After the seemingly indestructible Manny Pacquiao was gunned down by long-time rival Juan Manuel Marquez this past December, Floyd Mayweather Jr is now alone atop the mythical pound-for-pound mountain, but is “Money May” headed for a similar fate?
For years, Mayweather and Pacquiao shared the spotlight on their multi-division parallel journey, picking spots and winning world titles in an unprecedented number of weight classes, seemingly bound to a collision course that was all but certain to come to fistic fruition.
But a multitude of issues always managed to get in the way of what could have been the most lucrative boxing match in history until, inevitably, two consecutive loss suffered by Pacquiao buried the whole idea of a mega-fight with Mayweather.
Whether or not Pacquiao was the victim of a bad scoring, a lucky punch or the effects of taking shots over 18 years and ten weight classes, his situation simply reinforces the fact that if a fighter stays around long enough, a fall from grace is a foregone conclusion.
Which brings us to Mayweather.
The Michigan native will celebrate his 36th birthday in just over a month, and, given his lack of activity over the past five years, could Mayweather’s perfect record be nearing its expiration date?
The cracks in the facade have been showing over the past few bouts; a well past it Shane Mosley staggering Mayweather in their 2010 clash, Victor Ortiz achieving measures of success in on the inside he never would have produced against the prime version of Mayweather in 2011 and Miguel Cotto giving Mayweather his toughest fight in 10 years when the pair met in 2012.
On the other side of the coin, these results have come in part from Mayweather’s efforts to produce more offensive oriented, fan-friendly fights as the defensive master had long been accused of mounting safety first performances.
Mayweather’s next fight is scheduled for May 4, Cinco de Mayo weekend, and if rumor is prove correct, the opponent will be Mexican-American southpaw Robert Guerrero.
Ironically, Guerrero, is also a big weight class jumper, having held titles at featherweight, super feather, light welter and welterweight.
The 29 year old spent 2012 displaying his ability to compete at 147 pounds by pounding out hard-fought wins against Selcuk Aydin and Andre Berto.
Most likley, the Mayweather camp sees Guerrero as a stepping stone to a Cinco de Mayo 2014 fight against WBC light middle king Saul Alvarez, who, not surprisingly, is also on the May 4, 2013 fight card.
If Mayweather does indeed face off against Guerrero, it should be an interesting match but the outcome will rest solely on which strategy that “Pretty Boy” Floyd brings to the table.
If he uses his boxing skills to maintain distance and make Guerrero pay for his inevitable misses, Mayweather shouldn’t have much trouble with the hard-nosed Californian.
But, with a huge potential payday against Alvarez hanging in the balance for 2014, it’s hard to see Mayweather taking a safety-first stance against Guerrero.
And if that turns out to be the case, Mayweather will be taking a very big gamble by standing in front of Guerrero and fighting what essentially is the other man’s fight.
Guerrero will definitely take a lot pf punches against Mayweather, but the Gilroy native has proven his chin at welterweight and, barring a bad cut, will be moving forward for all 12 rounds.
This puts Mayweather in a grueling affair with a younger, willful opponent and the later rounds could either provide the reigning WBA light middle king
with a flagging opponent to be picked apart or an antagonist that can’t be put off.
Will Mayweather avoid the Pacquiao outcome or will his perfect record come crashing down?
Stay tuned; this will be interesting.