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May 4, 2013

Mayweather, Guerrero square off in title fight

LAS VEGAS (AP) — 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 Saturday night.

“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 six-fight 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 as must-see TV for anyone who has an extra $69.95 for the pay-per-view.

The two meet in a scheduled 12-round welterweight title match at the MGM Grand hotel in what will be 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, an experience he said helped him grow up.

Sometimes, though, he just can’t help himself. The old Mayweather surfaces, complete with the bad-boy persona that has made him the biggest draw in boxing.

It could be that Mayweather as the promoter is trying to give a fight that still hasn’t sold out some much needed buzz. More likely, though, is that he’s looking for a bit of a mental edge for a bout that, despite the odds, could be very competitive.

He called Guerrero a hypocrite for promoting himself as a devout Christian, and then getting arrested on gun charges in New York. He mocked him for bringing up his jail sentence when he may be facing one himself.

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