Mayweather, Guerrero face off in title fight

Updated 05 May 2013
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Mayweather, Guerrero face off in title fight

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 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.
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 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. And a few days before the fight he even accused Guerrero of trying to win fans by using his wife's leukemia — which she overcame with a bone marrow transplant — as a way to get sympathy.
"I'm glad she was able to beat leukemia, which is a great thing," Mayweather said. "But they keep selling the same story. It's time to talk about something different."
Guerrero has had his share of things to say about Mayweather, too, though it was his father who made the loudest statement when he repeatedly called Mayweather a woman beater at the final prefight press conference. The game plan in the Guerrero camp is the same as it will be in the ring — not to back off when challenged.
"That's part of his game, getting under your skin and getting you off your game," Robert Guerrero said. "It's not working. He's in for a fight and he knows it."
None of the talk matters, of course, once the two men finally meet. The title belt at stake doesn't matter all that much, either, in an era of inflated and cheap titles.
Mayweather has a franchise to protect, one that has made him untold millions of dollars since he beat Oscar De La Hoya in 2007 to catapult into the top seller ranks. He'll earn $32 million to take on Guerrero and try to remain perfect in 44 professional fights.
He hand picks his opponents these days, but had to do some studying before giving Guerrero the biggest fight of his life.
"I didn't know who he was a year ago," Mayweather said of Guerrero, who waged a very public campaign to get the fight. "I probably heard his name in passing but didn't know who the guy was. But he's earned his shot, and now he'll get it."


What now for Saudi Arabia’s big four teams?

Updated 19 April 2018
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What now for Saudi Arabia’s big four teams?

  • Al-Hilal won their 15th top-flight title this season.
  • Big summer for Saudi Arabia football with the Green Falcons at the World Cup.

Now the Saudi Professional League season is over for another year Arab News can look back at their title tilts and what the big four clubs have to do over the coming months ahead of the next season.

 



AL-HILAL

Finished: Champions

Coaching situation: Ramon Diaz was in charge for much of the season, but was fired in February after setbacks in the Champions League.
Assistant Juan Brown did Okay in the final stretch, but a top-class coach could get more out of this team.

Squad priorities: A reliable goalscorer to support Omar Khribin and with veteran defender Osama Hawsawi leaving for pastures new, a replacement center-back with leadership qualities. Welcoming back the major stars — Carlos Eduardo, Khribin, Nawaf Al-Abed and Salem Al -Dawsari — will be a major boost.

Aim next season: Win the AFC Champions League

 



AL-AHLI

Finished: Second

Coaching situation: Sergiy Rebrov is out of contract at the end of June. His future is likely to depend on how the team fares against Al-Sadd in the second round of the AFC Champions League in May.

Squad priorities: There is not much wrong. The Jeddah giants were the highest scorers in the league last season and had the second best defense. Keeping star midfielder Leonardo fit will help as will a little cover in the center of defense. Star striker Omar Al-Somah fell out with the coach in a public way in the penultimate game of the season. It may be that one of them has to go. The Syrian has been player of the year for three years and has a longer contract than Rebrov.

Aim next season: Win the league. Maintain good performances in Asia.


 
AL-NASSR

Finished: Third

Coaching situation: Krunoslav Jurcic arrived in January and the former Croatian national team boss produced an upswing in results. May just be a temporary appointment and it needs to be sorted quickly.

Squad priorities: Looks good with the Saudi Arabia national team keeper, a strong center-back pairing of Omar Hawsawi and Bruno Uvini and the full-back position seemingly sorted with the January signing of Saad Suhail. They probably need a defensive midfielder and have to keep Junior Kabananga. The DR Congo striker has shown enough in his few weeks at the club to suggest that he could be a real star next season, especially with Leonardo pulling the strings behind him.

Aim next season: A genuine title challenge and getting through the play-offs into  the 2019 AFC Champions League.

 


AL-ITTIHAD

Finished: Ninth

Coaching situation: A bottom half finish is unacceptable for a team with Al-Itithad’s stature and history. Chilean coach Jose Luis Sierra may find that winning domestic cups is no substitute for challenging for the title.

Squad priorities: There is too much reliance on players such as Carlos Villanueva, a creative spark in the team, and Fahad Al-Ansari, the midfield engine, who are the wrong side of 30. The possible return of star winger Fahad Al-Muwallad will help, but an introduction of energy is needed.

Aim next season: Top three and, if the team wins the King’s Cup, a good showing in the 2019 AFC Champions League.