By Adam Jarecki, bokser.org
Former champion and current lightweight contender Robert Guerrero (28-1, 18KOs) talks about his career, training and the upcoming fight with Michael Katsidis (27-3, 22KOs), which takes place on the Erik Morales-Marcos Maidana undercard on April 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
How did you first get into the boxing gym and when?
RG: My family has a rich tradition in boxing. When I was nine I used to go to the gym with my dad Ruben Sr. and my older brothers, Ruben Jr. and Victor. They were good amateur boxers. I wanted to be like them.
Could you tell us about some of your amateur achievements?
RG: There were so many, but the one that I remember most was when I made the Olympic trials at the age of 16. I was the youngest ever to qualify for that tournament. My birthday fell on the deadline. I had to fight the #1 ranked guy in the country and I thought I won but they gave him the victory. I decided I didn’t want to stay in the amateurs because of the politics. I turned pro shortly after.
What is, in your opinion, the biggest difference between amateur and professional boxing?
RG: The main difference is there’s no more headgear and the gloves a smaller. That makes a big difference. Some people can’t survive in the pros because they don’t have a good chin. Others fail because they have no power. It’s a very difficult sport in the pros.
What is the greatest and worst memory in your career?
RG: Winning my first world title was incredible. I finally accomplished my childhood dream of becoming a world champion. My worst memory is my first loss. I knew I was better than that performance and it showed in the rematch when I knocked out Gamaliel Diaz in the middle rounds.
Did you have any boxing idols?
RG: I loved watching Oscar coming up. We are both Mexican American born and raised in the USA, so I followed him a lot.
If You could choose any rival what would be your dream fight?
RG: I would love to dethrone Manny Pacquiao. Right now he’s the best fighter in the world and that would be a great fight.
What do You usually do in your spare time, between fights and trainings, do You have any hobbies apart from boxing?
RG: I like fixing up old classic cars. That is one of my hobbies.
Fans recognize You mostly from wars on the ring, aggressive style, what is Robert Guerrero like outside the ring?
RG: I’m a family man. I enjoy hanging with my wife and kids. I’m also a big believer in Jesus Christ.
What is Your biggest motivation? Titles, fame or maybe money?
RG: I want to be a shining light for the Lord and become one of the best fighters ever to put on a pair of gloves.
The biggest plus and minus of being a professional boxer?
RG: I love to put on a great show for the fans. I rank that up at the top. Being away from my family when I leave to camp is the hardest part for me.
Probably the most difficult fight in your career, against Michael Katsidis, is approaching.
RG: I’m ready to get in the ring with Katsidis and give the fans the best performance of my career.
Where and with who will wou be preparing for the fight?
RG: I’m leaving to Las Vegas for training camp this weekend. Not sure who’ll I’ll be working with as of now, but I will know soon.
Both you and Micheal are known from intransigent style. Should we expect a real battle?
RG: This fight will be the fight of the night and a lot of big bombs will be thrown.
If you win this fight, you will be really close to fighting for a third divisional title. Do you think you are ready for this kind of challenge?
RG: With my wife’s cancer gone, my focus on my boxing will be improved. My fans will see a better more focused Guerrero in 2011.