By Ryan Maquiñana
Middleweight contender Fernando Guerrero would welcome a world title shot against super slugger Gennady Golovkin of Kazakhstan if afforded the opportunity.
BoxingScene.com’s Rick Reeno reported Thursday morning that Golovkin (24-0, 21 KOs) will defend his 160-pound belt on Jan. 19 at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, with Gabriel Rosado and Guerrero the leading candidates to land the fight.
“I saw his fight on HBO,” Guerrero said of Golovkin’s five-round destruction of Grzegorz Proksa in September. “I guess he can punch. He can punch, but don’t forget, I’m a puncher, too, and I can box. I’d test that when I most likely get in the ring with him if I get the fight. Other than that I didn’t see anything special.
“This is a fight that I would definitely want. If my advisor Al Haymon wants it, I would want the same thing, too. I’m O.K. with whatever. If he’s the next opponent, so be it.”
Guerrero (25-1, 19 KOs), a Dominican who moved to Salisbury, Md., as a youth, now trains in Hayward, Calif., with Virgil Hunter and is coming off a dominant sixth-round stoppage of J.C. Candelo two weeks ago.
“That fight [against Golovkin] would put me in a different level training-wise,” Guerrero added. “I just have to stay focused and from there and we’ll put in a plan to take his strengths away.”
In his first bout with Hunter, the versatile southpaw exhibited a much more measured demeanor, flooring Candelo with a one-two in the fourth before finishing his foe two frames later with one of many accurate left hands.
“I think being with Virgil is great because he lets me do what I do best,” Guerrero said. He’s so relaxed, but it’s funny, as soon as he gets in the corner, he’s on point, and [the fight] came out a masterpiece. As long as you do what he tells you, everything goes according to plan.”
The 26-year-old also stated his case on why he would be more deserving of the Golovkin fight than Philadelphia’s Rosado (21-5, 13 KOs), a rising 154-pounder who has looked impressive in his last few outings.
“I’ve fought Rosado before and I beat him,” Guerrero said. “He’s doing good right now, but it’s my time. I’m also a 160-pounder, not a junior middleweight.”
Guerrero already understands the impact of landing a main event on HBO in the “World’s Most Famous Arena.”
“That to me truly is a dream come true fighting on Madison Square Garden and bringing it back to the East Coast. That would tie me down with the Hispanic community there. There’s a Dominican community in New York that would come out. My people in Salisbury would bring up tour buses.
“When I first came to America from the Dominican Republic, New York was actually the first place I went to. I stayed upstate. My older sister lives in Queens. It’s just a perfect fight for me.”
Ryan Maquiñana was the boxing producer for NBCOlympics.com during London 2012 and writes a weekly column for CSNBayArea.com. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Ratings Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at [email protected] , check out his blog at Norcalboxing.net, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.