Five keys for Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Plotting a path to victory for Saturday's title fight against Robert Guerrero
In the first bout of his six-fight, multimillion-dollar contract with Showtime, Floyd Mayweather Jr. will defend his welterweight title against Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero on Saturday in Las Vegas.
Floyd Mayweather-Robert Guerrero
Where: MGM Grand, Las Vegas
When: Saturday, 9 p.m. ET/PT
TV: Showtime PPV
The reigning pound-for-pound king of the sport, Mayweather (43-0, 26 KOs) will face a difficult challenge against Guerrero (31-1-1, 18 KOs) -- an aggressive opponent in his prime at age 30 who has trained hard to look stronger and faster for the fight of his life.
Mayweather, 36, enters the bout after another one-year layoff after his May 2012 victory over Miguel Cotto.
Here are five keys to victory for Mayweather against Guerrero:
|Waiting, dodging, counterpunching and plenty of movement -- Mayweather should continue to do what he has been doing when he faces Guerrero on Saturday. Punching his opponent in retreat, throwing surprising combinations and using his jab will help to slowly wear Guerrero down so Mayweather can prevail on the scorecards. His usual game plan is the best option one more time.|
Don't get cut
|Mayweather faces a brave, young and determined opponent. It won't be an easy fight. In Mayweather's last bout, Cotto gave him a significant nosebleed with a good combination. Guerrero can do even more than that, and Mayweather should keep that in mind. If, as everyone expects, the fight is decided on the cards, Mayweather can't afford to suffer a cut. In a close round, blood often sways the judges' decision.|
A year to remember
|Mayweather has had a long year since his last fight. In that year, he spent time in jail for domestic violence. The effects of rust are unpredictable, physically and mentally, especially in terms of concentration throughout the fight. Mayweather should be careful and try to avoid falling into slumps because of that rust. Everyone knows Guerrero will be lurking and ready to pounce on any opportunity he can get from the world champ.|
Jab the way out
|As he did against Andre Berto, Guerrero will put a lot of pressure on from the start. Mayweather must protect the distance by any means. The parsimony with which Mayweather sometimes likes to fight by dodging with his shoulder against the ropes is not a good option against an aggressive southpaw. By using movement and throwing the jab, Mayweather will be able to create the space he needs to carry out his game plan.|
Secure the first
|When a 36-year-old world champion such as Mayweather -- considered one of the best in boxing history -- gets used to winning, there's always the risk of overconfidence and seeing his opponent as a new victim. This could end up being his Achilles' heel. Mayweather always gives the impression that money is the only thing that keeps him in the fighting game, and this time he'll have to respect and honor that commitment. He signed a multimillion-dollar contract for six fights, and nobody knows what will happen if he loses the first one. There is no alternative: He must win at all costs.|
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