by Lem Satterfield
BoxingScene.com caught up to southpaw Robert Guerrero on Wednesday for his thoughts on last Saturday night's unanimous decision lightweight victory over Australia's hard-punching Michael Katsidis that earned Guerrero his fourth, and, fifth career title belts over his third weight class.
The 28-year-old Guerrero (29-1-1, 18 knockouts) dominated the 30-year-old Katsidis (27-4, 22 KOs) by winning scores of 117-108, 118-107, and, 118-106, respectively, on the cards of judges Patricia Morse Jarman, C.J. Ross, and, Dave Moretti.
Already a two-time IBF featherweight and one-time IBF super featherweight champion, Guerrero earned the interim WBA and interm WBO crowns and became the mandatory challenger to 37-year-old WBO and WBA king, Juan Manuel Marquez (52-5-1, 38 KOs), who rose from a third-round knockdown to stop Katsidis in the ninth round of their November bout.
Guerrero also discussed the possibilites of facing eight-division king and WBO welterweight titlist Manny Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KOs), six-time champion, Floyd Mayweather (41-0, 25 KOs), WBO and WBC junior welterweight belt-holder Tim Bradley (27-0, 11 KOs), WBA counter part Amir Khan (24-1, 17 KOs), or, WBC welterweight champ, Andre Berto (27-0, 21 KOs).
Guerrero won for the 13th straight time 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.
Katisidis represented the third straight dominanting effort by Guerrero against an A-class rival, coming on the heels of July's unanimous decision over four-time world champion and Cuban Olympic gold medalist Joel Casamayor (37-5-1, 22 KOs), and 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. In victory over the 39-year-old Casamayor, Guerrero rose from a knockdown in the 10th and final round of a bout he won, 98-89, on two judges cards, and, 97-90, on at of the third.
BoxingScene.com spoke to Guerrero during this Q&A.
BoxingScene.com: How would you rate this fight in terms of your overall performances and the heart that you were able to display?
Robert Guerrero: This fight, Michael Katsidis put a lot of pressure on me, and a lot of people say, you know, that pressure bursts pipes. But coming into this fight, I knew that I had to be on it.
I knew that I had to be mentally focused throughout the entire fight, and that I had to stay strong and to stay on my game.
Because Michael Katsidis looks for your weaknesses, and that's where he takes advantage of you the most. Michael Katsidis can either either get you out of there, or, if you allow him to, he can put a savage beating on you.
This fight, right here, it was all about being in great shape and mentally being focused and fresh in the fight. It was a tough fight. I think that this was a great fight for me to show what kind of heart that I have and what kinds of ability that I have.
BoxingScene.com: Was it validating of your overall performance when you heard the wide margin of scoring reflected in the cards of the judges?
RB: Oh yeah, definitely. Coming out, the plan was to come out and to dictate the fight. I wanted win every round, if possible, and to continue to come and to keep the pressure on and to continue to do what I was doing. I wanted to do that all the way through the whole fight.
And it was rewarding to see everybody's scorecards being the way that they were, and to have them appreciate me going out there and giving what I could. It was great to know that they appreciate that I was doing it the way that I was doing it. It lets you know yourself that, hey, Michael Katsidis is one of the toughest guys in boxing, period.
But I went out there and I dominated the fight and stood right there in the middle of the ring with him. You know, toward the end of the fight, I didn't jump on my bicycle and just run away.
I stood right there and stayed on my game. For everybody to see that, I really appreciate it. It's nice. It makes you want to work even harder because you see the improvements in your game and just being out in the training camp.
BoxingScene.com: What does this tell you about your momentum and your progession that this is the third fight in a row, counting the Vicente Escobebo and Joel Casamayor bouts, following which the scoring has been so lopsided in your favor?
RB: It just tells you that nobody has seen the best of Robert Guerrero yet.
BoxingScene.com: Do do you feel that you have transformed into a bonafide crowd-pleaser?
RB: Oh, yeah. To be out there and performing and putting on a spectacular performance for everybody, you know, that's what boxing is about. It's about pleasing the crowd, and it's about the crowd really getting into the fight. It's about having a guy like Michael Katsidis in front of you, where there is no quit.
Katsidis is going to land some punches on you and he's going to keep coming, and that just fires everybody up. The fans that were there and everybody they were really pumped up. They want to see you, more and more.
BoxingScene.com: How much did you weigh in against Michael Katsidis on fight night?
RB: They marked me at 146, but the scale said 152, and, of course, the weight is 135. I think that even though the scale marked me at 152, though, I think that I weighed about 150.
BoxingScene.com: What does that say about your propensity to fight at 140, or, even 147 pounds, against Tim Bradley, Amir Khan, or, even Andre Berto?
RB: I don't think that I'm going to be at lightweight for very long. I mean, as everybody saw, I made weight very easily. I made 134 pounds. But, you know, it has to do with the right dieting and the proper adjustments that you have to make in camp to be ready and to have the proper nutrition for you body.
I've got size, and I've got a 31-inch reach. As everybody saw, I walked in so big into the ring on Saturday night, yet I still had fast hands and feet. So, I am not looking to be at lightweight too long.
I want to keep on going, and, you know, see what happens. Hopefully, I can shoot for the title at 140, 145, or, 147. I want to go up and see what happens. I would love to fight Andre Berto.
I would love to be at 140, but my main goal is to win a world title at 135 as a lightweight there. And, then, move on from there.
Because one thing, I was blessed with a great body and great attributes. If you put them to work the right way and the proper way, then you can do anything. I just feel really blessed. God has really blessed me with a lot of talent. You know, when you're patient, and you put God first, everything is going to fall into place, because he has a plan. When it's his will, it's his will.