By: Francisco Martinez
This Saturday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. Danny “Swift” Garcia vs. Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero is set to take place. Guerrero helped launch the inaugural “PBC on NBC” card series in 2015 as he faced Keith “One Time” Thurman for the WBA welterweight title in a fight where fans witnessed Guerrero hit the deck in the 9th round and eventually lose a unanimous decision to Thurman. This time around he will be opening the PBC series on FOX. His opportunity to make things right.
In the proceeding fight Robert Guerrero also found himself in a tough one against Aaron “Asesino” Martinez one of the few fighters in the world who actually likes facing southpaws, as it was evident when Martinez landed a vicious combination on Guerrero that floored him in the 4th round but still managed to find his way up and squeeze out a split decision that left many fans unsatisfied with the official judges score cards. As you can read from this introduction it quickly points out why most aren’t giving Robert Guerrero much of a chance against the undefeated Philly native Danny Garcia.
BoxingInsider.com had a chance to get a few words from the 3 time, 2 division world champion and see where exactly is his mindset heading into a fight many think is a “do or die” for Robert Guerrero. This is what he had to say…
BoxingInsider.com: “Do you expect the Danny (Garcia) that fought Amir Khan or the Danny that fought Lamont Peterson & (Mauricio) Herrera? Which Danny do you expect, Which one are you prepared for?”
Robert Guerrero: “I’m expecting both Danny’s, all 3 of them because Danny comes and he changes directions. He does what he has to do to win the fight so you have to be ready for everything. We prepared very well and you know what, Danny is going to come and try to make the adjustments”
(Danny Garcia had a shaky first 2 rounds suffering a cut against Amir Khan back in 2012 before catching him with a huge left hook that put him down. Khan was able to rise up from the canvas but in the 4th round Danny finished the job flooring Khan 2 more times and securing the win in dynamic fashion. However in his more recent fights against Lamont Peterson & Mauricio Herrera, Danny Garcia didn’t show the same ambition and his left hook was nullified in both bouts. In Puerto Rico Danny Garcia’s performance was so unexpected by the public that “boo’s” where ignited after the official judges score cards where read and they had Danny Garcia winning a “majority decision”. More of the same happened with Lamont Peterson in another fight that many saw Garcia struggle and unable to find his range and rhythm once more leading to another controversial set of score cards by the judges that scored a “majority decision” favoring Garcia once again)
BoxingInsider.com: “Why highlight his inability to speak Spanish as not being a real Puerto Rican and why attack it? What’s the setting behind that?”
Robert Guerrero: “I never said that, maybe my dad said that (smiles) but I mean, I didn’t say that but you know what, hey, he talks about representing the Latinos but you know what, if you’re going to represent, necesita hablar español. Mas o menos, estoy listo para pelear (you have to speak Spanish more or less, I’m ready to fight)”
(In the weeks leading into the fight the Guerrero camp questioned Danny Garcia’s legitimacy as a “real” Puerto Rican do to his inability to articulate and communicate in the Spanish language (although understanding) his fathers native language if I’m not mistaken. Danny Garcia born and bred in Philadelphia it’s somewhat of a language defect many Latino Americans have from Puerto Ricans to Mexicans. Definitely not rare to come across a non Spanish speaking Latino in the U.S.)
BoxingInsider.com: “Will we see a better version of Guerrero then the one we saw against (Aaron) Martinez?”
Robert Guerrero: “Oh yeah, definitely. You know what, I take my hat off to Martinez. I thank Martinez because you know what, he opened my eyes. He came, he fought a great fight and I don’t take nothing from him. I barely edged the fight out you know. I barely got the win. So you know what, like I said, I give all credit to where it’s do and it was do there. You know what, it really made me sit back and look at my whole career and everything I have been doing in the gym. How I’ve been fighting and went back and said, hey, I got to put this back together because it’s not working, what I’ve been doing”
BoxingInsider.com: “Robert, being a southpaw do you think that would present complications for Danny Garcia come fight night?”
Robert Guerrero: “It always does against fighters. It’s just how you approach it. What style you bring and what you’re going to do in the ring you know. It’s about making it happen and executing your game plan”
(Danny Garcia has faced 1 top tier southpaw with champion pedigree in “Super” Zab Judah in a fight that saw Judah make a late rally against Danny Garcia after a 8th round knockdown. Based from the performance Danny Garcia displayed against Zab Judah not much was complicated for Garcia that night against the southpaw stance. Most of the complications in that fight in particular where more of a stamina related issue as Danny seemed to fade and Zab Judah ending strong with effective pressure in the 4 final rounds since after the knockdown)
BoxingInsider.com: “Robert, facing Keith Thurman and the rumored potential fight between him and Shawn Porter going down in March how do you see that fight playing?”
Robert Guerrero: “It’s going to be a good fight. Keith Thurman can box really good. He has great power and it’s an interesting fight because (Shawn) Porter comes and he puts a lot of pressure and throws a lot of punches. Everybody seen when the last half of the fight when I started putting pressure on (Keith) Thurman he was tending to fold a little bit so you know what, that can help in Porter’s favor but you still have to make it to that (certain) point”
“Free boxing 4 all” is the motto for Premier Boxing Champions all you have to do is tune in on FOX this Saturday and watch Danny Garcia vs. Robert Guerrero for the vacant WBC welterweight championship without network subscription or a pay per view fee. As a boxing enthusiasts I can only say, it doesn’t get any better then this. Danny Garcia, the young undefeated fighter looking to take it to the next level above and Robert Garcia, the 3 time, 2 division world champion looking to avoid another loss that would surely affect his credibility as a “headliner”.