If you're looking for reasons that Floyd "Money" Mayweather will be upset by Robert Guerrero, don't count Mayweather's nearly year-long layoff as one of them. It won't be an issue.
When Mayweather steps into the ring to take on the latest challenger to his undefeated record on May 5, it will be 364 days since his May 4, 2012 bout with Miguel Cotto. By contrast, Guerrero fought twice in that same time span.
While long layoffs can often have negative effects on a fighter's performance, Mayweather has shown throughout his career that he's not one of those fighters. Despite 43 career bouts, Mayweather hasn't been one to keep too busy. He's fought just once a year since 2009 and didn't even have a bout in 2008.
On paper, Guerrero is a worthy challenger. He's 31-1-1 with no losses on his record since 2006. He's coming off of an impressive unanimous-decision win over Andre Berto and is ranked as the fifth-best welterweight in the world by ESPN.
The reality is that Guerrero holds very few advantages that he can really exploit. Those hoping to see an upset of the pound-for-pound champ can point to Miguel Cotto's performance as evidence that Mayweather's skills are slipping. Even he told The Daily Mail that he felt like he got hit too much against Cotto, and at 36 years old, one has to wonder how long he can continue to dominate the sport.
However, it's important to note that Mayweather went up in weight to fight Cotto at 154 pounds. Guerrero is a natural 147-pounder that won't have that same advantage.
As Mayweather told The Daily Mail, he's far too experienced in the ring to allow something like ring rust to allow him to be upset:
No one has a blueprint in how to beat Floyd Mayweather, Jr... All 43 opponents had a gameplan, all 43 opponents came up short. No one has found a way to break the Mayweather code... I don't think the layoff will hurt me. I've faced every style, so it's not hard for me to make adjustments.
Love him or hate him for his candidness, Mayweather's statement rings true. He's 43-0 for a reason. He possesses the best skill set in boxing. If he gets upset, it will be because an opponent finally figured out a way to counter his elusiveness and style, not because he took too much time off.
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