has need for speed to avoid another brawl


Floyd Mayweather has been a professional boxer since 1996 but is not expected to finally walk away from the sport until 2016, when his latest contract expires.

Mayweather fights Robert Guerrero tonight at the MGM casino in Las Vegas, a venue he has dubbed “Mayweather Gets Money”, in the first of a six-fight deal with American satellite channel ShowTime.

“I will be ready for the other side in 30 months,” vowed Mayweather, who up close is suddenly starting to look all of his 36 years. “I have the fights to finish and then I can go on the venture like Oscar [De La Hoya] and [Sugar Ray] Leonard. I’m fine now: still sharp, still witty and still winning.”

It would take a massive change in the way Mayweather operates for him to fight six more times in only 30 months, which is the plan, because his last six fights have been spread over six years. In many ways the breaks, the periods of rest and recuperation, are what have sustained him and allowed him to  arrive in the ring fresh. Mayweather is never out of the gym but preparing for 12 championship rounds is not the same as ticking over.

Guerrero will be a difficult opponent tonight if Mayweather is backed to the ropes and caught again like he was by Miguel Cotto in his last fight, in May last year; it looked like Mayweather’s reactions had slowed that night and he was forced to stand and fight. In the Cotto brawl Mayweather had cuts, bruises and was hurt, which has led to the boxer allowing his estranged father, Floyd Sr, back inside his camp.

“He told me he wanted me to come back and that is all,” said Mayweather Sr, who will replace his own brother, Roger, as the chief second tonight. “We are blood and we had a dispute, just like other family people. Sometimes they kill ’em and shoot ’em and stab them to death. That never happened with us.”

After the Cotto fight Mayweather surrendered himself to the Clarke County Detention Centre in Las Vegas where he served 65 days for a domestic assault. “It changed me, it was hard. I was locked up 23 hours a day in solitary confinement. It was not a holiday,” he insisted. 

The plan tonight, according to Mayweather Sr, is to focus on speed, but Mayweather is also naturally bigger even if both fighters are the same height and will be the same weight this evening. Mayweather was world champion at welterweight when Guerrero was world champion at featherweight in 2006, and that is over a stone difference; he has carried the extra with ease for a long time. Tonight’s fight is for Mayweather’s WBC welterweight title and Guerrero’s “interim” version of the same title – a situation I will not even attempt to explain.

Guerrero is six years younger and certainly has the style to beat this version of Mayweather, especially if he can fight at his fast pace. However, getting a decision over Mayweather, the casino resort’s best earner, will be hard, which might sound harsh but is strictly business. There is every chance that the fight will have some dubious moments as Mayweather avoids Guerrero’s wayward elbows and head with a few borderline moves of his own. “The Ghost” is a nice guy with a clean image but he is a dirty fighter and Mayweather, with the duo of Uncle Roger and Floyd Sr in his corner, is also skilled in boxing’s black arts. Mayweather can win late.

Meanwhile, in Mannheim tonight Wladimir Klitschko defends his IBF, WBO and WBA heavyweight championship against a very fortunate Italian called Francesco Pianeta. Klitschko has to win and he will with ease because he is being paid $17.5m (£11.3m) to fight Alexander Povetkin in Berlin or Moscow in late August.

Money Mayweather: Floyd in numbers

£54.25m His estimated earnings last year, making him sport’s highest earner, ahead of Tiger Woods

29 Millions of pounds he earned for beating Miguel Cotto last May

43 Successive wins for Mayweather since his first bout in 1996

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Wes Brown is sent-off
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower