Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero’s raffish father-trainer, Ruben Guerrero, doesn’t always take the high road like his wholesome son. That is proving an asset to Showtime’s build-up to Saturday’s pay-per-view fight between The Ghost and Floyd Mayweather, the sport’s top fighter for the past decade-plus.
Robert can be a hot-head, but he has been careful not to fan flames and also has avoided taking anything Mayweather says to heart .
Ruben is not so cautious. He denigrated, on camera, the prison term Mayweather served last summer, and it’s the one time any of the participants has truly gotten under anyone else’s skin.
“The word went out that he was in protective company, was in there with the snitches,” Ruben said. “When you’re in there like that, c’mon, you’re not being a man.”
Here’s where it turned ugly: “I have been in jail for a couple of fights I had,” Ruben said. “I beat up a couple of guys, and I did my time like a real man.
“You are not going to crack from 30 days in jail. That’s baby nuts. Ya gotta let your balls hang, and don’t cry about it. Be a man, a real man.”
That’s not exactly the tone the bible-thumping Team Guerrero has been trying to set. Well, not in public.
Specifically, Ruben alluded to Floyd’s attempt, days into his term, to get early release because his body was deteriorating from lack of exercise. “Do your time,” Ruben said, “and no cryin’ to the judge.”
Guerrero fans may have cringed at this, but Ruben may have drawn blood.
Showtime’s build-up via its “All-Access” episodes has been otherwise devoid of spontaneity. That will happen when one of the principals in a documentary is the executive producer. Mayweather controls the production the way he dictates his fights. “Once again, everybody got to adjust and adapt to me because I control the tempo always.” Well, he and his mastermind, Al Haymon .
But they left in what Ruben said about Floyd.
And Floyd responded during a media teleconference last week.
“. . .They were basically making jokes about me, making fun of me, talking about that Floyd Mayweather couldn’t do his time,” Mayweather said of Team Guerrero’s behavior during Guerrero’s gun-possession arrest in New York a month ago.
You could tell that got a rise out of Mayweather, 36.
“I could do my time, but who wants to lose their freedom? There’s nothing cool about losing their freedom.Of course I didn’t want to lose my freedom.”
Ruben took it too far at a Wednesday press conference, repeatedly calling Mayweather a wife-beater until Oscar De La Hoya persuaded him to desist.
But the prison stretch that resulted from the wife-beating is no small ingredient in Saturday’s match. Mayweather (43-0, 24 knockouts) seems about three years older than he did a year ago, when he beat Miguel Cotto in Mayweather’s toughest bout since 2007.
He’s been pretending he barely knows who Guerrero is, and he does seem to be basing his opinion of The Ghost on only his most recent fights –a HUGE mistake. But make no mistake: He’ll be up for this fight, as he’ll need to be, excited and incited.
Ruben Guerrero has made sure of that.