Wed, Mar 13, 2013 - Page 19 News List

Mayweather starts new deal against Guerrero

AFP, LAS VEGAS, Nevada

US boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr fights Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto on May 5 last year in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mayweather has begun promoting his return to the ring after a year’s absence.

Photo: AFP

Unbeaten fighter Floyd Mayweather Jr began promoting his return to the ring after a year’s absence on Monday, saying rival Robert Guerrero does not have a ghost of a chance of winning on May 4.

Guerrero, whose nickname is “Ghost,” will be the first foe for WBC welterweight champion Mayweather in a new six-fight, 30-month deal with CBS and Showtime that he claims is the biggest in boxing history.

“My new deal is very thrilling for me and a motivation to fight more often,” Mayweather said. “I know Guerrero has been campaigning to fight me for quite a while now and I am happy to give him his opportunity. I’m excited for the challenge and fully expect a good, tough fight. However, I do expect the same outcome for him as all of the others who have challenged me.”

Mayweather, 43-0 with 26 knockouts, has not fought since taking a unanimous 12-round decision from Miguel Cotto in May last year. Mayweather served a 90-day jail sentence for domestic battery last year after his victory.

US southpaw Guerrero, 31-1-1 with 18 knockouts, has won 15 fights in a row since suffering his only loss, a 2005 split-decision defeat at the hands of Mexico’s Gamaliel Diaz.

“I’m destined to dethrone Floyd,” Guerrero said.

“When we lock eyes across the ring on fight night, he’s going to feel the presence of a man preordained for greatness,” he said.

Mayweather was ranked as the highest-paid athlete in sports last year by Forbes magazine at US$85 million a year, just ahead of Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao, the major foe Mayweather has never fought.

Should all six fights of his new deal take place and his pay-per-view averages of more than 1 million buys per fight hold, Mayweather says his new deal would be the largest for any individual athlete in sports history.

Mayweather has in the past used the Mexican holiday “Cinco de Mayo” weekend and Mexican foes or undercard fighters to help boost past US pay-per-view figures from Hispanic audiences, and the latest card will be no exception.

The Mayweather-Guerrero undercard will feature two former Mexican Olympic fighters as WBC featherweight champion Daniel Ponce de Leon, 44-4 with 35 knockouts, defends his title for the first time against Abner Mares, 25-0 with one drawn and 13 knockouts.

“I have every intention of staying the world champion for a long time, because even though I’m 32, I feel like I’m 20 years old,” Ponce de Leon said.

Mares, a former bantamweight and super bantamweight world champion, could become a ring king in a third different weight class.

“I don’t like to waste opportunities,” Mares said. “I can’t wait to get into the ring.”

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