While many experts feel that Robert Guerrero is going to be a very tough out for Floyd Mayweather when the two men meet on Saturday on Showtime pay-per-view, the oddsmakers don't necessarily agree. Mayweather is currently sitting at around a -700 favorite to Guerrero's underdog odds of between +450 and +550.
The good news for Guerrero fans is that those odds close to mirror Mayweather's odds against Miguel Cotto in his last time in the ring. Cotto was able to have a good amount of success against Floyd, pressuring him into the ropes and winning more rounds against "Money" than any fighter since Jose Luis Castillo. Of course, Cotto being competitive meant that instead of losing 120-108 on the scorecards he lost by scores of 117-111, 117-111 and 118-110.
The odds were reasonably similar when Floyd took on Victor Ortiz with the question being how Mayweather could handle a big, strong fighter like Victor, unafraid to try to get inside and mix it up and with the advantage in power. Of course, Ortiz wasn't mentally strong enough to be in with a master like Floyd and decided to use his head to try and rough Mayweather up. Mayweather responded by knocking Victor out in the ensuing confusion.
And so, here we sit, another fight with similar odds featuring an opponent who can theoretically give Floyd certain problems. But even with those potential problems it would seem that Floyd should be able to pull out a reasonably safe decision win.
The hope for Guerrero should be that Floyd is old or somehow less than his normal, outstanding self.
Scott Christ at Bad Left Hook talked about Guerrero's chances for a win and included the fact that Mayweather is getting old as one of the four key hopes for a Guerrero win:
1. Floyd Mayweather is 36, and so are his legs
The talk that Mayweather's legs are going might be brushed off by "The Money Team," but it's plain to see. This doesn't mean that Mayweather is any less an elite fighter -- he's still the best in the sport, period -- but it does mean that he's easier to hit and easier to find than he used to be. Against Miguel Cotto last May, Mayweather says he fought the way he did to put on a show, but that's bunk; Floyd was getting paid either way, and has never fought any way that suited anyone besides Floyd Mayweather. That's not a criticism. Mayweather is who he is, and doesn't fight stupid to prove a point. He's not Amir Khan or Tim Bradley.
Cotto, no spring chicken himself at the time, was able to get Mayweather on the ropes, and even Victor Ortiz had a little success in doing that in 2011. A younger version of Cotto, say a 2007 version, may have actually been able to beat last year's Mayweather. Floyd has rehired his father to semi-replace his uncle Roger after being displeased with his defensive performance last year. But if the legs just aren't there, he's never going to be the unhittable wizard he once was, no matter who coaches him, or how they do it.
In short, Guerrero is a tough, legitimate test for Mayweather. But unless Floyd has gotten old and Guerrero is better than he's ever been, probability favors Mayweather to remain undefeated.