Unbeaten Floyd Mayweather risks WBC title against Robert Guerrero
Unbeaten Floyd Mayweather returns to the boxing ring tonight after a year's "vacation" that included a jail stint, risking his World Boxing Council welterweight title against southpaw Robert Guerrero.
Mayweather (pictured), 43-0 with 26 knockouts, went to jail last June for domestic violence and since his release eight months ago has been working to regain the fitness needed to defend his place atop the list of boxing's moneymakers.
"I'm in tip top condition. I'm in great shape. I have been working hard," said Mayweather. "I just call it a vacation. Sometimes the body needs time to heal. The body needs time to rejuvenate. The body needs time to rest."
But fellow American Guerrero, 31-1 with 18 knockouts and a 15-fight win streak dating to 2005, sees himself as having been given this chance to humble Mayweather by inflicting the first loss of his career.
"Not just humble Floyd but humble the boxing world," Guerrero said of his mission. "Some people think Floyd is a god with the way he lives, the way he spends money. Some people think he is unbeatable. That has to go. He's going to have his first loss." And Guerrero thinks the lay-off will have more of an impact on Mayweather than he will admit.
"Everybody always says what they're going to do to me," Mayweather said. "He is a solid opponent. He talks a good game. Now we have to see if he can fight as well as he talks. He's more like a grappler, a wrestler, than a boxer."
Guerrero comes off a 12-round decision over Andre Berto last November and expects Mayweather to be formidable, ring rust or no.
"Floyd is a very smart fighter and a very sharp guy. I look forward for him to be ready to go," Guerrero said. "If he is slowing down, his slower is faster than almost every other guy out there."
Mayweather has his father, Floyd Snr, as his trainer for the fight and the elder Mayweather has exchanged harsh words with Guerrero's father Ruben in pre-fight promotions.
"We're going to beat up the woman beater," Ruben Guerrero said of Mayweather.
"I don't have to fight his father," Mayweather Jnr said. "Like I told my dad, just carry yourself in a classy way."