By Emilio Camacho, Esq. This past Saturday Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero moved up two weight classes and defeated Turkish welterweight contender Selcuk Aydin. After the fight, and after showing proper sportsmanship, Guerrero assessed his performance as positive and took the opportunity to challenge Floyd Mayweather at 147 lbs.
Guerrero has a compelling story. He is a hard worker and he has a beautiful family. His wife has battled cancer and is making a wonderful recovery. Most people like him and want him to succeed. But the real question is whether he can succeed considering the current landscape of the welterweight division.
In my view, the short answer is no. This is because to truly take over the welterweight division means beating two athletes: Floyd Mayweather (assuming he remains at 147) and Manny Pacquiao. Let me discuss why I do not think Guerrero can beat neither of these two fighters.
Let us start with Manny. I believe Guerrero’s strong attributes are his speed, southpaw stance, stamina and heart. Unfortunately for the Ghost, Manny has more speed. In addition, Manny will match or even exceed Guerrero’s stamina. Manny’s heart is unquestioned when he steps into the ring. Obviously, the southpaw stance also ceases to be an advantage for Guerrero. Furthermore, Guerrero has not displayed the technical counterpunching ability (like Marquez) that could dominate exchanges with Manny. More significantly, if Guerrero brawls as he did with Aydin, Manny is likely to knock him due to differences in punching power. Lastly, as we saw in the Salido fight and, to a large extent with Aydin, Guerreo has trouble with pressure fighters with a chin. Therefore, unless Manny grows old overnight I do not see Guerrero winning that matchup.
This leads to Floyd. Here, we know that Floyd has had trouble with southpaws in the past. That’s one point for Guerrero. Generally, Floyd is not a pressure fighter even though he has been more aggressive lately. Another point for Guerrero. Nevertheless, Floyd, like Manny, will have no stamina problems and will easily match Guerrero in that category. As far as heart, we know Floyd has it because he showed during the 2nd round of the Mosley fight and one could argue that against Cotto in his last fight. As far as speed, Floyd will have a significant advantage and could overwhelm Guerrero. But the most important factor is Floyd’s accuracy and the types of punches he connects. Floyd has a superior right cross and jab (Mosley fight). He is also a master at landing the right and left hooks when given a chance (Hatton fight). Moreover, Floyd can make good use of the uppercut and hurt an opponent. And he can obviously knock out an opponent with some of these (Ortiz fight). Lastly, Floyd always finds a way to adjust during the fight. This is no good news for Guerrero. He was tagged with right hands and uppercuts by Aydin who literally had no jab and relied on brute force rather than technical skill. Floyd, on the other hand, relies on skill rather than brute force. Here again, unless Floyd grows old overnight, I do not see Guerrero winning that matchup either.
In conclusion, I do not think Guerrero can take over the welterweight division. In my opinion, he should remain at 140lbs and stay there chasing good matchups (Khan, Danny Garcia, Marquez, etc.). This would allow his body to grow into the welterweight division more gradually and perhaps result in Manny and Floyd slowing down a bit until they are beatable. At the same time, few of us can blame Guerrero for following the potential millions of dollars that these fights would bring (your comments are welcomed).