By Ben Hoskin: The past weekend saw Robert Guerrero win an interim title with a close decision over the previously unbeaten Selcuk Aydin. With this victory a clamour has arisen for “The Ghost” to challenge the soon to be released Floyd Mayweather for the proper title. Should such an event take place?
It’s well documented the personal struggles Guerrero has endured with the horrendous health problems his wife has battled and God willing she has managed to beat them now. The fighter has had to devote a huge amount of time looking after their young family whilst mum underwent treatment and his career naturally took a back seat. Now he is back concentrating fully on boxing and considers himself the rightful challenger for the massive money machine that is Floyd Mayweather. Personally I’d feel a bit let down if this happened to be Mayweather’s next bout.
The first issue is how did Guerrero manage to obtain the right to challenge for the interim title? He has won multiple versions of world titles at feather, super feather and lightweight but only once had he fought above that and that was against a faded Joel Casamayor at light welter. This is not to detract from his past accomplishments, which are plenty, but to highlight what is wrong with matchmaking in this sport. With multiple belts up for grabs in each division comes many opportunities for fighters but surely to get the chance for ultimate glory one has to earn it first in that division? Whilst the rankings for the WBC’S welterweights may not be overloaded with household names at present, the rankings are there for a reason. You beat a fellow welterweight and your ranking rises till you eventually get the chance to fight for the title. If we have to have an interim champion which in my opinion is a meaningless bauble, at least have the best two available fighters contest it. These best two fighters should be genuine fighters in that weight class who have fought others in that weight class to attain the ranking they possess. By awarding Guerrero the chance to jump two divisions and fight at a weight he’s never fought at before must be gut-wrenching for the other top-ten ranked fighters in the WBC.
To add to my confusion, Guerrero had never fought for any WBC title before. Previous patronage of the WBC would have been looked upon favourably even if it was at lower weights but we can’t even use that justification for his opportunity. Providing he won, is it cynical to believe Guerrero was given the shot for the interim belt as the money men behind the scenes were licking their lips at the prospect of their 24/7 reality show pulling in huge interest with a wholesome fighter with a gut-wrenching and ultimately triumphant personal tale to tell?
Nobody can blame “the ghost” for calling out Mayweather now as his future would be assured with the huge purses that come with fighting one of this generation’s finest boxers. The fight itself would unfortunately be a formality for Mayweather. Guerrero’s lack of power would encourage the usually cautious Floyd to attack as opposed to counter and an early stoppage would be probable. We as boxing fans deserve to see the best fight the best. Mayweather doesn’t have many fights left in all likelihood, wouldn’t it be salivating viewing him taking on a “Pac-man”, or Martinez. We’d still watch him fight Guerrero as there is no drama to rival this great sport but for once could the promoters, sanctioning bodies and the boxers themselves give us the fans what we want – mouth-watering match-ups.
I genuinely hope Guerrero can make a success of himself at welterweight even if he was unfairly afforded his chance. The Guerrero’s already have attained something which makes any accomplishments in the squared circle pale into insignificance – the victory over life-threatening illness! Could the powers that be bow to the wishes of the fans and provide fights that whet our appetite?