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Floyd Mayweather is the greatest boxer of his generation and tomorrow night on Showtime pay-per-view he will look to run his perfect record up to 44-0 when he takes on Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero. The bout is one that favors Mayweather, but Floyd's age and Guerrero's tenacity should make it an interesting watch.
Mayweather stepped onto the scales tonight in Las Vegas to make it official for tomorrow night's welterweight (147 pound) bout and came in at a weight of 146.
The two fighters for the featured undercard bout also made weight successfully with Abner Mares and Daniel Ponce De Leon both coming in at the limit of 126. Robert Guerrero is 2-0 at welterweight despite some feeling he wouldn't have much success after moving up from lightweight. Tonight, he stepped on the scales to make it official for the biggest fish there is, not only at welterweight but in the entire sport, Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Guerrero comes into the bout with a pro record of 31-1-1 with 18 knockouts and has not lost in eighteen consecutive fights.
Floyd Mayweather's purse for tomorrow night's fight will be $32 million, as he finalized the paper work today with the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Opponent Robert Guerrero will make a career-high $3 million, a great payday in boxing that seems minuscule compared to what "Money" is raking in.
Showtime has just $168 million left to pay Mayweather for his next five fights.
On the undercard, Daniel Ponce De Leon and Abner Mares will each make $375,000 for their WBC featherweight title fight. Leo Santa Cruz's purse is $165,000, while opponent Alexander Munoz will be paid $25,000. The opening bout of the PPV broadcast will see J'Leon Love battle Gabriel Rosado, with Love's purse $100,000, and Rosado's $60,000. Love may have to fork over some of that after missing weight today.
It's pretty much all done and dusted, except for the actual fights. Precious little hype remains, and now everyone has to perform, and we'll be here through the night and all day tomorrow with full coverage of the entire event.
LAS VEGAS -- When it comes to professional boxing, the father-son dynamic as fighter and trainer rarely seems to work with precision or without drama. History is replete with disasters. Saturday evening, in a moment of especially high anxiety and tension, fathers and sons will be matched in opposite corners featuring two families who have experienced vastly different outcomes.
In the case of Floyd Mayweather and Floyd Mayweather Jr., this marks the first time they have worked together since 2000 when the father quit. Their rocky and often-tempestuous relationship over the years is well documented.
For this training camp, the 36-year-old welterweight kingpin (43-0, 26 KOs) replaced his uncle, Roger Mayweather, with his older brother last month. The uncle was not pleased. The switch was announced on Floyd Jr.'s Twitter account. No reason was given but the Mayweather brothers are in poor health. Floyd Jr., defends his 147-pound crown against challenger Robert Guerrero, trained by his father Ruben.
Mayweather won the WBC title in the fall of 2011 during a time of great upheaval. Eventually, HBO's 24/7 series captured the father and son being separated with Floyd Sr., being removed from the Mayweather gym, where he trains other fighters.
For the Guerrero fight, Mayweather struggled in training camp. This week, he sported slight swelling under both eyes. "He started late in camp – really late,'' a person familiar with the camp told USA TODAY Sport. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because he is unauthorized to speak on the fighter's behalf. "His sparring was brutal. He had a really tough camp."
The champion has not fought since last May and spent two months incarcerated last summer in a domestic abuse case.
Floyd Mayweather Sr. told USA TODAY Sports that his son approached him in March and asked him to return as his trainer.
"He told me he had a little problem,'' said Floyd Sr. "It's pleasant being back with my son. I don't believe in living in the past. My son knew it would be better for him for me to come back. I want him to hurdle the things he has to do for his record, his legacy and for the Hall of Fame.''
Ruben Guerrero told USA TODAY Sports that he believes that the undefeated champion made a monumental mistake by bringing back his father. Roger Mayweather, a former two-time world champion, is listed as co-trainer but he will not work his nephew's corner Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
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"I don't know why they took out Roger, he's been winning,'' Ruben said. "They would stand a better chance with Roger. I don't think this is the right time (for a change). This is (Floyd Jr.'s) toughest fight.
"That's what happened to me when (his son's team) took me out. That's when my son lost. He wasn't comfortable. It's like when you put on a new shoe, you are not going to feel comfortable for a while. It's a big mistake they're making.''
Floyd Jr., said "my relationship with my father is pretty cool.''
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"It's not like I go to his house regularly or that he comes to mine,'' he said. "He trains fighters at my gym every day. He is going to speak (his mind); I am going to speak. When it's all said and done, that is my father.''
When it comes to blood lines, namely father-son ring relationships, the issues can be numerous, complicated and difficult to overcome. They often involve unresolved tensions and emotions, and issues of control.
With the Guerreros, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it,'' Robert said. "He's been with me from the beginning — he knows me best.''
Of course, sometimes familiarity breeds contempt, something the Mayweathers discovered long ago.
Floyd Sr., a middle-of-the-road welterweight contender in the '80s and '90s, trained his son since he was a child in Grand Rapids, Mich. But in 1994, the father was imprisoned on a drug-trafficking charge while Floyd Jr. was still an amateur boxer.
Roger Mayweather filled the role in his brother's absence. But Floyd Sr. returned to train his son in 1998, two years after Floyd Jr. settled for a bronze medal in the Atlanta Games.
Upon his release from prison, the father resumed training his son before he quit. Again, Roger replaced him. As pros, the Mayweather brothers had much different styles – Floyd was a defensive specialist; Roger was a vicious puncher. Floyd Jr. is the finest defensive fighter of his era.
"(My son) got his style from his daddy,'' Floyd Sr. said. "He uses the old-fashioned style. Now everyone's trying to do it.''
Sometimes, well-intentioned fathers are capable of teaching their sons the necessary fundamentals. Such was the case with Oscar De La Hoya and his father. But at a certain point in time, the Olympic gold medalist needed better instruction. A similar situation developed with Roy Jones Jr. and his father.
After years of struggling, Buster Douglas eventually became world heavyweight champion. But his father, former fighter Billy Douglas, was long gone as trainer. Former lightweight champion Sean O'Grady experienced a difficult relationship with his father-trainer.
"It's not the easiest thing,'' said Ruben Guerrero, whose son is a big underdog. "Sometimes, the sons are not comfortable with the dads.''
Guerrero trained his son for his first 10 pro fights (10-0) but then, he said, "They tried to step in and say, 'We're going to have to get a more professional trainer, a guy that has been around championship fights. It's time for you to step out.' ''
Guerrero stepped aside "but you see what happened to my son. He lost to Gamaliel Diaz'' in 2005. The father returned to his corner; his son won a rematch and hasn't lost since.
"He has been a gym rat ever since he was 5 years old,'' said the elder Guerrero. "I trained other fighters and he always wanted to hang out at the gym, even though he wasn't old enough to fight.
"I am always there for my son and that's what he likes," Ruben says. "He always has respected me and I have always respected him. He treats me like a coach and I treat him like a fighter. But we have fun together. ... We're a family.''
At a news conference this week, the trainer-fathers engaged in a war of words after the elder Guerrero called the champion a "wife-beater.'' The two sides had to be restrained.
The sons, of course, were not the least bit surprised. As Robert Guerrero rightly observed, "My dad is pumped up.''
"That's my father,'' said Guerrero. "He's going to do what he does."