Ghosts are typically hard to pin down. Present, and departed in the blink of an eye. Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero lived up to his nickname a bit too much for his own liking in 2007 and 2008, when he fought a total of three times. He’s geared up to be a much more ubiquitous, and rambunctious in the ring Ghost, than fight fans have witnessed in the recent past. The Ghost wants to be seen, a lot, and wants to give fight fans what they want, KOs.
In January, Guerrero needed forty-three seconds to dispose of his first opponent following a contract dispute with former promoter Goossen Tutor forced him out of the ring for eleven months.
On March 7th, Robert Guerrero (23-1 16 knockouts) hopes to continue his winning ways against David Cino Jordan (23-0 17 knockouts,) on the HBO Boxing After Dark televised event near his hometown in San Jose, Ca.
The Ghost was kind enough to spend sometime with me to chat about what the future holds.
Our conversation on Sunday afternoon covered a wide range of topics, including Guerrero’s preparation for the fight, his motivations to become a boxing legend, and why the sport of boxing contains its roots in the 1960’s.
Raymond Markarian: How are you doing Robert?
Robert Guerrero: I’m good. I am in shape and ready to go.
RM: How’s it going to feel to be fighting in front of hometown fans in San Jose next Saturday?
RG: I am excited about it. I can’t wait. Being in San Jose, my backyard, is exciting, not only for me but also for the fans out here.
RM: Is there any added pressure to please family and friends?
RG: No, not at all. Fighting a lot on T.V. prepares you for that. I am ready for it.
RM: I am not trying to be a jinx, but many people expect you to run through your opponent, David Cino Yordan. Do you feel the same?
RG: Well, I think it’s going to be a tough fight. The guy is coming to fight. He is undefeated. I know he has a lot of tape on me. So he has been studying to break me down. So that always makes it a tough fight. I don’t have too much information on the guy. I am just going off of one fight that he has had in the United States. So it is going to make it a tough fight. But who knows, anything can happen in boxing.
RM: Is that where the amateur experience kicks in?
RG: Exactly, the amateur experience of going into the ring not knowing how the opponent is going to look, or how he is going to fight. That is where it does kick in. And that is what makes champions, being able to adapt to anything.
RM: You have only fought one round over the last year, do you feel the need to get in some extra rounds in this fight? Or are you going to look for the knockout early?
RG: I am ready for a twelve round fight. If the fight does go the distance, that is great. But if I could get him out of there that is even better. Let’s go on to the next fight.
RM: What happens next for Robert Guerrero?
RG: God willing everything goes well on Saturday, I am looking for a title shot sometime this year. I am excited about being in the mix at 130 pounds. It is going to be a big year.
RM: How do you feel about the Juan Manuel Marquez victory over Juan Diaz?
RG: Marquez fought a great fight. Both of them did. Marquez did a masterful job of weathering the storm in the early rounds. Juan Diaz was throwing combination after combination. But Marquez did a great job weathering the storm, and picking at the body, and sharp shooting and landing shots that were going to affect Juan Diaz in the late rounds. Sure enough it did. He (Marquez) got him out of there. Marquez fought an excellent fight.
RM: Would you like to get into the ring with either one of those guys anytime soon?
RG: I would love to get the opportunity to fight either one of them. Marquez is one of the P4P best fighters in the world. And that is who I want to be fighting, the best fighters in the world. When I am done with the sport, I want to know that I did not duck anybody. I fought everybody. I would love to get in there with Marquez.
RM: The last time we spoke you were calling out Manny Pacquiao, saying that you have the perfect style to beat him, how do you feel Ricky Hatton matches up with Manny?
RG: Well, from what I saw in his last fight, Ricky Hatton slowed down a lot. He looked calmer. I don’t think that fits his style. Hatton has always been that active fighter, throwing punches in bunches, kind of like a Juan Diaz but with more power. That is what it takes to beat Manny Pacquiao. You have to stay busy against him, and not let Pacquiao set up. But I saw Hatton slow down a lot in his last fight against Malignaggi. You cannot do that against Pacquiao. When you give Manny Pacquiao a lot of time he is dangerous.
RM: So if you got into the ring with Manny, it would be more of a pressure fight?
RG: I would put a lot of pressure on him and throw a lot more punches than he is accustomed to. I also have a left-handed style which always makes it difficult.
RM: Hey, speaking of motivation to fight the best, I have a question. When you get tired in the gym and want to push yourself to do that extra rep or extra sparring session, do you picture yourself fighting a guy like Manny Pacquiao? Or do you have some other type of motivation? How do you motivate yourself to work harder in the gym to be a great professional fighter?
RG: Wanting to be the best… Wanting to be the one of the greats in boxing forces me to dig down, suck it up, and push myself. In the long run, that is going to ultimately make me become a more skilled fighter, going the extra mile, and leaving no stone unturned.
RM: You are considered to be one of the bright young stars in boxing. But is it bothersome to hear many sports fans continue to talk down on the sport? What do you think you can do to change their minds? How do you think you can stand out in their eyes?
RG: I just have to come out to fight everybody, don’t duck anybody, and don’t hide. You know if the fight is demanded then hey, let’s do it. Let’s make it happen. You know, I have to fight all championship fights. Back like the way it was in the 1960s and 70s. Everybody fought everybody back then. Nobody was ducking anybody. That is the way boxing should be. And also, I want go out there to be role model to young kids. Becoming a role model is a big obligation all fighters should feel is necessary.
RM: So you want to be a throwback fighter, and fight every month?
RG: If I could I would. Boxing has to go back to its roots. Fighters just have to get in there and fight. That is how we entertain. To pick and choose who and when you are going to fight, and ducking people, that is not boxing to me.
RM: There is a lot more politics involved that way.
RG: Yes, there is. People want to see fights. For instance, Castillo vs. Corrales, Casamayor vs. Castillo, Casamayor vs. Corrales, when you see fights like that, it brings so much more to the sport. That is what fans love about boxing. And that is what draws in general sports fans.
RM: Just like Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez. They keep fighting each other because people love to see them fight.
RG: Exactly, and there are plenty of other fighters that are searching for an opportunity. It is all about mixing it up, making champions fight champions. Give the young stars like myself an opportunity to come out and perform. The young elite stars are going to carry boxing, not the older fighters. And that is what everybody loves to see. Everybody loves to see the young guy fighting the more experienced champion who dominates everybody. That is what boxing is about.
RM: My last question is what is your overall goal in the sport?
RG: My overall goal is to fight everybody. I want to fight all the top fighters. I want to put a dent in boxing, become a Hall of Famer, and you know, become a legend. I don’t want to become that fighter that just won a world championship and left the sport without a mark. I want to inscribe my name into the record books.
RM: So, you are not doing it for the money. You want to be a legend in the sport?
RG: I do this because I love it. You know, the money is nice. This is how I make my living. But in this game if you are just doing it for the money it does not work out. You have to do it with love in all of your heart, and dedication.
Questions or comments contact Raymond at Raymond.Markarian@yahoo.com