East Side VIP
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: New York
How I would advise Robert Guerrero to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Posted this in another thread that died, ended up putting some thought into it, so I figured I'd share. Let me know what you think.
I see little chance for Guerrero to win, but if I had to give him a way to do so, it would be like this:
I see Guerrero having success using a diversity of tactics, mainly centered around ambush fighting. On the one hand, Guerrero is a respectable boxer who fights well from the outside. The issue here is that Floyd has much more experience timing and seeing shots from long range, where he has an advantage. On the other hand, Guerrero has shown the tenacity and skill necessary for dirty inside fighting. And the problem there would be that Floyd is undoubtedly the superior inside fighter, having more experience and exhibiting all-time-great defensive skill in the pocket.
The solution here is to engage in one when it's convenient on Guerrero's own terms, and then switch modes before Floyd can begin to capitalize on his strengths at either range.
On the outside, what Guerrero needs to do is take small steps back and small steps forward. When coming forward, he needs to keep his hands up and work his right jab while controlling the center. He cant just follow Floyd around the perimeter and run into shots, he needs to be patient and cut off the ring efficiently. Following the right jab should be a straight left, either down the pipe or when Floyd bends to his right to avoid the right jab. Then he needs to hop out and feint and repeat the process. Doing so allows Floyd to keep guessing as to what punches may follow without being sure.
Stepping backwards is another way for Guerrero to score on the outside. Floyd usually puts his weight on the front foot when coming forward. Here, Guerrero needs to circle (away from the right) and back-step, making him reach, and knock his jab hand down anytime he tries to measure or feint with it. Anytime Floyd reaches with his punches, such as a jab to the body or a straight right that lifts up his right leg, Guerrero should come back at him and take advantage by following up with straight punches to which Floyd can only defend having put himself slightly out of position.
Choosing when to engage on the inside will be crucial as well. If he has success feinting and getting into Floyd's range, or making him reach and rushing him backwards, then he can either choose to restart the process on the outside, or take the opportunity either of these scenarios to get all up in Floyds guard. Now, Floyd is no Berto. He's going to be able to see the shots Guerrero is throwing and position his body with his forearm before letting off uppercuts to the head and body and rolling shots before countering with a straight up top. But Floyd does those things after settling into a rhythm; his priority at first is always to defend. Guerrero can take advantage of this by ambush fighting. Throw combinations, hold and hit, and then back out a bit. Stay in range, feint, feint, explode again. Exit, and resume the outside strategy.
Lots of fighters make the mistake of staying inside on Floyd, but I think more would benefit from ambush tactics that, while they may not always succeed in landing clean punches on Floyd, disrupt his rhythm and neutralize his offense without giving him time to come back right away.
(There's a really relevant GIF of Ortiz ambushing Mayweather on the ropes I want to put here, not the one leading up to the KO but an earlier exchange, can't seem to find it anywhere.)
Also, a good tactic to use on the inside for a fighter of either stance is to stick the left hand straight onto Mayweather's right glove and push it there. He rarely throws his left in the pocket unless he pushes you off first, and it's usually tucked to protect his body and chin with the shoulder. Guerrero pressing his body onto Floyd's left arm and pushing back Floyd's right glove allows him a space to land the right to the body (a part of Floyd's that's most often exposed) and explode suddenly without Floyd having that right hand completely at his disposal, before exiting again.
I repeat, I think Floyd will too easily neutralize Guerrero's straight punching and outclass Guerrero on the inside, but if he's going to have a chance, a diversity of tactics is the way to go, and treating Floyd like a puncher (as another poster alluded to) is the best way to reduce his accuracy and make your offense count more round after round, especially when your tools are technical than they are physical.
I'm also going to have to adjust my idea of parrying Floyd's pawing left jab; it's too dangerous. In looking for the Ortiz GIF I saw one where he sticks it out and as Ortiz goes to parry it, he drops his guard for the straight right. **** that. Letting Floyd initiate the feints and exchanges will get you nowhere. Only Marquez, a great technician, Hatton, a fearless swarmer, and Judah, a super athletic speed demon have been able to take what Floyd throws at them and come back with something better. Cotto too, in a combination of textbook boxer-puncher fundamentals and grit. But at the end of the day it didn't work out for any one of them.