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Boxing | International

Jail and rust don't worry Floyd

Floyd Mayweather is not worried that jail time or ring rust will affect his performance when he returns to fight Robert Guerrero next week.

"Of course I feel unbeatable. I'm in the sport where I'm the best," the unbeaten American said on Wednesday. "I'm not going into the fight thinking I'm beatable."

Mayweather, who boasts a professional record of 43-0, including 26 knockouts, will defend his WBC welterweight title against Guerrero, who stands at 31-1, with 18 knockouts. They meet in Las Vegas on May 4, a year after Mayweather beat Miguel Cotto by unanimous decision.

The fight will be televised live on SuperSport.

It will be Mayweather's first fight since he served two months in jail for domestic battery, a fact that gives challenger Guerrero a confidence boost.

"Most definitely Floyd Mayweather is taking me seriously," Guerrero said. "It has been his longest training camp in a long time. After a whole year's layoff, he's going to feel the punches. We're going after him the whole fight. It's going to take a little time to shake off that ring rust."

Mayweather, 36, says he is as fit as he has ever been and ready to face whatever challenge Guerrero brings.

"If that's his way to psyche himself out and build confidence, more power to him," Mayweather said. "I'm in tip-top condition. I'm in great shape. I have been working hard."

He would not say his stay behind bars changed him. "It was just an obstacle that was in my way," he said. "I'm happy to be home. There's nothing cool about losing your freedom. Freedom is extremely important."

Mayweather, who will launch a six-fight deal over 30 months with the Guerrero matchup, has fought only four times since December 2007 and says resting his body for peak performance is far from losing fight fitness.

"I took a long time off before. I just call it a vacation," Mayweather said. "Sometimes the body needs time to heal. The body needs time to rejuvenate. The body needs time to rest."

Mayweather hinted at retirement after completing his latest fight deal, although a perfect run would leave him on the brink of a 50-fight win streak.

“I have only 30 months left," Mayweather said. "After this fight I've got five more. That's all I have got to do; finish putting those stamps on my legacy. I just want to stay active, go out there and keep the fans happy.

"I don't know yet when I will retire. By 30 months, I'll be pretty close to 40. It might be time to get out of the sport. We have to see how these next six fights play out. I want to stay active. The busier I am the better it is for me."

Mayweather said Guerrero was "flatfooted" and called him "more like a grappler, a wrestler, than a boxer."

"Everybody always says what they are going to do to me. He's a solid opponent. He talks a good game. Now we have to see if he can fight as well as he talks."

Mayweather said he was ready to adjust his style. "You can't go to a gunfight and basically not think you're going to get shot. We have to see how the fight goes."

He will be trained by his father, Floyd Sr, rather than his uncle Roger because his uncle is ill. Mayweather has a strained relationship with his father.

"My thing is to try to leave all the negative things behind," he said. "The arguments we had in the past … that's in the past. We leave it in the past and focus on the future."


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