By Francisco Salazar
Is Robert Guerrero considered one of the most talented, yet underrated, fighters in boxing today?
Would a victory over Andre Berto tonight land him a date against Floyd Mayweather?
How could Guerrero, who has only stopped one of his last six opponents he has faced, claim he can knock out Berto?
There are a number of questions that surround Guerrero in his upcoming bout against Berto. Which makes it an intriguing fight whether you are a “Ghost” fan, a Berto fan, or a fan of boxing.
Would the same amount of question yield the same amount of answers after tonight when either Guerrero or Berto have their arm raised in victory. Possibly. But Guerrero thinks that he has more solutions and could be the answer as to who could be considered the top fighter in the welterweight division, which could result in that long-awaited fight with Mayweather.
Guerrero and Berto clash in a scheduled 12 round bout tonight at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, CA. The bout will headline a Golden Boy Promotions card, in association with DiBella Entertainment.
The bout, along with the 10 round welterweight bout between Carlos Quintana and Keith Thurman, will be televised on HBO’s “World Championship Boxing.”
Guerrero (30-1-1 1NC, 18 KOs), from Gilroy, CA, surprised some boxing experts by not only jumping two weight classes, but by winning a hard-fought 12 round unanimous decision over Selcuk Aydin in his last fight on July 28th. Although Guerrero slowed down in the second half of the fight, he was able to withstand Aydin late-round pressure to win the WBC interim welterweight title.
Quite a few boxing experts predict that Berto’s strength and athleticism may be too much for Guerrero. That Andre Berto has more intangibles than Aydin, including being a better boxer with more power.
However, Guerrero is predicting that he has the right game plan and perseverance to defeat Berto. Not only is Guerrero predicting that he would defeat Berto, but that he will knock him out.
Far stretch, you may ask? Not to Guerrero.
“It’s the fact that I believe in myself and my ability,” Guerrero told Boxingscene.com last week. “I know that he can be knocked out.”
Guerrero may have referred to Berto being dropped twice in his April 2011 fight against Victor Ortiz, a fight Berto ended up losing.
Despite not being a good inside fighter something that was exposed more in the Ortiz fight, Berto does have power in both hands. Berto has also fought most of his career t 147 pounds, making some boxing writers and fans wonder if Guerrero is biting off more than he could chew.
However, Guerrero is eager to accept hard challenges and a fight with Berto is the toughest challenge thus far. With a probability that a victory over Berto could open the door for a possible Mayweather fight, Guerrero is willing to fight those that some may avoid.
However, according to Guerrero, it was hard enough for Guerrero to find an opponent within the last year and a half.
“When I fought Seljuk (Aydin), it was one of my biggest fights. I took that fight because of what 147 pounds offers me. I want the biggest fights out there, even though there are some fighters that don’t want to fight me.”
Although Guerrero has surprised some people with his bravado and aggressive play of words prior to the Berto fight, he still remains humble. Whether it was his wife battling and overcoming cancer or the strong religious beliefs, Guerrero remains very humble.
Guerrero may not put emphasis on becoming a household name, but he would gain greater satisfaction that he name is associated with being a good role model for today’s youth.
With an attitude of “always being motivated,” Guerrero lusts to be the best fighter he could be, even if there are a lot of talented fighters at 147 pounds. His drive and resolve speak volumes accompanied with appreciating the gifts he has in life.
“I never forget where I came from. My belief in God is part of the reason why I remain humble and to be the person I am. It’s amazing to know that I’m blessed of what I have and it’s allowed me to continue to grow.”
Guerrero is one of a trio of fighters who represent the Bay area of Northern California. Just as he wants to represent what is good in boxing and who his character is, Guerrero also takes pride in representing Northern California.
Along with Andre Ward and Nonito Donaire, Guerrero believes it is an honor to be a part of an eclectic group of world champion boxers.
“It really is an honor to be in that position to share with two great gentlemen. The fact that they’re also humble speaks volumes about them as well.”
Humbling is good outside of the ring. Add that to the motivation and hard work inside the ring and it could be a winning combination for Guerrero. Although Berto does present a daunting task for Guerrero tonight, he is willing to accept that challenge. Especially with a possible clash with Mayweather or a seven-figure payday as well.
If there were ever a statement to be made on Saturday, Guerrero could be that one person to do it. Not to say that Berto could not also have his arm raised in victory after the fight. And a victory by Berto could also land him a Mayweather fight and further clear his name being tied to performance-enhancing drugs from earlier this year.
However, Guerrero does not want to leave any question or doubt in the ring tonight. It would not humbling whatsoever. Not by a long shot.