2015 will go down as sort of a rough year for former two-time (plus two interims) champion Robert “Ghost” Guerrero. First, in March, Guerrero (33-3-1) dropped a competitive but clear decision loss to welterweight champion Keith Thurman in Las Vegas. Then, three months later, Guerrero edged the rugged journeyman Aaron Martinez on points, a toe to toe affair where Guerrero was knocked down and buzzed in the fourth round. Those who are bearish on Guerrero might believe he is on the downside of career while those bullish will say Guerrero displayed tenacity and heart during the two aforementioned battles.
As 2016 rolls around in just a few weeks, the grizzled veteran will once again have an opportunity to prove his skills as he takes on former junior welterweight champion, undefeated Danny “Swift” Garcia (31-0) in a twelve round welterweight affair, penciled in on January 23rd at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The two will tangle on a grand stage in prime time, fighting on the inaugural Premier Boxing Champions series on Fox.
Fighthype was able to catch up with the “Ghost” recently and asked him about his last lackluster outing, “every fight you got a lot to prove, your just as good as your last fight, I got to take care of business, a lot of people are writing me off and saying it’s time to hang them up, you never know what somebodies is going thru, (I was) going thru a lot of family problems at the time, I had two deaths within the two months before the fight. Guerrero went into further detail, “it’s a tough pill to swallow when you’re weighing in and their burying your cousin, and your not able to be there to support and grieve”.
“Ghost” Guerrero historically has been a warrior inside the ring and out. When mentioned he suffered deaths in his family right before challenging Martinez, I began to think this is the same man who fought on despite his wife Casey’s grim leukemia diagnosis (now cancer free). Guerrero has also displayed tremendous tenacity in his defeat to Thurman, climbing off the deck in the ninth round and battling to the final bell. A man who’s been thru so much might not be so easy to roll over and make easy pickings for Garcia.
“The only way I see my career going is back up to the top, I’m feeling good, back on my toes like the way I’m supposed to be, doing a lot of things in the gym that I haven’t been doing in a long time, I’m excited to get back out and showcase and make it happen” proclaimed Guerrero.
Although Garcia-Guerrero is a nontitle bout, the fight does have more significance than the fans and media might believe. Garcia is rated second and Guerrero is rated six by the WBC, which means the victor will inch closer to vie for the green belt vacated by Floyd Mayweather. Furthermore, this bout is apparently is part of the eagerly anticipated WBC welterweight tournament as per their press release from November. When asked whether Garcia-Guerrero is part of this tourney, Guerrero confirmed, “yes it is, this is one of the big fights of the year, me and Danny are big players in the sport, from here everything starts falling into order”.
So those who choose to bicker over the matchup, all the power to you. Personally, I’m amped to see how the resilient “Ghost”, who almost always is in exciting fights, responds to the challenge in the talented, undefeated Garcia. Come January, in front of a national television audience, we shall see.