Robert Guerrero Notches Badly Needed Win over Aron Martinez

Robert Guerrero needed a win badly. He had lost two of his last three fights, both wide decision losses to elite welterweights Floyd Mayweather and Keith Thurman. His only win came against Yoshihiro Kamegai, a B-level fighter at best who managed to drag Guerrero into a deeper end of the pool than The Ghost’s handlers probably wanted.

So Guerrero was matched with Aron Martinez in a 10-round welterweight contest on Saturday. The bout was telecast live on NBC’s Premier Boxing Champions. Martinez is a scrappy fighter who by his own admission would need to rely on conditioning over boxing skill to beat Guerrero. The 32-year-old had lost two of his last three fights, was a light-hitter with only four wins by knockout and had only been in contests scheduled for more than eight rounds three times in his career, losing twice.

But Guerrero found himself in the deep end of the pool again against Martinez. He survived a Round 4 knockdown to swim past Martinez in a hotly contested split-decision. Judges at ringside scored the bout 97-92 and 95-94 for Guerrero, and 95-94 for Martinez. The latter two scores are probably more indicative of the fight. It was close.

Guerrero was surprised early by Martinez’s aggression, and he almost let it hard-charging fighter drowned him with it. “He was coming in head-first,” said Guerrero. “It threw me off a bit.”

Martinez landed solid right-hand counters from a distance in Rounds 1 and 2, and used those successes to bulldoze himself into Guerrero’s chest. He corralled his opponent into the ropes and over to the corner time after time, letting loose a barrage of hooks, uppercuts, crosses—everything he could muster. It worked. By Round 4, Martinez had spilled Guerrero down to the floor like a late night Martini.

But Guerrero rose to his feet, and came back strong. In Round 5, the two continued to fight in close. Guerrero was paying special attention to the body now, while Martinez continued his onslaught of bull-rushes.

In Round 6, Guerrero thought better of things and decided he needed to use his feet to create distance in the fight. He aptly stepped back, threw punches with good torque on them, and made his mark on Martinez’s face and torso without the danger of the previous dogfighting. Guerrero fought smart and brave in the rest of the fight. He used his southpaw jab to keep Martinez from bullying him to the ropes, and threw hard hooks to the body to slow him down more and more as the fight wore on. Martinez only fought brave. He was not able to adjust to Guerrero’s skill from long-range, and he seemed to tire as the fight wore on.

After the fight, Guerrero spoke fondly of a cousin who suddenly died last week, dedicating the fight to her. “Tell God I said hello,” he said with both a swollen eye and a smile.

Guerrero will likely land more PBC dates in the future. At age 32, he appears to be on the downward slope of his career though. He still seems capable of being a scrappy opponent for top-level welterweights, but does not seem likely to win big fights against highly rated contenders.

Still, Guerrero has made a good life for himself. He fought Mayweather in 2013 in the biggest and most lucrative fight of his entire life and pocketed a cool million dollars according to ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael for his work on Saturday at the StubHub Center in Carson against Martinez.

With the loss, Martinez likely goes back to a life of obscurity, a fighter who will be drummed back up in the future when a promoter intends to get a star-level fighter a win. There’s good in that for him, too. Because the saving grace for Al Haymon’s PBC series has been the fights have the feeling of being better than they are intended to be. Haymon doesn’t seem to have a good matchmaker in the house, so he pits fighters he wants to showcase against fighters everyone at Team Haymon headquarters thinks their fighter can easily beat. But they’re usually wrong. Guerrero won the fight but could have just as easily been handed a career-threatening loss had the judges at ringside seen things a different way.

So Martinez might find himself in a similar position on a PBC card in the near future. Heck, Guerrero might, too.

Other Notable Action

Former quarterback turned heavyweight boxer Dominic Breazeale defeated Yasmany Consuegra by Round 3 knockout to open the NBC telecast. Breazeale’s powerful right-hand was the key to the fight. Consuegra dominated the first round by landing flush shots on Breazeale seemingly at will, but Round 2 was spoiled for him when Breazeale landed a long right-hand at end of it to put Consuegra down to the mat for the first of three travels there.

Consuegra came out firing in Round 3 but was dumped to the canvas by a right uppercut. He rose to his feet but was clearly shaken. Breazeale sent him back to the blue mat shortly thereafter for the third and final time. Consuegra crawled up to his feet, but the referee wisely halted the action there.

Breazeale appears to be a good athlete. He seems smart when he talks and has a nice disposition about him. But he doesn’t seem like a natural fighter. The 2012 Olympian will likely be built up as much as possible until he is forced to fight someone with talent who is a natural fighter. When that happens, unless something drastically changes, he will lose.

The fights continued on NBC Sports network. Featherweight Jesus Cuellar stopped Vic Darchinyan in Round 8. Darchinyan has now lost five of his last eight fights and three of his last four. His last three losses have come by way of knockout. It is probably time for the 39-year-old to retire. Cuellar, age 28, is a solid-looking featherweight but will have a tough time making his mark in such a stalwart division. Current featherweight stars include Gary Russell, Jr., Vasyl Lomachenko and Abner Mares. Future fights with Russell and Mares seem likely and would make for good television no matter what the result.

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COMMENTS

-Radam G :

TsAH's pug got the verdict, but did he win? Holla!


-Carmine Cas :

Just the highlights, "The Ghost" looks like damaged goods, or maybe he just got caught?


-King Beef :

I personally thought he lost, definitely had way too much trouble with Martinez than he should have. Ghost did comeback and had good rounds after get floored in the 4th, but no way in hell did he deserve 97-92 from that 1 judge that must've been watching something else. Even with this "win", Ghost has been demoted to gatekeeper status.


-amayseng :

I was unable to watch this one. Did the Ghost come back too soon from his beating from Thurman or is he shot? Seems like he didn't take enough time to heal, rest and recover.


-brownsugar :

I was unable to watch this one. Did the Ghost come back too soon from his beating from Thurman or is he shot? Seems like he didn't take enough time to heal, rest and recover.
Maybe the Ghost doesnt like consolation prizes... Personally I remember competing in high school, if I didn't get into the winners bracket for first and second place.....mentally I could never get up for the consolation rounds which awarded third and fourth place....I trained hard so I didn't end up there. The Ghost, or should I say "the shadow of the Ghost" fought like his mind was on the next family Bar B Q, he looked listless and fought without passion, the opponent fought with purpose. I wish I could say the same for Guerrero. Even sadder was the shell of Evil Vic, still fighting with that nasty grin on his face....the grin that created the atmosphere and mystique for his performances when he was in his prime. The grin only serves to mock what he's become these days,...a fighter whose hung around the game too long. Breazeale's performance was also a bit on the bizarre side for different reasons. Breazale ate no less than 20 right hand leads to the face in the first round alone from the crafty Cuban, who was undefeated in 19 fights with questions opponents. Still the Cuban schooling was evident as he continued to land every right hand he threw until Breazeale woke up in the third and started putting his left jab into his opponents face while leaning in hard with the Ko producing right hand. Breazeale is leaner now, but is still as jiggly as a prime Areola, but the kid has some real bonafide power underneath all the baby fat. He's probably going to be considered as the "long shot" to dominate the heavyweight division. But even though his power is certified, the kid had better work on defense if he is to ever make to top contender status.


-amayseng :

Maybe the Ghost doesnt like consolation prizes... Personally I remember competing in high school, if I didn't get into the winners bracket for first and second place.....mentally I could never get up for the consolation rounds which awarded third and fourth place....I trained hard so I didn't end up there. The Ghost, or should I say "the shadow of the Ghost" fought like his mind was on the next family Bar B Q, he looked listless and fought without passion, the opponent fought with purpose. I wish I could say the same for Guerrero. Even sadder was the shell of Evil Vic, still fighting with that nasty grin on his face....the grin that created the atmosphere and mystique for his performances when he was in his prime. The grin only serves to mock what he's become these days,...a fighter whose hung around the game too long. Breazeale's performance was also a bit on the bizarre side for different reasons. Breazale ate no less than 20 right hand leads to the face in the first round alone from the crafty Cuban, who was undefeated in 19 fights with questions opponents. Still the Cuban schooling was evident as he continued to land every right hand he threw until Breazeale woke up in the third and started putting his left jab into his opponents face while leaning in hard with the Ko producing right hand. Breazeale is leaner now, but is still as jiggly as a prime Areola, but the kid has some real bonafide power underneath all the baby fat. He's probably going to be considered as the "long shot" to dominate the heavyweight division. But even though his power is certified, the kid had better work on defense if he is to ever make to top contender status.
You think the Ghost's mind and spirit has left the sport and this is only an income for him now? I read some of his social media the last month he seemed to be quite motivated with good spirit. Vic needs to retire ASAP, someone needs to hand him a job away from the ring. I am concerned for his mental well being.


-brownsugar :

You think the Ghost's mind and spirit has left the sport and this is only an income for him now? I read some of his social media the last month he seemed to be quite motivated with good spirit. Vic needs to retire ASAP, someone needs to hand him a job away from the ring. I am concerned for his mental well being.
I like the way you put it Amayseng, "lost the spirit", ...... (the fighting spirit) ......the Ghosts joyless performance while his wife sat at ringside with that " I wish I could be somewhere else " look on her face told it all.


-Matthew :

I thought Guerrero fought an incredibly unintelligent fight. Why would he stand squared up with his back against the ropes and let Martinez wail away on him? He completely negated his physical advantages by fighting in that fashion for the first five rounds. Once he stayed in ring center and boxed, he did better. The fight could have gone either way, but I thought Martinez edged him. A one point win for Guerrero seems reasonable, but the judge that handed in the 97-92 scorecard should be mocked. Two things seem clear: Guerrero is on the decline, and he is not an elite welterweight.


-stormcentre :

Guerrero "fought an incredibly unintelligent fight", if that was what it was (and I am not saying it was or was not) - in my opinion - because of 2 main reasons; 1) He had thought that PBC matchmaking had served him Martinez' head on a plate; as if it were cut fish. 2) He is not aware of his decline and the areas of his game it has, at first, crept into. Guys with styles like Robert's always age (in the ring) with less grace than those possessing other styles. Particularly if they're lefties without much speed, defence, and reflexes; as Guerrero is. Still Robert has been a good fighter and champion, as his overall record attests to. :) :)


-Yogo :

Guerrero "fought an incredibly unintelligent fight", if that was what it was (and I am not saying it was or was not) - in my opinion - because of 2 main reasons; 1) He had thought that PBC matchmaking had served him Martinez' head on a plate; as if it were cut fish. 2) He is not aware of his decline and the areas of his game it has, at first, crept into. Guys with styles like Robert's always age (in the ring) with less grace than those possessing other styles. Particularly if they're lefties without much speed, defence, and reflexes; as Guerrero is. Still Robert has been a good fighter and champion, as his overall record attests to. :) :)
Perfect summary. Check the crooked judge yet again. 97-92??