By Lem Satterfield
Thursday's MRI examination of southpaw Robert Guerrero's injured left hand revealed no breaks or severe damage as a result of Saturday night's one-sided yet action-packed, lightweight victory over Australia's hard-punching Michael Katsidis for the vacant WBO and WBO interim titles at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, according to Guerrero's publicist, Mario Serrano.
"Robert's hand is good, and there is nothing broken," said Serrano, of Team Guerrero's MJS Public Relations. "Robert just has to stay off of it a little bit, but everything looks good."
The 28-year-old Guerrero (29-1-1, 18 knockouts) told BoxingScene.com on Wednesday that he believed that he injured his hand during 11th round of his 12-round rout of the 30-year-old Katsidis (27-4, 22 KOs), against whom Guerrero earned his fourth, and, fifth career title belts in his third different weight class.
"It's the left hand. It feels good. I go tomorrow and get an MRI on it," said Guerrero, who entered the Katsidis bout already as a two-time IBF featherweight and one-time IBF super featherweight champion. "But we've taken some X-rays and there is nothing broken in it. It started to hurt in the 11th round, when I nailed him with a shot on the head."
Guerrero had an advantage of 429-to-108 advantage in overall punches connected, including 365 of those being landed on Katsidis' head.
"I don't know if I hit him on the top of the head, or somewhere else on his head, but it was definitely on the head," said Guerrero. "It just comes down to seeing what the MRI says, even though it feels great. It's a little bit swollen, but other than that, it feels good."
A nearly 5-foot-9, 28-year-old southpaw from Gilroy, Calif., the rangy Guerrero, nevertheless, continued to engage and pummel the muscular and stocky, 5-7 Katsidis over the final two rounds, ramming his hard, straight left home, even as he often stepped in behind it to more potently re-enforce its powerful delivery.
Guerrero's head blows were comprised of 166 to the chin, 144 to the right side of Katsidis' head, and, another 55 to the left side, according to CompuBox statics.
"When I first felt the pain, it had landed solidly, and I could feel that it started to hurt a little bit," said Guerrero. "But you're already at the end of the fight, so you just keep on going. So I just kept on throwing it."
Guerrero won by scores that were reflective of a near-shutout, being 117-108, 118-107, and, 118-106, respectively, on the cards of judges Patricia Morse Jarman, C.J. Ross, and, Dave Moretti.
Guerrero earned his 13th straight win during a run that includes nine stoppages, having last suffered defeat by a December, 2005 split-decision to Gamaliel Diaz, whom Guerrero stopped in the sixth round of their June, 2006 rematch.
The injury, however, marked the second straight time during which Guerrero had suffered a problem in his left hand, as a similar ailment also surfaced during Guerrero's previous bout, November's unanimous decision over Vicente Escobedo (22-3, 14 KOs).
Guerrero scored two knockdowns during his rout of Escobedo, which he won, 100-90, 98-90, and, 96-92.
"It was the same hand, but it was in a different spot. With the Escobedo fight, I hurt it in the ligaments. I bruised the ligaments up right in the wrist, where the metacarpals are," said Guerrero.
"That's where I hurt it at the last time, against Escobedo," said Guerrero. "But this time, against Katsidis, it's more toward the side of my hand where my pinky is at. Right in that area. It's just really, really sore, but it should be fine."