|Robert Guerrero: “I am prepared for whatever Salido brings!”
INTERVIEW By Benny Henderson Jr - A.K.A "Big Dog" (Oct 29, 2006)
This Saturday night November 4th at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, NV on HBO PPV 9:00 PM ET/6:00 PM PT making the first defense of his recently earned IBF featherweight strap Robert ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero 19-1-1 (12) takes on the number one ranked IBF contender Orlando Salido 27-9-2 (18) in a scheduled twelve round IBF featherweight championship clash.
The twenty-three year old native of Gilroy, California, has electrified the 126-pound division going on a tear since debuting five years back banging out show stopping performances. In December of 2004 ‘The Ghost’ stopped Cesar Figueroa in the fourth round to earn himself the NABF featherweight title. Guerrero was on the high road winning sixteen bouts ending nine via knockout when he found defeat for the first time in his career losing out a tough split decision to Mexican scrapper Gamaliel Diaz last December. In true championship form Guerrero avenged his only L on his resume thrashing out a sixth round KO victory against Diaz this past summer.
In his world title bid just this past September, Guerrero dethroned the then IBF featherweight champ Eric Aiken in a brutal eight round throw down, and now the stinging southpaw is set to defend his world championship hardware.
His opponent is a Mexican born former world title challenger who has stopped his last three opponents. But despite Salido’s success and excellent counter punching abilities Guerrero is ready for whatever ‘Siri’ brings to the table come fight night. Robert took time out of his training to give his thoughts on his upcoming bout, enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.: Well, first off before we go any further the last time we spoke you were a contender, now as you are well aware of a deserving champ. I just want to say congratulations on the successful title quest, how did it feel being crowned the IBF featherweight champion?
Robert Guerrero: Thank you, it felt really good, it still feels good.
BH: Now to the business at hand, you are set to square off against Orlando Salido in your first title defense, you had pressure of getting to the title, I would imagine there is pressure to keep it, explain your thoughts on going into this fight defending your world title for the first time?
RG: I am going in there not just as a defending champ but also with the state of mind as a challenger. It just leads you on to bigger things, staying active and sharp by fighting top guys like Salido keeps you on your toes.
BH: What about your opponent, he seems to be a decent fighter who has defeated some creditable opposition, what are your thoughts on Salido?
RG: He is a real tough fighter that comes to fight; I know that he will be coming very prepared.
BH: Can you compare his style to yours, and what type of fighting are you expecting?
RG: I basically have a style to where I can be an inside fighter or an outside fighter, he is more of a counter puncher; it is going to be an interesting fight with him. It all depends on how he comes to fight, I have seen him pressure his opponents as well, so we will find out fight night how he comes to fight, but I am prepared for whatever he brings.
BH: Let’s go back to your victory over Eric Aiken to earn the IBF strap, you had great success with a small set back to the title, but how would you define your journey, and what kept you on the winning path?
RG: You know it was a pretty smooth ride until that first loss, it just crept up out of nowhere. Like I said I just felt that God had a plan for me, it was meant for me to lose that night, it taught me a lot and it brought me back down to where I need to be, and not only to where I needed to be but to recognize who I needed in my corner and what I got to do.
BH: You have developed tremendously since we first spoke a few years back, how much do you feel you have changed not only as a fighter but as a person as well?
RG: I feel that I haven’t changed at all, if anything winning the world title really humbled me some more, just knowing how great the Lord is. Coming off the loss, most people that lose that first loss it takes at least a year or two to get back to that point, I did it within six months and won a world title. It just goes to show everybody how great the Lord is and what He can do in your life if you praise him.
BH; If you could send out a message to your opponent Orlando Salido what would it be?
RG: Just come prepared, take nothing light because I am going to be ready. Come and fight with the best abilities you can fight with.
BH: What can the fans expect from ‘The Ghost’ come fight night?
RG: You can come expect me to fight the way I always do, come out and give it my all, just get out there and do it, I come to fight.
BH: Is there anything you want to add to or say in closing?
RG: I want to thank all the fans for being there and supporting me, like I said earlier in the interview it goes to show you how great God is. I came off a loss and within six months I got a world championship that is unheard of in boxing, like I said it is pure blessings from God.
I would like to thank Mario Serrano for setting up this interview, and a special thanks goes out to Robert Guerrero for his time and thoughts. For more info on 'The Ghost' please visit: www.robertguerrero.com.
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