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Home Boxing The Education of Robert Guerrero, from prospect to World Champ
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The Education of Robert Guerrero, from prospect to World Champ

team_guerrero_boxingWhen I was first approached to interview Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero, he had just barley gotten into double digits in his fighting career and was still looked upon as a hot prospect. Now five years later, countless interviews, eighteen more fights added to his resume, Robert has shed the prospect title and at this time is a two time world champion, and if all goes in Guerrero’s favor this Saturday night, my boy Robert will be a three time champion in two separate weight classes.

Debuting in the pros in April of 2001, Guerrero began to assault the featherweight division with his busy style of brutality, bullying around his opposition. His stinging southpaw stance, heavy hands to the body attack, and his ability to take as well as deliver a punch helped Robert rise up the rankings.

As any fighting career goes, Robert has had his ups and downs, been on the winning side as well as the losing end, rose to the occasion and found vengeance in a return, and gained a lot of knowledge due to his experiences.

Guerrero was a hot commodity in the boxing world, while garnering wins with his wiliness to brawl in battle, to his clean cut life style out of the ring, Robert was sort of a poster child of what a fighter should be in and out of the ring.

All though victorious in continuous fashion, Guerrero did taste defeat for the first and only time in his career when he lost a close decision to the tough Mexican Gamaliel Diaz in December of 2005, but somewhat of a plot similar to “The Karate Kid”, without the old man having him wax on wax off. Guerrero accepted defeat, learned from his mistakes, trained harder, and had his vengeance on the very one who took the W from him in the first go around, when Guerrero knocked out Diaz in their rematch just six months after losing to Gamaliel.

Just three months after avenging his loss, Guerrero defeated Eric Aiken in eight rounds to earn Robert his first world title, by strapping on the IBF featherweight belt. Robert would lose the title in his first defense from the hands of Orlando Salido via unanimous decision, but after post fight test results had Salido testing positive for steroids, the decision was changed to a (No Contest) and Robert would battle on.

Just after having his decision loss overturned to a No Contest, Guerrero once again battled for the IBF strap, defeating the Albanian born boxer Spend Abazi in nine rounds, making Guerrero a two time world champ.

Guerrero was once again on top of the world as a world champion, but his celebration did not last long when his wife was diagnosed with Leukemia. All though battling the disease into remission, many wondered if Guerrero would have the mentality to be able to battle Martin Honorio in Guerrero’s first title defense of his newly won strap. But in championship fashion, Guerrero went in to war and destroyed Honorio under a minute.

After knocking out Jason Litzau in February of 2008, relinquishing his title to move up in weight and a year off due to promotional difficulties, Guerrero returned to the ring in March of 2009 as a “Golden Boy Promotions” fighter. His debut with the new promoter was not as successful as many would have hoped, due to a clash of heads in the second round against unbeaten Daud Cino Yordan, Guerrero could not continue and the fight was ruled a No Contest. All though receiving twenty-three stitches over his right eye, Guerrero was ridiculed by some of the media for not continuing on.

In his last outing Guerrero defeated the longtime contender Efren Hinojosa in eight rounds after Hinojosa could not continue due to a dislocated elbow.

So after rising up in the ranks from a prospect to a world champion, to winning big fights and losing a heartbreaker along the way, overcoming a bad situation with family illness, being in the mix of promotional controversy, to being cheered and jeered by the media, Guerrero has his chance at becoming a three time world champion, in two separate weight classes when he takes on South African Malcolm Klassen this Saturday night at the Toyota Center in Houston, TX.

Standing in Guerrero’s was of a third championship is tough South African Malcolm Klassen, who will be fighting out of his home country for the first time. Klassen is a savvy fighter who throws punches in bunches, and has stated in the press that he in no from or fashion is coming this far to hand over his title.

Robert Guerrero vs. Malcolm Klassen should be a humdinger of a throw down, both use effective countering shots, the pair commits to continuous punching, and neither are afraid to wage war when it comes time to inflict pain on their opposition. And to be completely blunt about it, both are hungry as hell and should put on an exciting show.

Guerrero has not had the hardest road to travel, but like any journey for any fighter, it has not been an easy one. As I previously stated Guerrero has had his in and outs, ups and downs, and had to earn his spot today. If Guerrero is unsuccessful this Saturday night on HBO, he should be able to look back on this experience as before, and learn from it to move on. But if he does find victory, and strap on his third world title, Robert can look back on his education of the “sweet science” with a smile and feel the pride of becoming a three time world champion.

By Benny Henderson Jr.

 the_ghost_guerrero

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