Headed into this weekend welterweight championship fight at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, former two-time titlist Robert “Ghost” Guerrero is crediting grueling sparring as a key in preparations for his opponent, undefeated, former junior welterweight champ Danny “Swift” Garcia (31 – 0) of Philadelphia.
Guerrero (33 – 3 – 1), out of Gilroy, California, is looking to buck a downward trend that had him losing two of his last four fights, with the two victories coming in life or death circumstances. In an attempt to better his odds versus the betting favorite and undefeated Garcia, the Guerrero team has enlisted another Philly fighter, Raymond “Tito” Serrano for sparring.
In an interview published to Tha Boxing Voice’s Youtube page, “Ghost” had this to say regarding his gym wars with Serrano, “what Tito did with me, he pushed me to the limits, we had great work together, great sparring, sessions, I’m excited about it, and I know I’m going to be ready for this fight “
After a decision loss to Floyd Mayweather, Guerrero past three performances against Yoshihiro Kamegai, Keith Thurman, and Aaron Martinez have left many boxing fans pondering does the “Ghost” still have enough gas to capture another world title. Perhaps Guerrero has learned a lesson and corrected it for this fight.
“In the past I was just bringing guys in (for sparring) that I could get away with a lot of stuff, I could just cruise through the sparring sessions, when you’re on this top level, this championship level you need to be on your A game”.
What’s interesting here is Guerrero is flat out acknowledging deficiencies in past sparring partners. Not the case with Serano.
“You make a mistake and he’s going to make you pay”, Ghost proclaims.
We do have to evaluate what Guerrero says, though. Could this be a case of a fading fighter who perceives his sparring is tougher because his own skills have eroded? Is this a case where we might be overrating sparring as it does not exactly replicate professional boxing, without the headgear and overly padded gloves, is it the same thing? Or do we take “The Ghost’s” word with Serrano tough gym work being a game changer? Sit tight, we’ll know Saturday night.