Robert Guerrero was in bullish mood on Wednesday evening when he spoke on a media call to promote his fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 4th in Las Vegas.
Mayweather (43-0, 26 KO) will be defending his WBC 147-pound title on Showtime Pay Per View against Guerrero (31-1-1, 18 KOs). But despite being the challenger and underdog, it’s Guerrero who has spoken of how he wants to “humble” Mayweather in front of God and explained how age may be finally catching up to the sport’s unanimous pound for pound king.
“Floyd should have taken the fight with me last year,” explained Guerrero, who defeated former welterweight titlist Andre Berto in his last outing to earn the biggest fight of his career.
Having come up two weight classes and also defeating Turkish bruiser Selcuk Aydin, Guerrero was adamant that welterweight was the right place for him and his best chance at defeating Mayweather. Despite residing most of his career as a featherweight, Guerrero said: “I was ready then and I'm ready now. Except now I had two fights to break into in welterweight, so he [Mayweather] should've taken the fight last year."
He said many people think Mayweather is “like a God.”
“The way that he acts, the way that he lives, the way that he spends money and the way that he boasts about stuff," said Guerrero, 30, of Gilroy, Calif. "He's got everybody thinking that he's unstoppable and that nobody can beat him. But Floyd, he believes that there is no blueprint to beat him. You can't break him down. But you know what? Being a big believer in God, there's a blueprint for everybody."
Guerrero’s buildup for May’s fight has been mired by his recent arrest on charges of bringing an unregistered firearm into a New York City airport. But he maintains that it’s had little effect in his preparations for what is unquestionably the biggest fight of his career.
In fact, the clearly religious Guerrero repeatedly paints the match-up as a battle of biblical proportions, where he is David and Mayweather is Goliath.
"They [the fans] don't look at the preparation and what David's has been through. Everything I've been through gets you ready for moments like these. I need to stay mentally strong, keeping to the game-plan and make adjustments when I need to"
In a separate media call though, was quick to dismiss any religious aspects to the fight, stating that on May 4 the only thing on display would be a sporting contest.
“I've said one hundred times, this is not about religion,” explained Mayweather “This is about two fighters going out there, testing their skills against one another. You see the story of his wife with cancer. I'm not here to talk disrespectful about nobody's wife, or nobody's religion. I support different causes.”
As for Guerrero’s chances, Mayweather was respectful but dismissive.
"You don't just get to the pinnacle without facing and fighting the best competition. I just feel like I was before my time. I beat everybody in the 90s, and everyone in the 2000s. Now here we go 17 years later. My main focus is to win, and I'm always going to be able to control the tempo.”
As for a one last parting shot to Guerrero, and echoing Guerrero’s legal troubles, Mayweather had this to say:
"He [Guerrero] shoots a .25 and I shoot an Uzi or an old school Gatling gun"
Igor Guryashkin is a freelance journalist whose extensive work on combat sports has been featured in ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com. He splits his time between New York and Louisville. Follow him on Twitter @IGuryashkinESPN.