The hype leading up to Gilroy boxer Robert Guerrero’s WBC welterweight title fight May 4 against Floyd Mayweather Jr. has unfolded like a soap opera.
The main characters are surrounded by drama, from Guerrero’s arrest on gun charges March 28 at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York to Mayweather fighting for the first time in nearly a year after serving a two-month jail sentence in a domestic violence case.
In recent days, trash talk between the two fighters has descended into attacks on each other’s character. Then there is the ongoing YouTube war of words in which Guerrero’s father and trainer, Ruben Guerrero, and Mayweather’s father and trainer, Floyd Mayweather Sr., challenge each other to a street fight.
But the biggest headlines of all came from Mayweather’s media day April 17, when the pound-for-pound king called Guerrero a hypocrite.
“A lot of the time, you see guys that are hypocrites,” Mayweather said. “For instance, you got a guy that’s always preaching like he’s a preacher, like he loves God more than anyone else, and I feel that we’re all equal when it’s all said and done. You got this guy that’s preaching, going to the ‘700 Club,’ acting like he’s a pastor, but he gets caught with a gun.
“They were joking about me doing time. What goes around comes around. A week after the fight, it’s time for him to do his time.”
Guerrero’s court date is May 14.
Guerrero (31-1-1, 18 KOs) will face Mayweather (43-0, 26 KOs) for Mayweather’s WBC welterweight belt May 4 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, where both fighters are currently training. The bout will be televised on Showtime Pay Per View.
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer told the Dispatch on April 2 that Guerrero traveled with the gun because the Gilroy southpaw meant to use it at a Las Vegas shooting range as a hobby.
Asked by the Dispatch during a conference call Wednesday to confirm Schaefer’s explanation, Guerrero said: “I’m only going to answer questions about boxing.”
Following the conference call, Team Guerrero publicist Mario Serrano called the Dispatch, angrily demanding an explanation for the question.
During his part of the conference call Wednesday, Mayweather elaborated on his claim about Guerrero: “Robert Guerrero was saying that, basically money is my God, and I praise money. If you look at the beginning of my career, I always gave thanks to God. This is not about religion. This is not about that. This is about two fighters going out there testing one another. That’s what this is about.”
Guerrero said Wednesday: “For him to call somebody a hypocrite, it’s laughable.”
Guerrero was arraigned later March 28 on a four-count criminal complaint charging him with one count of criminal possession of a firearm and three counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, according to the Queens County District Attorney’s office. One day after celebrating his 30th birthday, Guerrero had been arrested and charged with illegally traveling with an unloaded pistol and three unloaded high-capacity bullet magazines.
The weapon, a Smith & Wesson .40-caliber gun, is registered to Guerrero in California, according to Kevin Ryan, director of communications for the Queens County District Attorney’s office. However, the gun is not registered in New York, which is among the toughest states in the country on gun laws. Guerrero could face up to seven years in prison if convicted, according to the Queens County District Attorney’s office.