The right hand that did the majority of the damage Saturday to Robert Guerrero will ultimately determine whether Floyd Mayweather Jr. fights in September.
Mayweather hurt the hand during his 12-round rout of Guerrero at the MGM Grand Garden. But Mayweather’s hand wasn’t bandaged at Saturday’s postfight news conference, and that was probably a good sign for those looking to see him back in the ring Sept. 14 at the Grand Garden, preferably against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
“I may take some time off. I’m not in a rush,” Mayweather said when asked about fighting again in a few months. But he quickly contradicted himself, saying, “The plan is to be back here in September.”
Mayweather said he wasn’t sure exactly when he hurt his hand. But when he came back to the corner after the ninth round, his father, Floyd Sr., who was working his corner as the head trainer, knew something wasn’t right.
“He didn’t have to tell me his hand was hurt. I’d seen him hurt his hand,” the elder Mayweather said. “I know my kid.”
Mayweather said had he not gotten hurt, he believes he would have knocked out Guerrero. Instead, he settled for a lopsided unanimous decision to keep his record intact at 44-0 while retaining his WBC welterweight title. He won 117-111 on all three judges’ scorecards.
Saturday “was another steppingstone,” Mayweather said after completing part one of his six-fight deal with Showtime pay per view. “We’ve got five more fights, so we’ll see where I go from here.”
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer said Alvarez will fight at the MGM on Sept. 14, the same night Top Rank plans to have Timothy Bradley Jr. defend his WBO welterweight belt against Juan Manuel Marquez at the Thomas & Mack Center.
“We’ll be here at the MGM Sept. 14, no question about it,” Schaefer said. “We’ll see how Floyd’s hand is. But Canelo will be there, and we’ll see what names are out there.”
If Mayweather decides not to fight that night, Miguel Cotto is a likely possibility for Alvarez, who defeated Austin Trout last month and is the reigning WBC junior middleweight champion.
But Mayweather was still basking in the glow of Saturday’s performance, where he put on a boxing clinic in handing Guerrero (31-2-1) the second loss of his career.
“I told you it’s different at this level,” Mayweather said. “Robert has great heart; he wasn’t going to lay down. He was tougher than I thought, to be honest. But what it came down to was the mental game. I told him, ‘This is chess, not checkers.’ ”
Guerrero, who hugged Mayweather at the podium during the postfight news conference, said he lost to the better man.
“We’ll get back to the gym, work on things, and I’ll be back,” Guerrero said. “Maybe one day we can do it again.”
The fight, which attracted a crowd of 15,880, produced a live gate of $9,992,350. That will cover the $3 million Guerrero earned but won’t put a dent in the $32 million payday for Mayweather.
But Saturday did help mend his relationship with his father, something Mayweather said you can’t put a price tag on.
“It was great working with my father again,” said Mayweather, who had fired his dad in 2000 but brought him back for this fight because Roger Mayweather, his uncle and trainer the last 16 years, has been battling health problems stemming from diabetes.
“No family is perfect. We’re not always going to agree on everything. But this was one of my best camps ever, and my father did a great job getting me ready.”
Floyd Sr. was beaming after the fight as he spoke about reuniting with his son.
“I don’t think anybody wants to have problems with their kids,” he said. “It was a great thing for me to come back into my son’s life and do what we used to do.”
Contact reporter Steve Carp at email@example.com or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.