Fernando Guerrero Continues Climb, Faces Tough Ossie Duran Next

by James Slater - 22-year-old Fernando Guerrero of Salisbury, Maryland (born in The Dominican Republic) has already earned himself one of the biggest fan bases in boxing when it comes to hot prospects. Every time the talented southpaw has fought in Salisbury, thousands of fans have been in attendance. Now, in moving up in class in his next fight, when he will meet tough guy Ossie Duran of Ghana, Guerrero will be looking to become a contender, as opposed to a prospect..

Sporting a perfect 15-0(13) pro record, the middleweight who has boxed as high as 168-pounds in the recent past once again fights in his hometown of Salisbury. The fight with 32-year-old Duran will be the southpaw's fourth outing this year so far, and the bout will also contest the interim WBO NABO 160-pound title. Can Guerrero become the first man to stop Duran whilst picking up his first pro title at the same time?

Duran, 23-7-2(9) is a durable operator who, despite meeting some of the sport's better names in his thirteen year career, has never once been stopped. Turning pro down at lightweight way back in 1996, Duran went on to face some very good fighters up at light-middleweight. Britain's popular Jamie Moore - like Guerrero a lefty - was stopped in the 3rd-round of a Commonwealth light-middleweight title fight back in June of 2004 (on paper, perhaps Duran's finest pro win, despite Moore's suffering of a hip injury undeniably assisting him in his victory), while James Kirkland and Eromosele Albert were taken the distance in 2007 and 2008, respectively (Albert being held to a draw). The troubled Kirkland later said Duran gave him one of his toughest fights.

Now moving up to full middleweight, Duran will be looking to upset the promising Guerrero. The additional weight he will likely have put on (Duran's highest weight thus far has been 156-pounds) may affect Duran and give the much younger man a considerable edge, but this aside it will be some statement by Guerrero if he can become the first man to stop the man from Ghana who now lives in New Jersey.

Guerrero can certainly punch some though - as his 13 KO's prove. Yes, most of these wins have come against the quality of opposition one would expect any up-and-comer to fight, but there have been a couple of good men in there as well. Gabriel Rosado, for example, was no slouch. Widely out-pointed over 8-rounds after scoring a flash knockdown over Guerrero in the 3rd, the 6'0" 23-year-old went on to beat Kassim Ouma in his next fight (before being mauled by Alfredo Angulo after that). So Guerrero has not exactly been fed a bunch of softies, and he has been extremely active.

Loving the fight game, the exciting 22-year-old will likely prove to be too busy and just too aggressive and hungry for the experienced Duran. Height-wise there is only an inch between the two men (Duran stands an inch taller at 5'10"), but Guerrero is by far the bigger puncher. Also, Duran has had just one fight since his draw with Albert - a loss, to David Lopez in April of this year. Younger, more active and the harder hitter, it will be an upset indeed if Guerrero comes unstuck on October 10th.

Look for a good fight, and a points win for the pacesetting 22-year-old.

Article posted on 24.09.2009

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