By Ryan Maquiñana
After hearing Amir “King” Khan’s declaration yesterday about never having backed out of a fight, WBA/WBO interim lightweight champion Robert Guerrero took exception to the unified junior welterweight titlist’s comments.
“It’s just like I always say, look at his name. He’s a con artist,” Guerrero told BoxingScene.com. “He says one thing and does the other, like the time he backed out of a fight with me.”
Khan addressed the media during a conference call yesterday leading up to his Dec. 10 title defense against Lamont Peterson, and one of the questions pertained to whether he would be open to fighting Guerrero down the line.
The 140-pound kingpin replied by saying he has “never shied away from any fight” and if a meeting with Guerrero were “worth staying in the 140-pound division and it makes sense,” that he would consider it.
“The Ghost” dismissed Khan’s answer, referring to a May article in the Manchester Evening News where the Englishman stated, “Guerrero and Judah’s names have come up. For me Guerrero is a better fight than Judah because Zab’s a runner.”
Khan eventually chose Judah, stopping the former two-weight world champ in five rounds, and Guerrero won’t let him forget it.
“He said he would rather fight Guerrero than Judah because Judah’s a runner, and Guerrero comes to fight,” the three-weight world titleholder said of Khan. “I jumped at the opportunity to make it happen, and look what he did. He picks Judah and talks him up like he’s the top guy in the division, and he destroys him, so come on.”
Khan also irked Guerrero when he asserted on Twitter back in August that Marcos Maidana “paid Guerrero [with] step aside money.” In fact, Guerrero had to pull out of the meeting with Maidana because he had injured his left shoulder in sparring a week before the fight .
While Khan would later apologize, saying that he was only “messing around,” Guerrero still bristles at the words.
“He runs his mouth a lot, so we can take it to the streets if you want,” Guerrero said of Khan. “We can do it in the ring. We can do it at [Khan’s training headquarters of the] Wild Card [Boxing Club] with the doors closed. We can do it anywhere.
“Him saying that I got paid off? Everyone knows what type of guy I am. I take the best fights that come my way, instead of what he does, which is pick and choose who he fights. Don’t call somebody out and do another thing. Come on.”
Guerrero continued to question Khan’s decision to fight Judah, even appealing to the business side of the sport since both men are under the Golden Boy umbrella.
“Let me ask you a question,” he said. “Is it easier to do a fight between two Golden Boy fighters, or to do it with Main Events? It’s obviously easier to do it in-house, but that’s not what he did. We can do it at 147 [pounds] if it makes him feel better.
“[Khan] just needs to fight a young, tough Mexican like me. Look what happened with Prince Naseem [Hamed] and [Marco Antonio] Barrera. He put a beating on him and made him retire. Fight a young, tough Mexican fighter. See what happens.”
Guerrero informed BoxingScene that his recovery with San Francisco-based specialist Lisa Giannone of Active Care is ahead of schedule, and that he would return to full strength by January looking to campaign at welterweight.
Ryan Maquiñana is the boxing correspondent at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America, and Ring Magazine’s Ratings Advisory Panel. E-mail him at [email protected], check out his blog at www.maqdown.com or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.