Some fighters fight their rear-end off their entire career, never duck any opponents and do boxing proud by giving the fans and themselves their best effort every time out. Then outside the ring they're thrown obstacles that disrupt their career and stunt their earning potential. Today there's one active and willing champion who is in that exact predicament, he's Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero and he's the current IBF super-featherweight champion.
Guerrero is a former two-time featherweight title holder and in his last fight this past August he won a 12-round unanimous decision over Malcolm Klassen to capture the IBF super-featherweight title. Robert Guerrero is a respectful man and fighter who always seems to do the right thing in and out of the ring. He always shows up in shape for his fights and has shown the capacity to adapt to whatever his opponent shows him and attempts to do during the bout. Guerrero talks and lives like a real fighter because that's exactly what he is. He also loves to do what fighters are supposed do, fight. And he does that extremely well and is a true professional.
Today there are too many fighters who order and chose their opposition from what I call the fighters menu. Basically - they'll go over the list of opponents who are available to fight and then select the one they deem presents the least risk to fight. In other words whatever it takes to keep their record intact and them in line for a title or big money fight, that's the direction they go. That doesn't apply to Robert Guerrero who is more than willing to fight the best of those who are qualified to fight him, only for reasons beyond his control he can't.
And that's because he's involved in a contract dispute between Golden Boy Promotions and Goossen-Tutor Promotions for his services. There have been recent court rulings in favor of Guerrero that you'd think would clear the path for him to fight under the Golden Boy Umbrella, but they've hit a roadblock since he's still considered property of Goossen-Tutor.
As recently as a few weeks back there was talk of a possible fight involving Guerrero and the then undefeated Jorge Linares. That would've been a big pay day for Guerrero who is in need of one more than he's been in the past. However, that's no longer an option due to Linares suffering a stunning first round knockout loss to Juan Carlos Salgado this past weekend in Tokyo, Japan. GBP had also been trying to put together a fight between Guerrero and WBO title holder Rocky Martinez for December, which would've been a handsome purse for Guerrero as well. Guerrero's choice due to the way he's been treated is to fight for GBP. Unfortunately with the tug of war between GBP and Goossen-Tutor his immediate future is uncertain.
Robert Guerrero is one of the good guys in professional boxing. And because he goes about his business and only makes headlines when he fights, he's not as comprehensively covered and written about as much as some other fighters. What's more is Guerrero needs to stay active and fight more often than most other fighters because his wife Casey is battling leukemia and has undergone radiation treatment and may even need a bone-marrow transplant.
Some fighters and athletes squander their ability and look to skate by. Not Robert Guerrero, all he wants is to do what he's always done, fight. Granted, the need to take care of his family and pay Casey's medical bills is added incentive for him, but it's not like he can give boxing his all any more than he has in the past.
Hopefully Golden Boy Promotions and Goossen-Tutor Promotions will step up and act like adults and resolve the contract dispute between them, thus enabling Roberto Guerrero to continue to make a living at his chosen profession. It's not like the promoter who steps up and acts like an adult by doing the right thing will go out of business because they can't cash in the next time Guerrero fights.
Sure business is business and no one knows all the legal wranglings concerned regarding the parties concerned, but one would think that the right thing will be done so Robert Guerrero can continue fighting while he's still at or near the top of his game. Perhaps the two promoters involved can get together and do what's right for one of the good guys in boxing along with his wife and family.
Is that asking too much?
Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com