'ShoBox: The New Generation' to Feature Featherweight Showdown
24.05.04 - Inside the ring this "Ghost" is anything but friendly. He does not disappear in the blink of an eye. Simply put, this Ghost figures to be a prominent fixture in the featherweight division for a long time. Unbeaten Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero (12-0-1, 5 KOs) seemingly has it all. However, on Thursday, June 3, he will face the stiffest challenge of his career when he takes on former world champion Enrique Sanchez in a key 10-round bout on the SHOWTIME boxing series, "ShoBox: The New Generation," at 11 p.m. ET/PT*. In the 12-round co-feature from the Chinook Winds Casino and Convention Center in Lincoln City, Oregon, former world title challenger Juan Carlos "Ranchero" Ramirez (33-5, 13 KOs) will defend his North American Boxing Federation (NABF) featherweight crown against Jorge Martinez (10-1-1, 1 KO). Goossen Tutor Promotions will stage the doubleheader. The telecast represents the 44th in the popular "ShoBox" series, which debuted on SHOWTIME in July 2001.
Article posted on 24.05.2004
"Sanchez is a dangerous opponent, but I will fight anybody," the fast rising, 21-year-old Guerrero said. "To be the best, you have to fight the best. That is how I feel about it. I want to fight them all."
The "Ghost" story began when Guerrero was nine years old.
"I followed in the footsteps of most of the other men in my family and became a fighter," the rangy 5-foot-10-inch whiz kid said. "My grandfather was a pro fighter. He was more of a club fighter and did not have that many fights. My dad carried it on, as did my uncles. I have just taken it to the next level."
With his virtually impenetrable defense and lightning-fast hands, "The Ghost" has left more than a few of his opponents looking and feeling like they have just seen an apparition of some kind.
"I got my nickname when I was a kid," said Guerrero, who hails from Gilroy, the garlic capital of California. "I am really light-skinned compared to my brothers and very fast. I would be sparring, throwing these real quick combinations. Then I would side step and be on the other side of my sparring partner, hitting him from that angle, and then side step again and land more punches. Everyone would say, 'This kid is like a ghost. You cannot catch him. You cannot see him. One second, he is hitting you from over there, the next he is hitting you over here, just like a ghost.' So, they kept calling me 'Ghost,' and it just stuck."
Guerrero, who always possessed a unique poise well beyond his years, had a spectacular amateur career. He won numerous titles, including the national Junior Olympics at age 15. He was the youngest competitor at the 2000 United States Olympic trials. Guerrero, who turned 16 on the day of the deadline, lost to eventual Olympic Games bronze medallist and then 21-year-old, Clarence Vinson.
The aggressive-minded southpaw slugger has not come close to losing since turning pro at 18 with a four-round decision over Alex Ramirez on April 22, 2001.
On March 14, 2004, he suffered the only blemish on his professional record when a fight with Julian Rodriguez ended in a controversial first-round technical draw.
Guerrero landed the only clear solid blow of the fight, a grazing punch to the shoulder followed by a shot to the upper part of Rodriguez's rib cage, which sent the boxer to the canvas. While down, Rodriguez began holding his head. After more than two minutes, Rodriguez got up on shaky legs. Shortly thereafter, the referee halted the proceedings and declared the match a technical draw.
A formal request has been sent to the California State Athletic Commission by promoter Dan Goossen to reverse the decision to a TKO victory for Guerrero. The protest was filed based on the fact that the referee ruled the shoulder/rabbit punch was unintentional. According to California rules, a rabbit punch is only a foul if delivered deliberately. The commission will make a decision on May 26, 2004.
"Look out for me, I am coming," Guerrero said. "My fire is lit, and I am coming to burn down everything in my path."
Standing in Guerrero's immediate way is the would-be "Ghostbuster," Sanchez, a proud, determined southpaw from Mexico City, who captured the World Boxing Association (WBA) 122-pound title with a 12-round decision over Rafael Del Valle on Feb. 8, 1998.
Sanchez dropped Del Valle in the fourth en route to winning 117-111, 116-111 and 117-113. In his first defense on Dec. 12, 1998, Sanchez lost to Nestor Garza on a close 12-round nod. Sanchez' other loss came on a sixth-round TKO to then-126-pound world champ Marco Antonio Barrera on Aug. 8, 2001. Sanchez, who whipped Barrera in the amateurs, fought to a sixth-round technical draw with Jorge Martinez in his last start on Oct. 7, 2003.
Ramirez, of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, has won four consecutive contests, and 10 out of his past 11. The defeat came when he lost by fourth-round TKO to then-WBA/World Boxing Organization (WBO) 130-pound champion Acelino "Popo" Freitas March 15, 2003, on SHOWTIME.
In a thrilling slugfest, the gallant challenger got credit for a knockdown in the second, but went down twice himself in the third. The referee stopped the brawl 19 seconds into the fourth. Ramirez, who earned the NABF featherweight belt with a 12-round decision over Hector Marquez on June 13, 2003, is coming off a 10-round split decision victory over former world champion Cesar Soto on Feb. 27, 2004.
Including Soto, Ramirez has fought eight current or former world champions in his career. Three of his losses came in world title fights to Freitas, Erik Morales and Luisito Espinoza. In 2002, Sanchez defeated ex-world champs Jesus Salud, Hector Acero-Sanchez and Soto.
Martinez, of Escondido, Calif., has fought once since his fight with Sanchez, winning an eight-round split decision on April 24, 2004, over Edel Ruiz by the scores 76-75 twice and 74-77. Martinez led Sanchez on two of the scorecards (59-56 and 58-56) and was even on the other (57-57) when their bout was stopped. An up-and-coming featherweight prospect, Martinez turned pro at age 20 with a four-round majority decision over Ulises Pena on Feb. 15, 2001. He lost his third start when Juan Ruiz outpointed him across five rounds on April 13, 2001. Since that setback, Martinez has gone unbeaten (8-0-1).
"ShoBox: The New Generation" features up-and-coming prospects determined to make a mark and eventually fight for a chance at a world title. The best of the new generation of hungry, young boxers will have an opportunity to showcase their talent and heart as they battle each other in competitive fights in front of a national television audience. "ShoBox: The New Generation" is pure, basic boxing, reminiscent of the golden days of the sport.
Nick Charles will call the action from ringside, with Steve Farhood serving as expert analyst. The executive producer of the telecast is Gordon Hall, with Richard Gaughan producing.
For information on "ShoBox: The New Generation" and SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecasts, including complete fighter bios, records, related stories and more, please go the SHOWTIME website at http://www.sho.com/boxing.
The Chinook Winds Casino and Convention Center in Lincoln City, OR is home to many activities and attractions. Chinook Winds Casino offers the largest convention center on the Oregon Coast. With the Pacific Ocean as the backdrop and more than seven-and-one-half miles of beach access in Lincoln City, a business trip to Chinook Winds Casino will not be all business.
*Tape Delayed on the West Coast
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