Welterweight Robert Guerrero backed up his words with a thorough beatdown of Andre Berto, and now his sights are set on the big prize – a date with Floyd Mayweather Jr. this spring.
"I know I can fight and beat anyone in the world," Guerrero said from Gilroy, Calif., a week after his 12-round unanimous decision over Berto in Ontario, Calif. "I’m excited to be in the position I’m in and I’m going to take advantage of it."
Negotiations have begun between the two camps, and Mayweather hasn’t indicated his preference. He last fought May 5 when he outpointed Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand Garden. Since his release from jail in August, he’s been criss-crossing the country with friends, attending basketball games and nightclubs.
Guerrero knocked down Berto in each of the first two rounds, and his performance moved him up the list of possible opponents for Mayweather, Golden Boy Promotions chief executive officer Richard Schaefer said.
"He jumped the line," Schaefer said.
Guerrero is eager to face Mayweather, but said he won’t do it for chump change.
"I deserve the opportunity," he said. "But it’s got to be a fair offer."
Bob Santos, Guerrero’s manager, said he won’t negotiate through the media.
"If we can come to an agreement, great," Santos said. "If not, there’s other fights out there. There’s Manny Pacquiao. There’s (Juan Manuel) Marquez. There’s Danny Garcia or Zab Judah, whoever wins their fight (Feb. 9). It’s not like Robert doesn’t have options.
"But Mayweather is the fight Robert wants. He’s earned the opportunity and if Floyd wants to give the fans an action fight, he should fight Robert."
■ MAGDALENO UPDATE – Unbeaten super featherweight Diego Magdaleno from Las Vegas was relieved to learn he won’t need surgery on his left wrist and hand. But the NABF champion (23-0, nine knockouts) will need at least three weeks of physical therapy and will be sidelined for a while.
"It may be a blessing in disguise," said Magdaleno, who had been scheduled to fight Friday at Texas Station. "This way, I can heal up and be back better than ever."
Magdaleno’s promoter, Top Rank chairman Bob Arum, said the fighter was on track for an early 2013 title shot against WBO champion Rocky Martinez. But that was before Magdaleno chipped a bone in his wrist and had swelling in his hand after a recent sparring session.
"I hope it doesn’t change anything," Magdaleno said. "I’ll be ready for Martinez in February. I promise."
■ PACQUIAO-MARQUEZ CLOSED CIRCUIT – Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday for the closed circuit telecast of Saturday’s fourth meeting between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez.
The telecast will be shown at MGM Grand properties Aria, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, New York-New York, Monte Carlo and Circus Circus. General admission tickets are $50 plus applicable service charges and will be sold at each property’s box office.
About 500 tickets inside the Grand Garden are available. Prices are $1,200, $900 and $400 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster or at Ticketmaster.com and mgmgrand.com.
Contact reporter Steve Carp at email@example.com or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.‘MACHO’ CAMACHO MOURNED AT FUNERAL IN EAST HARLEM
NEW YORK – Hundreds mourned slain boxer Hector Camacho on Saturday in the landmark East Harlem church the fighter attended as a boy, and hundreds more cheered and shouted "Macho" when his coffin was carried out and loaded into a hearse afterward.
"Hector lived the American dream, to come from simple beginnings and to be known by thousands of people," the Rev. Frank Skelly said.
Camacho, a native of Puerto Rico who moved to East Harlem as a child, was shot in the face Nov. 20 while sitting in a car with a friend outside a bar in Bayamon, his hometown in the U.S. territory. The friend, Adrian Mojica Moreno, died at the scene. The boxer died after doctors removed him from life support.
Police have said they have suspects but have not yet arrested anyone for the shooting.
There was no mention of Camacho’s bloody end during the service at St. Cecilia, an imposing brick and terra cotta church that is on the National Register of Historic Places.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS