By Ryan Maquiñana
Middleweight contender Fernando Guerrero (24-1, 18 KOs) and new trainer Virgil Hunter spoke to BoxingScene.com/CSNBayArea.com ahead of their Fox Sports Net/FUEL TV headliner this Saturday against J.C. Candelo (32-11-4, 21 KOs), at the Humble Civic Center in Humble, Tex.
FERNANDO GUERRERO ON COMPARING HIS HOMETOWN OF SALISBURY, MD., TO LOS ANGELES AND THE BAY AREA:
“It’s inspiring. The whole community there [in Salisbury] still gets behind me whenever I fight. They have dancers and people make bobbleheads. You can’t let them down. It makes you want to make them smile even more.
“[The Bay Area] is way slower than L.A. To be fair, I haven’t really left the training house because I’ve been so focused on camp, but so far, the Bay Area reminds me of my hometown in that way.”
GUERRERO ON WORKING WITH NEW TRAINER VIRGIL HUNTER:
“I’m at a level where [new trainers] are not going to teach me how to box. They’re going to tell me about different mistakes…like don’t pull straight back or things like that. Virgil has a different method to his program, but I liked the structure, and I think it went well.”
GUERRERO ON FIGHTING J.C. CANDELO:
“I saw a little bit of him. He’s got a little bit of juice still. He’s an old veteran, so I have to take him serious and follow instructions. I have to do what I know how to do. If I see an opening to take him out, I have to take it, but if not, just outbox him.”
GUERRERO ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS FIGHT:
“After this one, we’re going to the top. I know what I’ve been doing and how hard I’ve been working here in the Bay Area, and if I keep doing that, there’s nothing that can stop me.”
HUNTER ON GUERRERO:
“Fernando Guerrero is a sensational talent. The first fight is always touch and go. You don’t want to tamper too much. You want to get to know them, make sure they’re in shape, and it’s the right fit, but without a doubt, he’s a future champion in the middleweight division given the proper time to develop.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, check out his blog at Norcalboxing.net, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.