LAS VEGAS - He claims to be more mature now, chastened by a stint in jail and eager to be just as much a businessman as a fighter. Indeed, Floyd Mayweather Jr. acted almost statesmanlike earlier this week when Robert Guerrero's father began screaming that he was a woman beater who would finally get beaten himself tonight.
"The fighters are the ones who fight, not the fathers," Mayweather said calmly.
If it's an act, it's a pretty good one. Armed with a new television deal with Showtime that should keep him the world's highest paid athlete, Mayweather has for the most part taken the high road while promoting his fight against Robert Guerrero.
Boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, and Robert Guerrero, right, pose for photographers during a Wednesday news conference in Las Vegas. In the background are Mayweather’s adviser, Leonard Ellerbe, left, and retired world champion boxer Oscar De La Hoya. (AP photo)
Mayweather weighed in at 146 pounds on Friday. Guerrero checked in at the weight-class limit of 147.
The two meet in a scheduled 12-round welterweight title match in what is Mayweather's first fight in a year. It's also his first ring appearance since serving a jail term for assaulting the mother of his children.
Mayweather has a franchise to protect, one making him untold millions of dollars since he beat Oscar De La Hoya in 2007 to catapult into the top ranks. He'll earn $32 million to take on Guerrero and try to remain perfect in 44 professional fights.
He hand picks opponents these days.
Oddsmakers have Mayweather a 6-1 favorite against a fighter who moved up to welterweight just two fights ago and got the fight mainly on his impressive win in his last outing against Andre Berto.