April 30, 2013

MAY DAY - Mayweather vs Guerrero KO Digest Staff Predictions

Fists Trump Faith in Sin City?
By Jeffrey Freeman — Faith is a concept I've struggled with my whole life. It's generally understood to be belief without evidence. Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero is a faith-based fighter and he offers belief in Jesus Christ as the primary reason that he'll defeat Floyd Mayweather Jr on May 4th. Where have we heard this before? Evander Holyfield credited faith following his Biblical 1996 beating of Mike Tyson. That's a powerful precedence that can't be denied.

Considering what he's up against, there's no reason to believe it will take anything less than an act of God for "The Ghost" to emerge victorious against the consensus #1 pound for pound fighter in boxing. By no means a pacifist, Guerrero won't drop his hands and offer his chin but Mayweather should still have no problem finding it with lead right hands and clever counters.

With faith and facts in mind, here is what the devout staff of writers and reporters at KO Digest forecast on May Day.

Terry Strawson: Floyd Mayweather W12 Robert Guerrero - I cannot speak much more highly of Robert Guerrero. He is a six time World Champion with legitimate pound-for-pound credentials and he comes into this fight hungry, focused and deserving of the opportunity. Inspired by the relative success of Miguel Cotto before him, and buoyed by his performance against the similar minded Andre Berto, Guerrero will begin forcefully and look to get his head in the chest of Floyd from the outset, making life difficult for Money. Unfortunately for Guerrero, Floyd Mayweather is as great as he thinks he is and this fight will end by decision after the class and experience of fighting at the very highest level for almost two decades shines through. Mayweather UD ~ Terry Strawson is a regular contributor to KO Digest and his monthly "Spotlight on Boxing's Up and Comers" column is one of the most informative features that we're proud to offer on the 15th of every month to readers of KO Digest. 

David McLeod: Floyd Mayweather W12 Robert Guerrero - The edge in hand speed, and overall boxing experience will be the difference but Robert Guerrero will make Floyd Mayweather look human for the first time since the Jose Luis Castillo fight, raising the question if Father Time has finally caught up. Floyd by close decision, or late stoppage on cuts. ~ Self proclaimed boxing junkie David McLeod is a prolific contributor to KO Digest. In addition to covering live Broadway Boxing shows in the New York City area for KO Digest, his Friday Night Fight Flashback columns are very popular.  

Will Guerrero be in over his head like Ortiz was?
Derek Bonnett: Floyd Mayweather UD12 Robert Guerrero - Mayweather has been standing his ground more and fighting as seen against Ortiz and Cotto. I just don't think he has the legs to fight the way he used to. However, I don't think Guerrero is a bruising or powerful enough fighter to take advantage of the more stationary Pretty Boy. Mayweather still avoids shots well with shoulder and head movement. Guerrero is an excellent fighter, but he is in over his head here. PBF UD ~ Derek Bonnett is an experienced boxing reporter with SecondsOut.com. Specializing in ratings and lighter weight fighters, he is a monthly contributor on KO Digest and writes the popular "Bantamweights & Below" column.     

Luke Connelly: Robert Guerrero SD12 Floyd Mayweather - I would have picked Floyd without hesitation two years ago, but I think the Cotto fight and even the Ortiz fight shown that Floyd’s reflexes are starting to slip whether it's due to father time or inactivity. I see this fight in two phases: Floyd walks to Guerrero trying to lure him into attacking so he can counter (this is much of what he did against Ortiz and Cotto) but the problem is, Guerrero has the speed to land in the opening Floyd gives him. Floyd will give up on this and try boxing on the outside, which will lead to Guerrero bulling him into the ropes and roughing him up and landing to the body. This will also smother Floyd’s offense. I can’t really see Floyd hurting Guerrero as his beard seems to have passed the test against Berto and Aydin. With Floyd’s reflexes the way they are, he won’t be able to do anything Guerrero can’t answer. Guerrero SD ~ Luke Connelly assisted in the production of this article and his 'Who Am I?' boxing riddles appear every Wednesday on the KO Digest Facebook page.

Chuck Marbry: Robert Guerrero W12 Floyd Mayweather - I am picking Guerrero, and not for the obvious Christian angle. I am of the admittedly minority opinion that Mayweather is great because of his natural physical abilities, not because he's learned his craft. I think that with all the drama of jail, and changing promoters that Money will begin to show some age in this fight. ~ Affectionately known as the Pastor of Pugilism, former boxer and professional wrestler Chuck Marbry is a regular contributor on KO Digest with his weekly boxing sermon "Orthodox Stance" faithfully appearing every Sunday on the KO Digest Facebook page.
Sebastianelli's Money is on Mayweather
Joel Sebastianelli: Floyd Mayweather W12 Robert Guerrero - Floyd Mayweather Jr has retained the coveted crown of pound-for-pound champion for over eight years, and even if you believe that being hurt by one punch in an otherwise unblemished outing against Shane Mosley and a failure to shutout Miguel Cotto on the scorecards are signs of downfall , there is no doubt that the 36 year old is still the best fighter in the sport today, even if the margin over the rest of the field has been curtailed slightly from previous years.

Mayweather continues to be unflustered in the ring, never succumbing to strategic traps laid by his counterparts. Guerrero fights aggressively with a warrior mentality most successful when opponents have been lured into fighting his style of fight. Guerrero will need to take risks and push the issue, and although he’ll have his moments, he won’t force Mayweather into mental miscues and unforced errors. Like other similarly equipped foes retired before him, which include DeMarcus Corley, Arturo Gatti, and Victor Ortiz, Guerrero’s game plan will fail and the fight will turn into a tactical one, interchangeable with most of Mayweather’s victories during his reign as champion. The Ghost utilizes strong defense that can serve to keep him competitive, but you can put your money on Mayweather winning a unanimous decision with scores in the neighborhood of 117-111 ~ Joel joined KO Digest in January 2013 and has been a fixture on press row in the New England area for three years. In 2012, he served as the host of “The Boxing Fix” on Leave it in the Ring Radio. His monthly KO Digest interview is one of the site's most popular features.  

Mark A. Jones: Floyd Mayweather W12 Robert Guerrero - Mayday, mayday, mayday! Will that be the distress signal transmitted by the Robert Guerrero corner when they realize that they are hopelessly out-skilled? Many uncultured boxing fans are now Guerrero fanatics because of his barroom brawl styled fight with Andre Berto nearly six months ago. It was nothing more than low-brow entertainment; no real boxing skill was realized in that match-up. It was the equivalent of Rocky Balboa squaring off with Spider Rico. Guerrero is too stiff and vertical. He has very little verve to his game and he's too square when he's at close range. In addition, he's facing possible prison time from a recent weapons arrest in NYC. Regardless of the posturing, that must take a mental toll on Guerrero's mind set. The only question in this fight - does future hall of famer Floyd Mayweather Jr stop Guerrero in the later rounds or toy with him as a cat would a dead mouse? Floyd Mayweather Jr. wins a twelve round unanimous decision in a relative snooze fest. ~ Mark A. Jones is an expert in women's boxing and his monthly 'Sweet Side of the Sweet Science' column on KO Digest is one of the most informative and popular features that we are proud to offer boxing fans.  

Gopal Rao: Floyd Mayweather TKO10 Robert Guerrero - Guerrero tries to make it a rough inside fight but finds out the hard way that he's outgunned at close quarters as well as at range. Still, Guerrero presses on until the referee calls a halt to the proceedings with Robert looking battered and ineffective. ~ Based in California, Gopal Rao is a talented contributor on KO Digest with West Coast Ringside Reports and fight previews.

Guerrero pounds Katsidis
Steve Bridge: Robert Guerrero SD12 Floyd Mayweather - I know the smart money is on Money, and if I was following my head, that's who I'd pick, but I have a feeling that the Ghost is going to fight up to his opposition and I think he wants it more. This fight puts me in mind of Roy Jones vs Montell Griffin, a fight in which the Pound for Pound king was suppose to dominate. Instead, Griffin fought his butt off and frustrated Roy. Griffin won on a DQ after Roy hit him while he was down, which shows you how frustrated Roy was. The Ghost could pull out the same kind of fight against Floyd, minus the DQ. Guerrero is hungry and he has something to prove, and while Floyd is still one of the best in the world, he may be looking past Guerrero and that would be a big mistake. ~ Steve Bridge is a fanatical contributor on KO Digest and his new Dream Fight feature on the KO Digest Facebook page is extremely popular.

John Scheinman: Floyd Mayweather TKO9 Robert Guerrero - I pick Mayweather. Guerrero has scored exactly one knockout since 2009, if I'm not mistaken. I was never a big fan of Berto, and this is obviously a huge rise in class. Guerrero is hard-charging, physical and active. He likes to hit the body. If Mayweather has begun to slip - and I think any prediction in favor of Guerrero has to be premised on this - it could be a long, tough night. My thinking is it's not yet time for Mayweather, and he will sharp-shoot Guerrero from a variety of angles, cut him down and stop him by TKO around round 9 ~ Based in the Washington DC area, John Scheinman is an occasional contributor to KO Digest. In the past, his written work has appeared on the pages of The Ring Magazine and Bert Randolph Sugar's Boxing Illustrated.

The Ghost delivers on a promise to beat down Berto
Edwin "Ace" Ayala: Robert Guerrero TKO Floyd Mayweather - While Floyd has never tasted defeat, Robert has but once. Floyd has been "tested" in the ring only once (see Jose Luis Castillo I) but Robert has faced adversity on a few occasions (see Joel Casamayor and Michael Katsidis to name a couple). That's the intangible here and I'm going to go across the grain on this one and pick Guerrero by late rounds stoppage or split decision. A motivated Ghost will outwork a rusty Mayweather to get the upset. Don't be shocked if Floyd Sr. throws in the towel. ~ Senior staff writer Edwin Ayala is the right hand man on KO Digest. Experienced as a ringside correspondent, Ayala's "Then & Now" column is but a very small part of his invaluable contribution to KO Digest. 

Jeffrey "KO" Freeman: Floyd Mayweather TKO Robert Guerrero - I'd like to believe Guerrero could pull off the upset and humble "Money" Mayweather but without more compelling evidence of Floyd's decline, that's a blind leap of faith I just can't take. Mayweather stops Guerrero mid to late when things get nasty and Floyd gets sick of Guerrero's roughhouse tactics.

Fists trump faith in Sin City.

Jeffrey Freeman is the creator and Editor-in-Chief of KO Digest and a member of the RingTV "Ask the Experts" panel.