|Big Plans! Interview with Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero
By John Pullman, Doghouse Boxing (June 5, 2009)
Out of all places one can choose to get away from distractions, Los Angeles California does not exactly come to mind. But that is exactly where Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero has set up camp for preparation for his upcoming bout on June 12th in San Jose CA, set to be televised on ESPN 2. Guerrero and his trainer/father Ruben, have been splitting their time between Gio’s Brooklyn Boxing Club in Burbank, where he works on technique and Glendale Fight Club, where he’s been getting quality sparring.
Ruben speaks to me as Robert pounds the heavy bag with straight lefts; “Robert is Sharp. We are getting a lot of good sparring over there at Glendale Fight Club, a lot of tough guys …”
“The Ghost put it on ‘the ghost’ yesterday!” A talkative Robert Guerrero yells out, as he dances around the heavy bag.
An excited trainer/father; Ruben fills me in on the details. Apparently Robert sent one of his sparring partners to the hospital yesterday, who happened to have a similar nickname.
Guerrero’s last fight did not go exactly according to plans; it resulted in a No Contest, after a 2nd round, accidental clash of heads between Guerrero and his opponent Daud Cino Yordan. This time around Ruben is doing everything in his power to make sure his son is absolutely ready. “I had to get him out of Gilroy. There are too many people waiting to distract him up there. Come the week of the fight we are flying straight from here to the hotel in San Jose, no stopping in Gilroy.”
I was able to sit down with Robert to discuss his upcoming bout and his future plans …
John Pullman: So Robert, your June 12th fight is right around the corner, first off, how do you feel, and what do you know about your opponent?
Robert Guerrero: “I feel great. I don’t know much about him. I am pretty much going in blind, on this one. But I am physically and mentally prepared and ready to get it on.”
JP: How do you like your new promotion team?
RG: “I love it! Being with Golden Boy has been a dream come true. They are great! I mean, I am televised on ESPN, HBO … They are really doing a great job.”
JP: How is everything going with the training team? I know it is just you and your dad now?
RG: “Training is going great too. My dad is on me like a pit-bull all the time, so you know I will be ready and in great shape.”
JP: Honestly, when I first met you in person I was shocked to see how big your frame is for 130, let alone 126 or 122, I don’t know how you pulled that off … This will be your third fight at 130, so you have had some time to get acclimated at this weight. How do you feel here?
RG: (All smiles) “I feel great at 130. The weight is easy to make, I feel strong.”
JP: Can we consider this a home for you? Do you plan to stay here long?
RG: “We will see. I mean there are some big fights in this weight and right around it …”
JP: What are your goals in boxing, are you looking for big fights or to unify titles, what is most important to you?
RG: “Well, it has always been a goal of mine to unify titles. My first goal was to win a World Championship and I was able to do that twice. Now, I do want to unify titles at some point. I mean, I just want to be the best in the sport. I want to make history, and for history you do need dancing partners … Look at Corrales/Castillo and Vasquez/Marquez … Great dancing partners, you need those types of fights to bring the best out of each other. There are other young fighters right around me coming up, like Linares and some others … Hopefully we can make some history together.”
JP: Speaking of big fights and big names, I want to ask you about someone you are very familiar with, I know you sparred with this person and from what I hear did very well. So, what are your thoughts on Manny Pacquiao?
RG: “He is doin it. It’s hard not to be impressed with everything he has accomplished. He is a tough fighter that is on top of the world right now. I hope he doesn’t retire soon and sticks around for a while because a fight with Manny would be something I would love to have an opportunity at. When fighting Manny preparation is everything … You saw what happen when Hatton came in face first, hands down, he went down on his back the same way …”
JP: To be only 26 years of age, you have accomplished so much in boxing already. A two time world champion and so on … But you also have gone through a lot of trials and tribulations, in and out of the ring; from Promoter and trainer disputes, to your wife being ill … What motivates “The Ghost?” What keeps you going?
RG: “Family. Just to be a provider. God is great, to have given me the opportunity to do what I love for a living. Not everyone is able to do what they love for a job. I am so grateful to have been doing this since I was nine years old, and been able to provide for my family.”
JP: Now, I understand from speaking with your Dad, that if all goes well on June 12th, you guys have a fight planned in Houston August 22nd, on the same card as Juan Diaz, set to be televised on HBO. Who are you looking to fight on that card? I hear Humberto Soto’s name has been mentioned.
RG: “There has been talk about Soto, there has been talk about a lot of different people … Nothing is set in stone yet. Soto I think is one of the toughest guys at 130. He has multiple title defenses. I think I match up well against him, I think I match up well against the whole division, but Soto would be the fight that I want. I have to take care of business on June 12th first.”
JP: Well Robert, you look great, sharp and ready to go, best of luck to you on June 12th.
RG: “Thank you very much! Everybody tune in to ESPN 2 June 12th... Oh, one more thing; EA Sports fight night 4! I am on there! Check it out!”
Thanks to Robert and Ruben Guerrero for being so gracious with their time.
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