On May 4, 2013, the world will take notice as Floyd Mayweather (43-0, 26 KO) makes his return to boxing against Robert Guerrero (31-1-1, 18 KO). The fight will be for the WBC and Ring welterweight titles and will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Showtime PPV.
The question is, how will this fight transpire on a round-by-round basis?
There is reason to believe that Mayweather could see his 43-fight undefeated streak come to an end against Guerrero. Not only is Guerrero a tremendous fighter, but "Money" last fought on May 5, 2012 against Miguel Cotto.
On the day he fights Guerrero, it will be one day short of a year removed from his last fight.
Even still, this is a monumental day in boxing as the most decorated fighter of our generation returns to action. Whether you love him or hate him, all eyes will be on Mayweather as he makes his push for 44-0.
Will he do it?
The first round of the Mayweather versus Guerrero clash will serve as the feeling out period. While Guerrero could be the aggressor, Mayweather is one of the greatest counter-punchers in the history of professional boxing.
If Guerrero opens himself up by being too aggressive, Mayweather will make him pay.
With this in mind, it's quite likely that the opening round provides minimal moments of glory. Neither man will gain too much of an advantage, but Mayweather will surprise those in attendance by knocking off the ring rust quickly.
Counter-punches and cleanly landed jabs will earn Mayweather the slight edge.
The feeling-out period is not over just yet, as this is the round in which Mayweather will be truly tested. Guerrero will be on the offensive, taking it to the 43-0 boxer and looking to test his limits.
Mayweather will weather the storm, but Guerrero will take Round 2.
Mayweather won't let him get a clean shot, but Guerrero's ability to control the pace will be of a high quality. The key is, this plays into what Mayweather has done for 43 consecutive fights.
It's all about methodically understanding how Guerrero fights and moves in for the kill—a risky, but 43 times effective, strategy.
If there is one thing you need to know about Floyd Mayweather Jr., it's that he lets his guard down in either the second or third round of every fight. This is not to say he does so throughout the rounds, but to acknowledge a very strategical truth.
Mayweather opens himself up at some point in these two rounds and allows a relatively clean hit to understand just how powerful his opponent is.
After two rounds of wiping off the ring rust, Mayweather will take that chance during the third round. Guerrero will again win this round and have some thinking that this is the fight in which "Money" goes down.
Guerrero's confidence will reflect that.
The crowd will be alive for this, as Robert Guerrero will have put Floyd Mayweather on alert. Just as Guerrero moves in for the kill, however, we'll have our first headline-stealing moment.
Mayweather will rock Guerrero with a counter left, push him against the ropes with a right and go to work.
Mayweather will dominate Round 4, silencing the cheers and working Guerrero in impressive fashion. With body shots and gorgeous jabs, Mayweather will reclaim momentum and send a clear message to Guerrero.
"I know how you fight—do you have a Plan B?"
Mayweather's form of aggression in a fight is unlike anything another active fighter puts forth. While most will reach for punches and look to down their opponent, Mayweather sets his feet in a position to perfectly draw in his opponent and counter with precision.
Robert Guerrero will fall right into that trap.
Guerrero will learn what countless others before him have, as once Mayweather figures you out, you're done. "Pretty Boy" Floyd will take it to Guerrero with short rights and body shots, never allowing his opponent to come too close.
Guerrero will start to fight back to close out the round, but Mayweather will have won the round already.
After Mayweather dominated Round 5, Guerrero will ease up on his aggression. Allowing "Money" to come to him, this will be one of the quietest rounds of the fight.
Neither will land too many punches, with Mayweather capitalizing on Guerrero's hesitancy serving well enough to win on the scorecards.
After a quiet Round 7, Guerrero's corner will inevitably let him know that the fight is slipping away. With this in mind, the aggressive style of fighting from Round 3 will return as he attempts to swing the momentum in his favor.
Mayweather will counter, but Guerrero's aggression will be duly noted.
Floyd will keep the fight at a reasonable distance, but in a round in which the punches are relatively evenly matched, aggression will be key. This will enable Guerrero to shift the poles of momentum and put Mayweather on his heels.
Now the fight gets good.
Mayweather, ever the strategist, will understand his surroundings and see that the fight could get away from him. Seeing as he's nothing close to touched up just yet, Mayweather will put the gloves to good use in Round 8.
After countering an errant hook from Guerrero, a well-placed right will put "Money" in full control throughout the remainder of the round.
Mayweather will pick his punches, but when it's all said and done, he'll own his usual double-digit punch advantage. From body shots to a clean hit to open Guerrero up above his nose, the judges will take note of something imperative to the outcome.
This is the Mayweather we remember.
After opening Guerrero up in Round 9, Mayweather will continue to dominate this fight. While some might be going in for the knockout punch, Mayweather will be placing his strikes in hopes of opening Guerrero's guard.
It won't happen yet, but we're getting closer.
Guerrero will fire off some shots along the ropes, but none will connect with too much precision. After blocking off a barrage, Mayweather will close out the rounds with two strikes that have the crowd on their feet.
Saved by the bell.
With Guerrero clearly rocked and the crowd looking on in anticipation, Floyd Mayweather will put the finishing touches on his masterpiece. With early hesitation moves to force Guerrero into moving his gloves, "Money" will step in.
After faking left, Mayweather will connect with a heavy right. After a long, crowd-echoing 10-count, the result will be in.
Mayweather's return will end in magnificent fashion.
Mayweather wins via KO