If you have read any of the boxing news wires over the past week, you might have come across the sighting of a ghost. On January 24th, Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero, the two time featherweight champion, will finally return to the ring.
In 2008, the 25 year-old witnessed the negative aspect of boxing politics first hand. Since destroying Jason Litzau on February 27th, Robert Guerrero has lived up to his nickname. “The Ghost” was in an extensive contract dispute with his former promoter Goossen Tutor for ten months. Instead of building on the momentum of a knockout victory, Guerrero was restlessly sitting on the sidelines.
The Gilroy, California native signed a contract with Golden Boy Promotions a few weeks ago. Now he feels fully vindicated, and foresees a bright future. TSS chatted with the Ghost and delved deeper.
Raymond Markarian: Hey, how is it going Robert?
Robert Guerrero: Doing great man, thanks.
RM: I guess my first question has to be, what happened? Why was there a long hold up?
RG: Well, I was stuck with arbitration with my old promoter Dan Goossen. My contract was up and he was trying to extend it. But, I did not want to extend it. So, it went on from there.
RM: But, those arbitration cases do not usually take that long, do they?
RG: I don’t think so. I think we broke the record for the longest arbitration case in history, that’s for sure. (Guerrero laughs.) It took pretty long. I was out for basically the whole year.
RM: Yeah, I was at your last fight in February against Jason Litzau. That was a pretty exciting fight.
RG: Yeah, it has been the longest time that I have ever been out of the ring. I am just happy to get back in.
RM: I guess the first thing that comes to my mind about a long layoff like this would be the motivation factor. From the outside looking in, especially from a sports fans point of view, I would think that a lengthy layoff would hurt your motivation.
RG: Not at all, it made me more anxious to fight. Especially after my last fight against Litzau, I knocked him out and put on a great performance by taking him out. I wanted to capitalize on that momentum right away. You always want to capitalize on a performance like that. I wanted to jump up to 130 pounds and make an impact. But it did not happen.
RM: How about that Golden Boy signing, is that pretty much a done deal?
RG: Yeah, it is a done deal. Man, I am excited. I signed with Golden Boy on Thursday. I have a good feeling.
RM: That’s great. You are scheduled to fight on the undercard of Mosley/Margarito on January 24th, have they found an opponent for you yet?
RG: No, we have not gotten an opponent yet. They want to get me back in the ring very soon. I want to get some work in. What can I say, I am excited. There are many guys around 130, 135, and I am right in that area. I am excited to be signed with Golden Boy because I will have the opportunity to get those big fights.
RM: Well, who would you want to fight, if you had a choice?
RG: Pacquiao would be my first choice. If you put two explosive lefties together it will be a war. I feel like I have the perfect style to beat him.
RM: Why is that?
RG: I have the speed and power. They say people are afraid to come in on Pacquiao, but I have fought a lot of lefties before. If you get a guy that could push Pacquiao back, then you have a real good fight.
RM: You have a point. Pacquiao has not fought many guys that can make him go backwards. If you could do that against him then it would definitely be an interesting fight.
RM: Yeah, Pacquiao has not fought a naturally lefty with speed and power that could stand and trade with him, and also bring in side to side movement. I just feel like I have the style to beat him.
RM: What can you tell about the difference between Goossen Tutor Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions?
RG: Well, it is just the way Golden Boy has been treating me. There is just so much excitement. There is all this good talk about the fights coming up and what they want to do with my career at 130, and 135 pounds. Just knowing that the opportunity is there for the big fights is exciting.
RM: How did your relationship with the Goossen’s end on a personal level?
RG: Well, I don’t hold any grudges. I don’t dislike anybody. You know, the past is the past. The Goossen’s got me on TV. They got me a title, but it is time to move on. I feel like Golden Boy is the right place for me at this point in my career.
RM: Do you feel like you are at the driver seat at 130 pounds? Or, do you feel like a hungry tiger look for a meal?
RG: I feel like I am a tiger out on the hunt. I have been out of the boxing ring for a whole year so I am hungry. My manager and I always say “We are not hungry like lions, we are hungry like cockroaches. There is nothing more hungry than a cockroach.”
RM: (Markarian laughs) With the move up in weight, do you plan on switching up your style at all?
RG: No, I am just going to continue doing what I am doing. If it isn’t broken don’t fix. It is all about getting sharper and better. My style depends on my opponent. You have to adjust to each fighter.
RM: Do you have any interests outside of boxing?
RG: I like to work on cars and spend time with my family.
RM: If you don’t mind me asking, how is everything going with your wife’s cancer situation?
RG: Everything is going great. She is doing amazing. She is remission right now. To know that she is doing well, that pumps me up even more. She is defeating a sickness that is a killer and that motivates me to work hard. My training to fight is nothing compared to the fight she has went through. So I just go to the gym everyday and let it go. She is doing excellent.
RM: That’s good to hear. I have a couple of more questions. What can you tell me about Robert Guerrero that no one really knows?
RG: I am just a normal guy, blessed with a great talent to fight, that works hard and spends time with his family.
RM: Ok, the floor is yours, you have been out of the game for a year, tell me something that you want the boxing world to know.
RG: I have been a ghost for the last year but I am back. Just be ready because I am I back.