Sunday, May 05, 2013

"Money" Schools Guerrero

I found out late last night that a nearby fast food place had brought the PPV of the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Robert Guerrero fight.  They were charging five bucks to get in.  That was way less expensive than the $20 that Alan told me Rivers Casino out by O'Hare Airport was charging to see it.  I really didn't want to go all the way out to that casino via public transportation.  Neither did I want to go to the fast food place which is in walking distance from my house.  By that time of day, I was worn out from having to deal with my extremely sore left knee.  Something had went "pop" in that knee shortly after I woke up Thursday morning.  I had errands to run on Saturday, and I struggled to shuffle down streets and on and off buses and trains.  Enough was enough.

A buddy of mine on Facebook posted a link to where people could watch the fight online.  The picture could have been a little clearer, and an ad blocked part of the screen.  Sometimes, the audio and visual went in and out.  But I could see enough to view the action.  When it was all over, I was glad I hadn't paid for it.  It was another of Mayweather's usual shutouts against someone.

But say what you will about Mayweather's personality and past run-ins with the law -- the fight was an excellent boxing lesson.  Unfortunately, Guerrero didn't pass the final exam.  There was the anticipation that something might jump off.  Remember, Manny Pacquiao got knocked out during a fight by Juan Manuel Marquez back in December.  It's not that Pacquiao hadn't lost fights before, but people had gotten used to him not having lost a fight in a long, long time.  Pacquiao was thought to be practically unbeatable, then we all discovered there was a dent in the armor.  Mayweather had been rocked in a previous fight he had with "Sugar" Shane Mosley.  Mosley had "Money" stumbling, but could not capitalize on that punch for the rest of the fight.

Robert Guerrero came out of his corner at the beginning of the fight looking as if he was all about business.  Perhaps the recent battle he and his wife fought against her leukemia had given Guerrero an extra boost that would translate into some real power against Mayweather.  Indeed, Guerrero looked good in the first round, popping "Money" with head and body shots that riled the crowd up.  He won that round.

But now knowing what Guerrero was about, Mayweather fully committed to his own game plan.  Guerrero fought the way Mayweather wanted him to for the rest of the match.  It was painful to watch Guerrero hitting air most of the time, as Mayweather deftly darted out of the way after giving out hits.  Many times, it seemed that Guerrero had ample opportunities to jump Mayweather whenever the undefeated champ had been backed into corners.  But there was too much waiting to see how Mayweather was going to react.  By the time Guerrero thought to throw more than one punch at a time, Mayweather easily slipped out of the corners and sped away.  Guerrero kept getting tied up with Mayweather, punching on the inside and to the sides.  But referee Robert Byrd foiled Guerrero's efforts to stay in the pocket each time.

As Guerrero walked back to his corner for the rest period in-between the sixth and seventh round, there was a beaten look on his face.  The boxer's frustration with trying to catch Mayweather became even more apparent in the later rounds.  Guerrero never made any adjustments to what he was doing.  Meanwhile, Mayweather kept ducking, dodging, turning, and getting off clean shots.  Guerrero raised his hand after the 12th round, but it was unclear as to why.  Mayweather had shown no ring rust, and despite being in his mid-30's, the reflexes and movements were just as sharp as fighters a decade younger than he.

Of course, Mayweather can be beaten; I believe that based on the punch that Mosley gave him that one time. Unless he retires -- again -- undefeated, sooner or later someone is going to figure out how to get around him.  But Guerrero didn't figure it out last night.

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