Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Still never missing a beat or tasting defeat

Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a left jab on Robert Guerrero in Saturday’s fight, which Mayweather won 117-111 on all three judges’ cards.

Associated Press

Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a left jab on Robert Guerrero in Saturday’s fight, which Mayweather won 117-111 on all three judges’ cards.

LAS VEGAS — Floyd Mayweather's latest triumph followed a familiar pattern. For weeks, he toyed with Robert Guerrero, made him angry and jumpy, drew him into the usual vortex of opponent overconfidence.

Guerrero insisted, over and over, that Mayweather would not get to him. By then, he already had.

That is part of Mayweather's ring brilliance, the mental part. He wants foes riled up, overaggressive, then he turns their aggression into weakness. That is the other part, the physical part, the feet that dance and hands that flash and the dazzling precision.

Guerrero suffered from both Mayweather's mind games and his right hands. Early into this World Boxing Council welterweight title fight it became clear which boxer was undefeated — the one in the audacious yellow shorts, the best boxer of his generation, a candidate for one of the best boxers of all time. Mayweather won easily, by unanimous decision, scored 117-111 by all three judges. He did so despite hurting his right hand in the middle rounds.

"What else can I say?" Mayweather said, as he appeared to thank half of those assembled in Grand Garden Arena. "We did it again."

Mayweather made it look easy, landing 60 percent of his power punches.

As Mayweather (44-0) stalked back to his corner after the 10th round, his eyes never left Guerrero (31-1-2), who refused to return the eye contact. Guerrero was beaten, bloodied, bludgeoned.

Talk turned again to Mayweather's choice of opposition, to whether he is simply better than all challengers or whether he picks the right guys at the right moments, and his status among the greats. Regardless, his precious zero in the loss column remained intact.

"That's why he's undefeated," said Guerrero, 30.

Most opponents believe they can wear Mayweather down, out-tough him in a brawl. But the more the fight wore on, the more Mayweather picked Guerrero apart, like in the fifth round, with a series of right hooks. When Guerrero lunged back, Mayweather ducked punches and slipped out of corners. He always seemed a step ahead.

By the eighth, blood dripped from Guerrero's left eye down his face.

In recent bouts, Mayweather dodged and ducked less and engaged opponents more. This left him more exposed, slightly. It seemed reasonable to wonder if age played a role. The champion turned 36 in February — Muhammad Ali, Larry Holmes and Joe Louis all fell in unexpected defeats at almost the exact same age.

And in the year since Mayweather's last ring walk, he went to jail for more than two months, made peace with his father, Floyd Sr. (who was in his son's corner Saturday for the first time in 13 years); watched both his father and his uncle and longtime trainer, Roger Mayweather, endure health issues; and signed a three-year deal with Showtime that could be worth $250 million.

If all this distracted Mayweather, he never showed it.

Still never missing a beat or tasting defeat 05/05/13 [Last modified: Sunday, May 5, 2013 10:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. James Wilder Jr. back at running Canada


    Remember when former Plant High star and Florida State running back James Wilder Jr. announced he was switching to linebacker?

    That was short-lived, apparently.

  2. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  3. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  4. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  5. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108