Chants of ‘Guerrero! Guerrero!’, were heard throughout the mostly filled Citizens Business Bank on the HBO Championship Boxing card in Ontario, California on Saturday night, as Robert ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero’ defended his portion of the WBC welterweight title against Andre Berto in an exciting fight that had the fans on their feet with a unanimous decision victory on a warm November night in Southern California.
“I had to fight him on the inside….he’s (Berto) a tough guy but I have a good chin,“ said Guerrero.
“I can’t be beat, I’m unstoppable.”
A perfectly timed left hand opened up Berto and sent him to the canvas from follow up left hands in the first, and in the second, another left hand sent down Berto, who was then cut and bruised on the right eye.
Berto (28-2, 22KO) tried to grab and hold instead of finding some offense of his own, and fought through a shoulder roll stance, and was mildly effective in the fourth round with a combination. However, Guerrero showed a tough set of whiskers and kept his hands body throughout the night and was racking up rounds.
Berto was warned for rabbit punching in the fifth frame and scored with right hands in the sixth in what may have been Berto’s first victory in a round, but Guerrero kept bulling inside and being the aggressor of the two.
The seventh round was a seesaw battle with Berto fighting off the ropes and scoring with uppercuts and Guerrero leaning on Berto and willingly trading on the inside, which lead to the night’s highest drama up to that point.
In the following rounds, Berto began to make Guerrero’s left eye swell with left hand hooks and uppercut, which raised the already high drama and the crowd started to chant ‘Berto, Berto’ in appreciation of the Florida native fighting through a closed right eye and trading with his opponent.
With the fight seemingly in the balance, the eleventh and twelfth rounds were trade fests with more on the ropes trading from the two fighters, and an ending with Guerrero, (31-1-1, 18KO) almost scoring the knockout but still ending up with the unanimous decision win at 116-110 across the board and keeping a hold on his piece of the WBC 147 pound belt.
SEMI MAIN EVENT
A left hand to the body downed veteran Carlos Quintana near the end of the first round and a fourth round referee stoppage via TKO in the night’s semi-main event, which turned out to be another ‘Thurman show’ in what was Thurman’s 18th career knockout in 19 career fights.
Thurman (19-0, 18KO) was looking to land heavy early, which the Clearwater, Florida native did so with much success against Quintana, who was able to survive the first knockdown from a wicked body punch, but ‘El Indio’ was never the same following the knockdown, but still gave a valiant, veteran effort before the bout was stopped by the referee midway through the fourth round.
“I thought that might be it (with the first round knockdown). I was almost gonna’ do a little dance”, said Thurman, who threw 170 total punches with 57 connects for a 34% land percentage.
Speaking on Quintana, Thurman was gracious. “He’s a true warrior, and he didn’t want to end his career like that. I knew he didn’t like body shots from watching (his last fight) with Quintana.”
Coachella Valley featherweight Randy Caballero used right hooks to the body and left hooks to the head to punish and eventually stop gritty veteran Rigoberto Casillas after three punishing rounds in his first fight under the HBO lights.
Caballero, (17-0, 9KO) lead the whole fight and was very impressive in beating the tough journeyman, who despite fielding a multitude of answered punches, did not leave his feet, with no knockdowns scored in the fight.
Houston, Texas junior middleweight Jermell Charlo scored a unanimous decision victory by the scores of 100-89, 99-90 and 98-91 after ten one sided, but uneventful affair that lead into the nights semi-main event against Dashon Johnson.
Olympic heavyweight Dominic Breazeale scored four knockdowns in his second career bout against Mike Bissett in a fight that was stopped after the last scored knockdown by referee David Denkin at 1:17.
Breazeale, (2-0, 2KO) last fought on November 9, a first round knockout and it was impressive and a good sign that only 15 days later the 2012 Olympian chose to step into the ring again.
“I love doing it,” said Breazeale when talking exclusively to 3MR. “I wish I could do it more often! I love what my management, Al Haymon (who made a rare ringside appearance), and my promoter Golden Boy Promotions are doing with my career.”
IN THE CROWD
- WBC titlists Abner Mares, Ponce De Leon and Adrien Broner.
- Contenders Josesito Lopez, Marcos Maidana, BJ Flores and Gennady Golovkin.
- Heavyweight Chris Arreola.
- Music artist Baby Bash and radio D-jay Tattoo.