Will Mayweather struggle against the southpaw?

Floyd Mayweather may be undefeated but many still believe he has a weakness against southpaw fighters. Will this supposed ‘chink in the armour’ be exposed against  Robert Guerrero on May 4th or will he prove the doubters wrong?

‘Pretty Boy’ favourite to remain undefeated


Floyd ‘Pretty Boy’ Mayweather is the overwhelming 1.111* favourite at Pinnacle Sports to remain undefeated and ensure Robert Guerrero 7.010* is his 43rd victim when the two meet at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada for the WBC welterweight title on May 4th.


Tensions appear high surrounding this fight after the two fighters traded insults, while their fathers have also engaged in a heated exchange.


Despite being renowned for trash talking, Mayweather (43-0, 26KOs) appeared more agitated than in previous ‘war of words’ as he prepares to fight the latest fighter to  threaten his unblemished 43-fight record.


The five-division world champion is rated as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world on numerous ranking sites and despite turning 35, still appears to have the  same determination now as he did when he made his professional debut in 1996.


Guerrero, in comparison, is six-years younger than his opponent and similarly boasts an impressive record of 31-1-1, 18 KOs.


The Ghost has moved up in weight throughout his career and is a former IBF Super Featherweight world champion, a former interim WBA and WBO lightweight champion and a  former two-time IBF featherweight champion.


Could Mayweather be ring rusty?


Bettors may want to ask themselves the question: how prepared Floyd Mayweather is following a one-year hiatus?


The pound-for-pound king hasn’t fought since May last year when he scored a unanimous decision win over Miguel Cotto in a hard-fought 12-round bout.


Despite beating Cotto, Mayweather struggled to deal with Puerto Rican and was caught with too many punches; evidence perhaps, that age is catching up with the ‘pretty  boy’ who appeared more stationary than any time in his career.


Guerrero, on the other hand, is coming off an impressive unanimous decision win over Andre Berto for the interim WBC welterweight title and is full of confidence.


Before the Berto fight, Guerrero moved up to welterweight from lightweight and won a points decision against the hard but relatively unknown Selcuk Aydin. However, it  was the manner in which he manhandled Berto for 12 rounds which has earned him the chance to fight Mayweather.


Guerrero is an aggressive forward fighter and will be looking to constantly put pressure on Mayweather like Cotto did. Having shown his quality against Berto and  following Mayweather’s sluggish performance against Cotto, there is a muted suggestion that a massive upset could be on the cards.


The fight could go the distance


Interestingly three of Floyd’s last five fights have gone the distance, while Guerrero’s last five bouts have all gone to the judge’s scorecards.  This is unsurprising  when looking at both fighters average knockout percentage.


Mayweather is more experienced and enters the ring with 315 rounds under his belt and a KO% of 60.47, while Guerrero has fought 213 rounds with a KO% of 51.43.


Does Mayweather have a flaw against southpaw fighters?


Ever since Mayweather was accused of ‘ducking’ a fight with Manny Pacquiao, there has been a stigma surrounding his ability to fight against southpaws.


Mayweather has fought seven southpaw pugilists in the past and Guerrero will be his eighth, however with a 100% record against southpaw fighters, let’s take a look at  the stats against the three most notable in DeMarcus Corley, Sharmba Mitchell and Zab Judah.


Against Corley, Mayweather landed 47% of his punches per round, while the total punch stats showed the Pretty Boy landed nearly double Corley’s punches (283-150). He  comfortably won the fight unanimously on the judge’s scorecards after dropping Corley in both the 8th & 10th round.


Mayweather’s performance was even better against Mitchell who he knocked out with a body shot in the sixth round after already putting him down in round three. The  punch stats showed Mayweather landed 43% of his shots, but more impressive was his defence, which was highlighted by Mitchell landing just 11% of his total punches –  an average of five per round.


The fight with Judah started badly as Mayweather lost the first two rounds after being tagged a number of times in the first six minutes. After the opening two rounds  though, Mayweather outclassed his opponent as he landed a total of 205 punches (46%) compared to just 89 (18%) for Judah. The fight went the distance with Mayweather  claiming a unanimous points victory.


The reason behind the assumption is that Floyd pins his chin against his left shoulder and often stands with his front turned to his right – this works well against an  orthodox fighter as the power punches come from his right towards his left shoulder, which guards his chin.


The potential problem comes when the power punch comes from his left. Despite mastering the art of rolling to his right and then countering, his ageing years could  make him more vulnerable.


It doesn’t need saying that Mayweather can adapt by adjusting his stance, but it is hard to reverse habits that have been engrained into your style for your entire  boxing career, especially when you have been dragged into a brawl by a younger fighter.


Click here to see the best Mayweather vs. Guerrero Betting odds


(Source: Pinnacle)




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