At 28 years old, three division world champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (29-1-1, 18 KO‘s) has accomplished far more than most fighters ever will. But for some reason, the Gilroy, California native doesn’t seem to get the high level bouts a fighter of his caliber should.
An articulate and Christian family man, Guerrero isn’t the type to burn money at a night club in a desperate bid for attention from the media. He’s never been flashy, usually all about business. One has to wonder how much the lack of notoriety is playing against him in his bid to secure a fight against the top fighter in the world, Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr.
But Guerrero didn’t get where he’s been by giving up. He, along with publicist Mario Serrano, have launched an all out campaign to get Mayweather on the opposite corner of the ring.
In reality, the quick fisted Mexican-American is just as intriguing a candidate as any other whose name is currently being tossed around to face Mayweather on May 5, 2012 (Cinco de Mayo). Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is being talked about as an opponent. But does it make sense? Not according to Guerrero.
“Canelo is a talented kid but he’s got a long way to go. It would be a mistake to put him in against someone like Mayweather,” Guerrero said. “It would be the same thing they did to Fernando Vargas. They put him in too early against Trinidad and he was never the same. ‘Canelo’ is just not mentally prepared.”
“Canelo” Alvarez may not be ready, but the Mexican red-head’s marketing appeal would make a bout vs. Mayweather a gigantic event likely to generate record pay per view numbers. But Guerrero has a point. Alvarez is Golden Boy Promotion’s cash cow and only 21. Why send the golden goose into the slaughterhouse?
Guerrero believes he’d fare much better than Mayweather’s last victim, Victor Ortiz, who was knocked silly when he failed to protect himself at all times as he’s been advised through the years. He sees the Oxnard fighter as someone who was defeated before he ever walked into the ring. “Floyd is great at getting under an opponent’s skin. Just watching the face-off after the weigh in, you could tell he was breaking Victor down,” Guerrero said. “Once Floyd put his hands around Victor’s neck and he didn’t do anything, it was a sign of submission.”
Guerrero says he would’ve handled the situation differently. “My instant reaction would’ve been to punch Mayweather right in the mouth. Just because I’m a Christian doesn’t mean I’m not going to react when someone tests me,” he said. “We grew up hard. My dad raised us like pit bulls. Anybody puts their hands on me and it’s on. I’m never going to let anyone get over on me like that.”
Amir Khan is also someone that Guerrero wants to face. “Khan fights scared. He brings a scared energy into the ring,” he said. “He hasn’t transcended into a pro fighter. He still fights like an amateur. Like he‘s fighting in the Olympics.”
His feelings were reinforced after watching Khan lose a close and somewhat controversial decision to Lamont Peterson. There are some who felt Peterson got a little help from the referee after he deducted Khan two points for excessive pushing. Guerrero saw it differently. “At the end of the day, the ref did a tremendous job. He warned Khan many times not to push off.”
“Khan has been pulling a con job on everybody for a while. He doesn’t pull the wool over my eyes,” Guerrero stated. “Freddie knows.”
Guerrero spent a lot of time at the wildcard gym where Freddie Roach trains Khan and Filipino super star Manny Pacquiao. “I’ve sparred middleweights with no problems. Freddie’s worked with me in the ring; he’s felt my power and knows better than to match up Khan with me.”
He also spent time in the ring with Pacquiao. “It was a couple rounds. In the first round I had him out on his feet. Manny didn’t touch me one time during the sparring session,” Guerrero said. “I was keeping him at a distance, and then I decided to close the ring off. He got on his bike and after a bit, Freddie decided it was getting too hot in there.”
Fighting Mayweather Jr. is a whole different matter. “Lil’ Floyd” isn’t only brilliant in the ring, he’s also a master manipulator who knows how to frazzle the opposition during press tours. “Whatever Floyd says wouldn’t bother me. I’ve been through so much and I’m a Christian man who is mentally strong and very sound,” Guerrero continued. “I’ve fought under very hard situations. I’ve fought injured. I fought after finding out my wife was diagnosed with cancer. I’m interested to see what Floyd’s reaction will be when he can’t get under someone’s skin.”
If the fight against Mayweather doesn’t materialize, Guerrero wants to face the top names in the division. “When god blesses you with talent, you want to get the most out of it, therefore I want to be the best,” he said. “I’m looking to challenge Maidana, Peterson, Khan, and Juan Manuel Marquez. Bring it.”
There are those who argue that Guerrero and his team are over stating his marketability. That he’s not a big enough entity to face Mayweather Jr. But then again, Victor Ortiz was far less accomplished and had a much smaller fan base than Guerrero before he fought Mayweather.
Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Cinco de Mayo, 2012? Why not? It makes more sense than just about any other option except for Pacquiao. If the fight with Mayweather doesn’t happen, Guerrero still plans to make 2012 the year of “The Ghost”.
“2012 is going to be big. I was told by (Golden Boy C.E.O.) Richard Schaefer that he‘s working on a big fight for me so I‘m very excited for what the year will bring,” Guerrero said. “I’ve been fighting with an injured shoulder for most of my career and now I’m completely healthy so I‘m going to be even better. I can’t wait to get back in the ring and hit somebody. Hopefully it’ll be Floyd Mayweather.”
Golden Boy promotions appeals Khan-Peterson decision:
Previously mentioned Golden Boy C.E.O., Richard Schaefer, held a press conference accusing the Washington D.C. boxing commission of favoritism towards Lamont Peterson during his December 10th fight against Amir Khan. The split decision was awarded to Peterson. Khan was deducted two points for excessive pushing which impacted the judge’s score cards enough to declare Peterson the winner and new champion. Khan and Schaefer are now looking for a re-match to be staged in Los Angeles on May 19th.
For question or comments for the author:
Who wins the WBO Middleweight title fight Dec. 19th?