By Luis Sandoval
Highly touted contender Fernando Guerrero will be making his 2012 debut as he will take on Jason Naugler in Cancun, Mexico this Saturday night. Guerrero was originally scheduled to fight on the Andre Berto-Victor Ortiz II undercard but luckily for him he was able to quickly find a new date.
Guerrero had a tough year in 2011 when he suffered his first professional defeat to aging veteran Grady Brewer on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. It was an upset nobody saw coming as the then undefeated Guerrero would be stopped in four rounds.
Fernando was on BoxingScene.com’s official audio show The Boxing Lab and spoke about what he learned from that experience.
“Once that happened I just grew so much because it was like wow, things can happen like that huh? It changed my whole life. It changed my whole life completely. And when you lose like that or lose at all, there’s only two things you can do; either give up or quit and quitting is not an option for me” said Guerrero.
For that fight Guerrero, who had been fighting at middleweight, dropped down to 154 and most attest that to the reason he did not perform well and affected him during the fight. He has no plans of ever fighting at 154 again.
“Yeah, I think I’m done with . What’s the reason? I haven’t been at 154 ever since I was like 18 or 19 [years old]. I never had trouble with anybody’s power or anything. I fought people than came down from Super Middleweight. I fought Middleweights and never had problems at all so they got ahead of themselves. All they saw was money signs and said wow, if he can make 154 then let’s do it. But at what cost? Me losing? I don’t want anybody to play and use me as guinea pig” explained Guerrero.
Guerrero has since made a change to his team and is now being trained by long time Joe Goosen assistant Ricky Funez at the Ten Goosen Gym in Van Nuys, CA. The change is one Guerrero is very excited about and feels great being part and training in a gym that has seen the likes of Diego Corrales, Shane Mosley and even most recently Andre Berto.
“It feels like home. It feels like I really belong there. But the only thing is it feels like they were missing another champion. And it seems like I’m going to be the next one, that’s my time. I just don’t want to say ‘Oh, it feels great’. No, it feels like you need another one. So now hopefully, God willing, it will be me”.
This will be Guerrero’s second fight since his loss but don’t expect Guerrero to continue to take tune up fights.
“I think after this fight, I’m ready to get back in the mix. You can only rebuild yourself for so long and I think I’m just ready” expressed Fernando.
You can follow Luis Sandoval on Twitter @Truewest007. You can also tune in to The Boxing Lab, Boxingscene’s official audio show every Tuesday from 6-8PM PST with hosts Ernest Gabion, Luis Sandoval, and Ryan Burton.