Guerrero gaining ground on big fight? Maybe … or not

Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero practices with his father and

The merry-go-rumor circled round and round this week. Robert Guerrero was caught up in the whirlwind. Could his shot at Floyd Mayweather Jr. really be this close? So close yet so far is more like it.
On Monday night it looked like Guerrero vs. Mayweather might actually come to fruition. But by Wednesday night, the notion was squashed.
ESPN’s Dan Rafael said he spoke to Golden Boy Promotions’ (Guerrero’s promoter) CEO Richard Schaefer late Wednesday, who said Guerrero wasn’t an option for Mayweather. There goes that.
Judging by Mayweather’s Tweets Tuesday, he may not have known Guerrero wanted a crack at him. A “Ghost” out of sight and out of mind, if you will. Hard to fathom that, though. Guerrero’s rigourous public relations push has been louder than a Blue Angels flyover.
Cue the rumor mill.
Already on the hook for a May 5 fight – so important to him, in fact, that his 87-day jail sentence has been postponed to June 1 – Mayweather shouted across the Twitter-verse. Doing his part to keep the aura and stigma and hype in tact. Self-promoting. Quieting doubters. It set the drama-train in motion.
“Manny Pacquiao I’m calling you out let’s fight May 5th and give the world what they want to see,” Mayweather Tweeted.
He followed that up with, “My Jail Sentence was pushed back because the date was locked in. Step up Punk.”
Strong words. But done via Twitter. Just posturing? Lot of that in boxing. It might be the only sport where the business side gets more publicity than the athletes themselves. Mayweather’s nickname is “Money.” Makes sense. He’s earned a bundle. Business is taking the lead here as well.
Mayweather continued his Twitter talk Wednesday with another gem.
“I’m ready to put my belt up. What about you Manny Pacquiao? Let’s make history,” he wrote.
Pacquiao has said he wants the we-will-believe-it-when-we-see-it mega fight to happen. (Neither wants to be the one fans blame for “backing out”) Pacquiao last fought Nov. 12 and the May 5 date is apparently too early for a return. Schedules are conflicting. It’s not requests for drug testing, but a another roadblock nonetheless.
According to various boxing blogs, a decision from Mayweather about an opponent may come today. Speculation, hunches. Ray Markarian of The Sweet Science website reported on Wednesday that Pacquiao has 48 hours to accept Mayweather’s challenge. Also, on Wednesday, Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times, had Pacquiao’s promotor quoted as saying June 9 would be the earliest date. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez has also been mentioned and has emerged as the newest frontrunner. Guerrero’s people argue a deal would be easier made with their man. He’d demand less. Problem is, will he draw the gate and pay-per-view numbers promoters and advertisers and MGM Grand desire? Some think Alvarez would be a better revenue fit.
Guerrero (29-1-1) has to be frustrated. Or, was he glad to be included in the mix as a potential opponent? I lean toward frustrated. All the work he has put in – interview after interview, doing his own call outs of Mayweather on a weekly basis. And yet, favorable rumors, figureitively, he still seemed like the long shot. And apparently was.
The Ghost, who is two weight classes below Mayweather (42-0), has played his cards exactly right. Really, the only way he could have handled things while rehabbing his left shoulder. Talking the talk. It’s out there – been out there for a while. He wants the best.
He believes he deserves the shot.
People disagree.
I don’t.
Guerrero thrives on proving people wrong. He hates being told no. It’s a form of disrespect. He was in spectacular shape – big, fast, powerful looking – prior to his August injury. He is a five-time world champion. He has been victorious in his most recent must-have bouts. Throw him in the ring against Mayweather and there is guaranteed to be a fight. No dancing. Just punching.
The Guerrero camp remains confident – as always – taking each situation as it comes. Guerrero has been on the brink of big before. Mayweather is out for now. But Guerrero’s career-defining bout will come in 2012. It has to.

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