- Kieran Mulvaney, Boxing
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LAS VEGAS -- Robert Guerrero earned his shot at Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Saturday partly because he is the mandatory challenger to Mayweather's welterweight belt, and partly because, after calling him out for what seemed like years on end, the former featherweight proved he could compete at a high level at 147 pounds in a gritty win over Andre Berto last November.
Most observers were impressed by Guerrero's in-the-trenches, brawling win over Berto. Mayweather affects not to be one of them.
"Any time you close both a guy's eyes, you're supposed to be able to finish him. But Berto was still able to close his eye," Mayweather sniffed during a conversation with reporters on Tuesday. "So I look at certain things like that, absolutely. Then I look at certain things like [Joel] Casamayor going the distance with him at age 40 [actually 39 when they fought in July 2010]. Is this guy on the same level as a Floyd Mayweather? Or having a dogfight with [Michael] Katsidis, and then you've got guys like [Juan Manuel] Marquez knocking Katsidis out.
"He was grappling when he fought Berto. I think Berto's a good fighter, but I don't think he has the movement of a Floyd Mayweather. He don't have the angles I move. I don't think his résumé is like mine. Is Andre Berto a better fighter than Miguel Cotto [whom Mayweather defeated last May 5]? Ask yourself that question. Do you think Andre Berto can go the distance with Miguel Cotto? Absolutely not. I'm not saying he's not a good fighter, but he won't be able to go the distance with a Miguel Cotto that's in top shape like he was when he fought me."