LAS VEGAS-Spur of the moment drug testing delayed the media day festivities of Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero on Tuesday at the IBA gym.
More than 100 reporters mulled around the fair-sized boxing gym waiting for the arrival of Team Guerrero past the 12 noon scheduled time. Camera men and women toted their massive cameras and microphones around the facility looking for people to interview.
It’s less than three weeks before Guerrero (31-1-1, 18 Kos) and Floyd Mayweather (43-0, 26 Kos) meet at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for their battle of pound for pounders. The hometown fighter Mayweather remains a big favorite to win.
More than a few reporters expressed their surprise at the one-sided odds favoring Mayweather. Slowly, in the past month, the odds have been dropping. Many expect the California boxing crowd to tip the odds to a more reasonable balance.
As reporters waited for Guerrero to arrive they began interviewing each other in a weird frantic way. But when the Gilroy, California native arrived the mass moved toward the prizefighter who was met by a reverend who said a prayer with Guerrero and the many others in the gym.
Guerrero, 30, has been working out feverishly with his father and trainer Ruben Guerrero at the IBA gym and looks like a well-toned middleweight. It’s kind of funny because I vividly remember Guerrero as a 126-pound fighter who was always in a good mood and never seemed to have a problem making the featherweight limit. Now here he is 21 pounds heavier and comfortable in a dangerous weight division that’s four weight divisions higher.
“I just like to fight,” said Guerrero about moving up several weight divisions. “When I first came into the sport I only wanted to be a world champion. Then I wanted to fight the best.”
As reporters looked for the controversial answer to set off a war of words, including insinuations that Mayweather, 36, is deteriorating boxing-wise, Guerrero was quick to head them off.
“Mayweather is still the best,” said Guerrero. “No matter what, Floyd Mayweather’s worst days are other fighter’s best days.”
Guerrero insists that he will not take Mayweather lightly, but he does relish meeting him in the ring in front of millions.
“I’m finally getting a crack at fighting the best,” said Guerrero with a smile. “That’s why I’m here to get in with the best.”
The lithe prizefighter with a goatee has quickly gathered a following after rapidly mowing through two welterweights Selcuk Aydin and Andre Berto. The welterweight division is heavy with talent but this fight between Guerrero and Mayweather is the match that is most intriguing simply because of the danger posed by each fighter.
“My son is ready,” said Ruben Guerrero, Robert’s father and trainer. “He’s strong right now.”
The father paused when someone asked if he’s ready to go 15 rounds?
“Those were the days. Fifteen rounds in the street,” said Ruben Guerrero as he hopped up fired two quick kicks in the air and three punches. The father is still very athletic and like his son, it’s athleticism that is very surprising.