Quijano: Floyd is the ghostbuster

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By Jingo Quijano

Last Round

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


IT WAS another vintage Floyd Mayweather Jr. performance, and all that pre-fight bluster coming from Robert Guerrero was, well, just talk.

In our last column, we broke down “The Ghost’s” chances of winning and we concluded that it would not be what Guerrero brings to the fight, but rather how much Floyd has lost, if at all.

At 36 years of age, Floyd is still a sight to behold in terms of ring generalship.

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A fast, slick boxer, counter-puncher who is aware at all times of what’s transpiring inside the squared circle and who knows how to win.

He’s not as fast as he once was, but what he lost in foot speed, he has made up for in guile, strategy and technique.

Just like Michael Jordan who transitioned to the more effective fade-away jumpers from dunks as he got older, Mayweather has the aptitude in recognizing what needs to be done in order to win fights at the elite level, at his age.

THE FIGHT. In the first round, Floyd seemed a bit tentative and wary of his opponent
and was clearly testing his power and speed.

But after feeling him out and gauging his response time, he pretty much settled down into a rhythm and boxed Guerrero’s ears off.

The fight took on a repetitive pattern with Guerrero advancing, trying to pin Floyd
along the ropes and the latter slipping, and countering beautifully.

Floyd would then either tie him up or shimmy out of harm’s way
At the center of the ring, Floyd also controlled the action with his faster reflexes and I lost count of the number of whistling lead right hands that found the mark.

To his credit, Guerrero never stopped trying. I give him an A” for effort, but sadly, against the sport’s top pound-for-pound fighter, effort alone doesn’t bring home the bacon.

SCORING. I had Guerrero winning the first round, but it was hard to give him anything after that. The three judges at ringside all had it 117-111.

I examined the scorecards and all of them somehow agreed to give both the 7th and the last round to Guerrero. Two of them gave Guerrero the first while one gave him the second.

One of the judges was Julie Lederman, the same judge who scored it 116-111 in the Guillermo Rigondeaux-Nonito Donaire fight.

Well, that 116-111 tally sounds strikingly similar to the 117-111 she gave the Floyd-Guerrero bout. But don’t you agree that the Mayweather-Guerrero bout was more one-sided than Donaire-Rigondeaux?

In a previous column I opined that while I have no issue with the unanimous decision verdict in the Donaire fight, I thought Lederman’s ledger was a tad too wide.

Do you think Guerrero was as effective against Floyd as Nonito was against Rigondeaux?

While both Floyd and Guillermo are defensive wizards, the difference is that Floyd repeatedly landed cleaner, sharper punches and was busier.

Nonito was also the more effective aggressor, as he was able to land several power punches and score a knockdown while Guerrero was practically rendered inutile.

Anyway, like I said before, it’s all a matter of perspective. But since this is a boxing fan’s column for the boxing fans, I believe that this could be an interesting point of discussion.

NEXT? Saul Alvarez’s name has been floated as a possible opponent, but Alvarez currently campaigns in the junior middleweight division and so if that fight ever materializes, there might be an issue on the catchweight.

Since Floyd has publicly announced he will be retiring after his six-fight deal with Showtime, the burden is on the last 5 to inflict a blemish on Mayweather’s record.

But there seems to be a dearth of big-name fighters in the 147-154 lb divisions. Floyd has already defeated some of the top-tier guys like Miguel Cotto, Victor Ortiz and Juan Manuel Marquez.

Have you heard of guys like Willie Nelsono and Zaurbek Baysangurov? My point exactly.
The bright spots on the horizon are the winners of Manny Pacquiao-Brandon Rios and Tim Bradley-Juan Manuel Marquez fights.

I’m picking Marquez to win that but he has already been outclassed by Floyd.

Whether he likes it or not, and despite all his protestations about the Pacquiao fight losing its relevance, Floyd might need that fight after all to cement his legacy before he waives goodbye.

LAST ROUND. It’s on my favorite pillow, my little cherub Jenya Mary Louise who will be turning eight this week. Happy Birthday, baby.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 08, 2013.

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