By Julius Stecker:
Robert Guerrero Deserves a Super Fight
Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (30-1-1) demonstrated once again this past Saturday that he is one of boxing’s best technicians. He jumped 2 weight classes from 135 to 147 to defeat previously undefeated Selcuk Aydin(23-1) for the interim 147 WBC title. It was an extremely gutty and excellent performance by Guerrero.
The Ghost was coming off a 15 month layoff, and he was fighting Ring Magazine’s number 10 rated Welterweight. The last person to jump right from Lightweight (by passing Jr. Welterweight) to take on a top rated Welterweight was Shane Mosley in 1999, when he defeated Wilfredo Rivera. It proved to be a great move for Mosley in 1999, as it led to him getting a fight with Oscar De La Hoya in 2000. Now the question is will it allow Guerrero to get his chance at superstardom? Here is the case for him.
Top Rated in 4 Divisions (Featherweight to Welterweight)
There has been a small uproar of sorts from some pundits and fans against Guerrero’s quest for a mega-fight. And my question to those people is why? There should be no beef about it. If you do an honest review of the numbers and rankings, Guerrero’s numbers and rankings match-up with the best the fight game has to offer. And as a great man once said, “number don’t lie, people do…You may have your opinion, but I have my statistics” For example, in 2007 Robert Guerrero was the Number 2 rated fighter by Ring Magazine at the Featherweight division(126). In 2009 he was the Number 2. Rated fighter at the Jr. Lightweight division(130). In 2011 he was rated Number 2 at Lightweight(135). And now he just defeated the number 10 Welterweight(147) rated contender. And top that off with he is a legitimate 2 division titlist, and if you take into account his interim titles, he has held titles in 4 weight divisions. Titles are watered down in this day in age in boxing. But being ranked in the top 2 in 3 weight divisions is not, and now being in the top 10 in a 4th division. Let’s consider for a second, who else has that sort of resume? You have to look at only the best of the best. There are only 3 fighters who are currently(remember we are only talking current fighters) fighting today at a high level that have comparable numbers. They are Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Juan Manual Marquez. That is it folks. No other current fighters have been rated in the top 10 in 4 different weight divisions. You may say; the Ghost hasn’t fought top level opposition. But that argument is not accurate either. Nobody is arguing he fought the level those 3 all-time greats fought, but he has still fought good competition.
Robert Guerrero has consistently fought tough and diverse competition. He has never been in the ring with a true ‘A’ level opponent. But he has fought top ‘B’ level competition and looked good in the process. I think you have to look at 3 fights in particular to really examine the quality of the Ghost’s opposition. My opinion rolls back to 3 fights in particular. His fights against Malcolm Klassen, Michael Katsidis, and his recent fight against Aydin are examples of Guerrero’s excellence as a fighter. Klassen and Katsidis were considered in the top 5 respectively at 130 and 135 pounds and Guerrero was dominate in each performance. Then you take into account his 2 division jump to beat a highly rated Aydin, which he handled extremely well, with skill, precision, heart and determination.
Some will point to his fight in 2006 against Orlando Salido as a negative. One of which he lost a decision, that was overturned due to a positive steroid test from Salido. But remember he was young, and look at how good Salido is now. Not a bad fight for a young up and coming fighter. No shame there. Of all the fighters under 30 between the weights 130 to 147, Guerrero has probably fought the best opposition.
Now I realize we are talking about boxing. And character seems to take a back seat to entertainment value, ticket sales, marketability, etc. But in the end, character has to count for something. Robert Guerrero is truly what a professional athlete should be all about. His commitment to his wife and family are stuff of legend. One can only imagine the challenges Guerrero and his family faced when his wife was diagnosed with cancer. And for both of them to face it the way they did, and for them to overcome it, is really truly one of the great stories in all of sports. Sometimes stories like this get lost. All we hear about now –a-days are stories about terrible judging, bad decisions, the latest boxer who’s gone broke, etc. Boxing can sometimes be a punch-line in modern sports discussion, no pun intended. And as it continues to be more and more of a niche sport, it are stories like Guerrero’s that need to be publicized, marketed, and supported.
In closing, do I believe Robert Guerrero would be competitive against Mayweather or Pacquiao? Heck, it doesn’t matter what I believe. It matters what a man deserves, it matters what a man earns. Robert Guerrero has undoubtedly paid the price to be an excellent fighter. His resume is a testament to that. Now it is time for him to receive the promise of all the hard work and accomplishment he has earned. The man deserves his big fight against somebody named Mayweather, Marquez, Pacquiao, or Bradley.