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By John J. Raspanti
Absent from boxing for 12 months, Floyd "Money" Mayweather returns to the squared circle at the MGM Garden Arena in Las Vergas, NV on May 4 to face Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero.
Mayweather (43-0, 26 KOs) defeated Miguel Cotto in the same ring last year. The outcome was expected, but the sight of Mayweather eating punches was not.
Some experts suggested the 36-year-old had lost a step.
Guerrero (31-1, 18 KOs) captured the interim WBC welterweight title last year by defeating Selcuk Aydin. In his first defense, he pounded former champion Andre Berto for 12 rounds. Expected to box, Guerrero - the underdog going into the fight crowded Berto and smothered his offense. In close, he roughed up his more heavy-handed foe.
The decision wasn't close.
Mayweather, the five-time division champion who served a three-month stint in prison last year for domestic violence, is relishing the upcoming chance to express himself.
"I am going to dish it out against Robert Guerrero on this one," Mayweather said, while in Atlanta to attend the men's NCAA college basketball tournament.
"I have young guys who are really pushing me in the gym for this fight," he added.
The "young guys" are obviously doing a good job. On media day a few days ago, Mayweather sported a surprising shiner under his right eye.
Could Father Time be sneaking up on "Money"?
Mayweather started fighting professionally in 1996. His amateur career was lengthy. Nevertheless, he's never been in a flat-out war - the kind that takes years off a fighters career. His bout with Cotto was one of his toughest. Instead of controlling the bout with his boxing skills, Mayweather stood his ground. The result was a bloody nose and swelling around both his eyes.
Guerrero, 30, won world titles in two divisions (126 pounds and 130) before jumping to 147 pounds last year. He recently compared his bout with Mayweather to a Bible story.
"I look at myself as a modern-day David and Floyd is Goliath," said Guerrero.
"Armies feared Goliath, and David walked out with a slingshot and some pebbles."
Guerrero can't match Mayweather's athleticism or hand speed. And, he can't out jab him.
But if his talent pool lacks depth, his determination runs deep. To upset the pound-for-pound king, Guerrero needs to push "Money" to the ropes, and keep him there. If Mayweather's legs are shot this could happen.
However, it seems unlikely. Floyd Sr. (his trainer) and Jr. have been talking defense for weeks.
Mayweather will box and slug his way to a unanimous decision victory.
Mayweather is currently a 7 to 1 favorite at 5 Dimes Sportsbook however there is more than one way to bet the fight. 5 Dimes will over tons of props including over under rounds, whether the fight ends by KO or decision and much, much more.
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