Ghosts are supposed to be low impact creatures, who float spookily and quietly in and out of a residence. Boxing now has two high impact, kick-butt Ghosts plying their trade most effectively, and the California-based “Ghost,” Robert Guerrero put a scare into Jason Litzau at the Tachi Casino in Lemoore, California on ShoBox on Friday evening.
The lefty Guerrero, the IBF featherweight beltholder coming in, has drawn praise for not being distracted from his career as his wife Casey was diagnosed with leukemia right before he beat Martin Honorio in November. She is now in remission, happily.
Her hubby was too busy and too strong for Litzau, and stopped the show at 2:25 of the eighth round with some vicious left-hand uppercuts. This Ghost may not be as heralded as the other Ghost, Kelly Pavlik, but he is just as busy in the ring when he gets in there.
In the first, Guerrero, of California, came at the Minnesotan. Litzau looked like he needed some time to size up his foe.
Litzau had Buddy McGirt in his corner for the first time. He scored sparring with Buddy's son Junior and Sechew Powell to get ready.
McGirt wanted to get Litzau to box more than fight. He moved well early, but he wasn't throwing or landing. Then, late in the second, he went back to his old style. He stood firm, and started to bang.
In the third, though, Guerrero welcomed the more aggressive Litzau, with sharp lefts that were not countered. A clash of heads opened a little gash on Litzau's left eye.
The Ghost Guerrero came out on message in the fourth. Litzau looked a bit lost actually, like he hadn't spent much time against lefties, or just plain flat.
In the fifth, Litzau landed a few sharp shots, signaling perhaps he'd figured out the lefty.
He slugged in the sixth, too, and the Ghost started to clinch. The two were now going toe to toe, but both men missed their fair share, as each slipped shots.
In the seventh, Litzau's mouth hung open, as he gulped air, unable to draw a good breath through his leaking nose. It was a tight round.
The eighth round saw Litzau hit the deck; a left upper and straight left follow sent him down. He was up quickly, his eyes clear. That was halfway through the round, and Guerrero turned it up a notch, to close the show. The he backed off, perhaps punched out. Nope, he was waiting. he threw a left upper, and a right hook that sent Litzau crashing down again. He tried to get up, but his legs betrayed him. He couldn't make it up and the ref saw all he had to see.
The 24-year-old Guerrero (21-1) weighed in at 126 pounds. Litzau (23-1), age 24, scaled in at 125 pounds.
The winner said he'd fight Marquez, Vazquez, Pac Man and the other Marquez; he is in a lowkey division so we could well see him going north soon.
In the opener of ShoBox, TJ Wilson again met Travis Walker in a scheduled heavyweight tenner.
The two met last October on Showtime, and Wilson scored a stop at the 15 second mark. Walker protested the stop, which was, by the way, completely the right call. He wouldn't be squawkin' in a coffin.
This time, Walker got the nod. He opened up on the southpaw Wilson in the second, landing a straight right, and then a series of them. He closed it out at 1:50 of the second, as the ref stepped in to save Wilson from excessive punishment.
The Floridian Walker (27-1-1) weighed 236 pounds, while Miami's Wilson (12-2) was 264 pounds. Walker and his corner beefed about the stop, saying that he did not hit the deck. Again, the ref made the right call. Better safe than sorry, and dead. He would have taken a standing eight back in the day and should have taken a knee to clear his head if he was able to think straight.
On ESPN's Friday Night Fights, Mike Walker, subbing for Allan Green, met Antwun Echols at the Paragon Casino in Marksville, Louisiana in the main event.
Echols said before the show that he had blood sugar problems, undiagnosed, which he now has under control.
He looked peppy from the start against the more squat foe. Walker, an unknown, wasn't out of his league though. He was patient, looking for his spots, and did some nice work inside. The fight went the distance and the judges rendered a verdict.
One judge had it 98-92 Echols, and the others 95-95, for a majority draw.
Studio analysts Joe Mesi, midway through, said he agreed with Teddy Atlas, that Echol's legs didn't look too sturdy.
But Echols stuck around, after some precarious spots, and Walker's zip dropped off some.
It looked even-Steven going in to the tenth round. Atlas had it knotted at 86. Walker showed more energy in the final period, and all in all, it was a good scrap.
Green, by the way, pulled out of the bout late in the game, to the dismay of his promoter, Tony Holden.
The 29-year-old Walker (167 1/2) went to 18-0-2, while the 35-year-old Echols (166) is now 31-7-4.
New Yorker Sechew Powell downed Kevin Finley in the first of their scheduled ten round junior middleweight scrap. Powell went to 23-1, while Finley dropped to 12-1-1. Powell is looking to get some traction after he dropped a fight to Kassim Ouma and looked too cautious against Ishe Smith. It looks like he's fired up, and ready to put his stamp on the division. Powell whacked the Missourian at will, and dropped him with a minute to go. Powell landed a straight left to end the show as the ref waved it off as the Finley corner threw in a towel. FYI Teddy Atlas, who has been sparring with FNF management, announced at the start of the fight that it was a mismatch. Anyone want to place a bet on how much longer Atlas sticks around there?
Joe Mesi sat with Brian Kenny, and was his usual smooth self while providing analysis. He told viewers that there is no residual damage from having bleeding on the brain from his 2004 fight with Vassiliy Jirov. We saw snippets of his comeback fights, and he talked about his April 4th FNF appearance against Terry Smith. A win there would mean a fight with a Brewster or Rahman, he said. Beyond that, he said he's not afraid of Klitschko, and would match up well against Chagaev and Maskaev.
Atlas talked about Vazquez/Marquez III, and predicted that Marquez will work more from the outside, and get the nod.
Kenny talked about the Klitschko/Ibragimov fight, and said that it was a physical mismatch from the start. Mesi said he'd rather fight Wlad than Sultan. We heard from Wlad, from his press conference after the bout. Mesi said that Wlad fought scared, and could have knocked him out. He said he didn't know if Wlad's downward chop was a legal blow. Atlas said the ref should have put the kibosh on that move. Atlas said that Wlad's temperment means his style is what it is. He said that Manny's move, telling Wlad to stop his man, was a solid move, but there was pressure on him, because he said Wlad is an alltime great.