Floyd Mayweather granted Robert Guerrero’s request for a fight on Tuesday, after Guerrero campaigned for the bout for more than a year, but Guerrero said Thursday that he sees Mayweather as a fighter spiraling downward.
“I see a lot of slippage,” Guerrero said Thursday on a conference call with several reporters. “I see him slowing down as far as his legs not being as quick as they used to be.”
Mayweather, who is 43-0 with 26 knockouts, will turn 36 on Sunday, but Guerrero acknowledges that age has not affected Mayweather’s mental game.
“But he is sharp in the ring. He puts more pressure on guys,” Guerrero said. “I think that has to do with him not being able to move as good on his legs, where people think, ‘Oh, he’s changed his style.’ But I just think that when you get older and your legs start to go, you have to change direction.”
When Guerrero challenges Mayweather on May 4 for the welterweight world title at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, he plans to be well prepared to attempt to put the first blemish on Mayweather’s record.
“This is the fight we’ve been looking for and training for,” Guerrero said. “I’ll be 100 percent prepared. I’m ready for the fight.”
The fight between Guerrero and Mayweather two weeks ago was inconceivable because Mayweather tweeted that injured welterweight titlist Devon Alexander was the leading candidate to get the May 4 fight. Alexander was already under contract for another fight, but no serious negotiations took place.
Guerrero told reporters that he is relieved that he is finally getting a shot at a big fight because he felt that other fighters were trying to avoid him through his career as he moved up in weight classes.
“So when you hear all the names coming up — Alexander, (Timothy) Bradley — you think, ‘Is this guy (Mayweather) going to duck me or what?’ So I was just relieved everything got signed and done and I can’t wait for the fight,” Guerrero said.
But Guerrero feels that he has a great opportunity to shock the boxing world because Mayweather will not have fought in almost a year when they meet. Mayweather’s last fight came against Miguel Cotto in May of 2012, which was one of his most difficult. Shortly after the fight, Mayweather was required to report to jail for a two-month sentence for a domestic abuse conviction.
“He’s been out for a year,” Guerrero said. “It does take a toll with that ring rust. I’ve experienced it, being out a year with that shoulder surgery (in 2011) and then getting back in the ring after jumping the two weight classes. It does take a toll on you.”
Guerrero is confident that he is in the position he is in because he has earned it. He is 31-1-1 with 18 knockouts. Guerrero’s biggest win came against Andre Berto last November, where he scored to knockdowns.
However, Guerrero says he is ready for the biggest fight of his life:
“I can’t wait to show the world why I am the best fighter in the world.”