This Saturday night from the Toyota Center in Houston, TX, the two time world champion Robert Guerrero 24-1-1 (17) will try to make it a three peat as he battles South Africa’s Malcolm Klassen 24-4-2 (15) for his IBF super featherweight strap, which will be televised on HBO’s Boxing After Dark 9:45 PM ET/PT.
Twice before Guerrero has held the IBF featherweight title by first defeating Eric Aiken (8th R. RTD) in 2006, then again in 2007 by defeating Denmark’s Spend Abazi (9th R. TKO), and now “The Ghost” aims to add to his collection as he takes on what Robert describes as his toughest opponent yet.
In this exclusive interview conducted by Convicted Artist Magazine, Guerrero speaks out on his upcoming bout, and gives his thoughts on the 130-pound division, enjoy.
You have the fight coming up against the Jr. Lightweight titlist Malcolm Klassen; give the readers your thoughts on the throw down?
I’m happy that my promoter (Golden Boy Promotions) and management team (Shelly Finkel and Bob Santos) got me this championship fight. I’m excited to be back on the big stage of HBO.
Looking at Klassen’s record, he seems to be a tough cat with some pop; in fact his last five victories have been via knock out. What can you tell us about your opponent, and is his power a major concern?
Klassen is a very good fighter. This is going to be my toughest fight. He’s got all the tools and I expect him to come in great shape. His power is pretty good and he moves well. I think this is going to be the best fight of the night for the fans watching.
If victorious in this bout you will be crowned the super featherweight champion, which if my calculations are correct will make you a three time world champ. Stepping in the ring period is bit of a nervous journey, but what about fighting for a title, you have been crowned champ not once but twice, now going for a third time. What is your mentality going into this title fight, and how do you stay focused in your preparation for such a prestigious bout?
I think about my family and my team that’s been working hard to get me to the top. Golden Boy is expecting me to be something special. I have obligations to everyone around me. That’s why I’ve been up here in Big Bear, away from home, training in this high altitude, focused and making the ultimate sacrifices. This camp has been great.
A lot of times when I interview a fighter, I will ask, what has been the hardest aspect of being a fighter. I have asked you that before, so I will change that up. My question for you is what has been the greatest aspect of being a professional fighter?
Knowing that you’ve gone the extra mile to get to the top, and made all the sacrifices. When you win, it’s that much sweeter. Its no secret, I’ve been through a lot with all that’s happened in my career and personal life. I just want to shine and give all the glory to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who’s been with me every step of the way. Praise God.
Where does Robert Guerrero stand amongst the likes of Humberto Soto, Jorge Linares, Roman Martinez and Yuriorkis Gamboa, as well as a few other major players in the 130-pound division?
Those are great fighters. I know I’m right there with them all. I’ll fight anyone of those fighters any day, any time, any where. I’ve never ducked anyone. To be the best you have to fight the best. I want them all.
Any message you would send out to your opponent Malcolm Klassen?
I’ve heard he says he’s going to kill me when we fight. He better be ready to go, because I’m taking those words to heart. Ain't nobody going to kill me!
Anything in closing?
Yeah, I got a mobile site that’s really cool. Fans can text “Ghost” to the number 35620 and exclusive interviews with me and Shane Mosley. It’s a mobile site strictly for web enabled phones. Check it out and God Bless to all my fans.
Writer’s Note: I would like to thank Robert Guerrero for his time, and once again a thank you goes out to Mario Serrano for his help on setting up this interview.
Benny Henderson Jr.