The upcoming showdown with Victor Ortiz comes right on time for Robert Guerrero, even if the bout was nearly a decade in the making.
A clash of former titlists graces the undercard of a Fox Sports Pay-Per-View this weekend, as Guerrero and Ortiz collide in a scheduled ten-round welterweight contest this Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It’s the first fight in nearly two years for Guerrero (36-6-1, 20KOs), though one of a small handful that he has envisioned over the course of the past ten or so years.
“Once I got to 147 pounds, that’s when I wanted to fight Victor Ortiz,” Guerrero told BoxingScene.com. “Me and Victor Ortiz, we’ve been friends for a very long time. We still are friends but business is business. It’s a sport and we have to take care of business.
“We were both at welterweight and I thought on a crash course but it never happened. It’s finally here now.”
The bout is the first for the 38-year-old Guerrero—from Gilroy, California who trains out of Las Vegas—since a ten-round decision over Gerald Thomas in September 2019, extending his current three-fight win streak since returning to the ring in December 2018. Ortiz (32-6-3, 25KOs)—a former welterweight titlist—has not fought since a February 2018 draw with Devon Alexander, having spent more than two years in court battling felony charges which were ultimately dismissed last December.
Efforts to since get the two in the ring were stalled due to the ongoing pandemic, with event handlers searching for the right setting to stage the bout between southpaws in the twilight of their respective careers.
“There has been talks about me and Victor Ortiz throughout Covid,” notes Guerrero, a former featherweight and junior lightweight titlist who also held interim belts at 140- and 147-pounds. “Finally, we were able to make the fight, and on a big card like this. It’s a big chance for Victor and I to showcase on the undercard. It’s a fight we’ve been eyeing for quite some time and now it’s finally here.”
Guerrero insists to be in a better place than the version who suffered five losses in seven fights, including a stunning second-round knockout to then-unbeaten Omar Figueroa Jr. in July 2017 before shortly announcing his retirement. Nearly seventeen months later began the comeback tour, which he plans to extend beyond this weekend.
“The winner of this fight goes on to bigger and better things. It’s almost like a world championship fight,” insists Guerrero. “Whatever happens August 21st is going to determine the outcome of our careers.”
Guerrero-Ortiz serves in supporting capacity to the scheduled twelve-round welterweight title fight between reigning WBA titlist Yordenis Ugas (26-4, 12KOs) and former eight-division champ Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39KOs).
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox