Guerrero’s Guns – This Saturday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, two tough guys are going to clash for the vacant WBC welterweight title. The title was last owned by Floyd Mayweather. Floyd vacated the belt when he retired after beating Andre Berto in his last bout last September.
The participants are both respected former title holders and their mindset and fighting styles should provide for some compelling fireworks and exchanges as long as the bout lasts. Yes, Danny Garcia 31-0 (18) and Roberto Guerrero 33-3-1 (18) are both fighters who you don’t have to look for. Backing up or backing down is definitely not a part of their mental constitution.
Garcia, 27, and Guerrero, 32, are two of the easiest professional boxers to like and root for. They’re legitimate world class pros who have shared a ring with some of the biggest names and best fighters of their generation. However, I don’t expect the fight to be all that competitive. Guerrero, who went the distance with Floyd Mayweather in 2013, is on the decline and isn’t as formidable as he was three years ago. I don’t give him much of a chance to beat Garcia with the WBC welterweight title on the line this Saturday night.
When the bout was initially announced, I conveyed that Garcia and Guerrero will be right there for each other to hit because neither is hard to find. The big difference is, Garcia is much quicker and gets off better, and he’s more energetic now than Guerrero. Danny is also the bigger two handed puncher and the more firefights that erupt between them favor Garcia. On paper Garcia-Guerrero would appear to be a competitive fight. It’s not like either Danny or Robert can move, box and punch like a vintage Sugar Ray Leonard circa 1977-82. They’re the type of fighters who like to mix it up and trade. They’re not walk-in, take three to land one brawlers, they really do try to avoid getting hit….it’s just that they are not that good at defending and making opponents miss. What happens is, once they get nailed real good they become hell-bent on hitting their opponent back that much harder. And it is for that reason I don’t believe Guerrero has much of a shot in this particular bout.
No, I don’t expect Guerrero to be taken apart by Garcia; however I wouldn’t be surprised if Robert is stopped for the first time in his career. This is a fight where neither fighter is going to have much trouble landing their Sunday punch. The problem for Guerrero is, he doesn’t punch nearly hard enough to force Garcia to do a single thing that he doesn’t want to do. And that will loom exponentially huge in this bout because both fighters will be landing their finishing punches at a high rate.
In professional boxing, when you have two fighters facing each other who are relatively close in skill as boxers, punching power and the ability to deliver it usually decides the outcome. Right now Danny Garcia is the bigger and more accurate puncher, and because of that he’s going to be able to impose himself physically on Guerrero since he probably knows there’s is no risk in going after him full bore. Without the worriment of getting hurt by Guerrero, Danny will be able to do anything he wants because Robert won’t be able to do anything about it.
Often when breaking down fights and fighters, punching power, unless one guy is a legitimate life-taker, is overrated. Most of the time, it’s the more versatile technician who combines toughness and respectable power that wins. However, that won’t apply in this fight, and the reason for that is, Garcia won’t even attempt to outbox Guerrero. Instead he is going to try and overwhelm Robert and beat him up. Conversely, Guerrero, after he realizes that he cannot handle Garcia by trading with him, will alter his style and attempt to out-score Danny via movement and getting in and out. Only I don’t see Garcia allowing him to do that. Instead Garcia may be willing to eat a couple of Robert’s jabs and crosses just so he can get in on Guerrero and open up with his short hooks and right uppercuts. And if that happens, Guerrero isn’t the type of fighter who will hold or attempt to break off the exchange and escape the fire. It’s more likely that Robert’s big heart will summon his guns to do something they’re not big enough to do, and that’s fight Garcia off of him.
The way I see the fight unfolding is – Guerrero will attempt to box Garcia early, but I doubt Danny will give him the needed time and ring geography to do it. Once Guerrero is forced to abandon boxing because he’s getting the worst of it, he’ll rush his shots and fight it out with him, and if that happens every dynamic imaginable favors Garcia. Guerrero has a great chin and is as tough as any fighter mentally, but he’s more shopworn and isn’t that hard to find and hit, especially when he’s fighting to survive as he’s trying to stabilize the action without getting run over by Garcia.
I wouldn’t count on Guerrero getting stopped in this fight, but if it happened it wouldn’t come as a complete shock. In the end Garcia will have a little too much pop in his punches and more energy, fueling a higher work-rate, and that will be the difference. Garcia will beat Guerrero with perhaps maybe one scare along the way, if that.
I just hope that if Guerrero is taking a lot of punches, and it’s obvious he doesn’t have anything in his arsenal to salvage the bout, that his corner doesn’t let him take too many unnecessary shots. And the reason for that is Robert will never submit or back down. Garcia is a terrible match for him stylistically at this stage of his career.
Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com
Check out this The Boxing Channel‘s video with results and highlights