3 More Rounds

Guerrero unfazed by underdog tag against Garcia


Sitting in front of a group of media members at the Hollister Boxing and Fitness gym in the rural town of Hollister, Robert Guerrero discussed the necessary changes he made to his training camp in preparation for his upcoming title fight against Danny Garcia on Jan. 23.

“My last fight I didn’t have too good of sparring sessions and didn’t have what we needed,” Guerrero said of his split decision victory over Aron Martinez. “This time around I really sat back after the fight and assessed everything in my training and what I need to do to get back on top,”

The WBC recently announced that Guerrero vs. Garcia would be for the organization’s welterweight title that now sits vacant after the retirement of Floyd Mayweather. Guerrero said while the title being on the line adds extra motivation, it means nothing if he doesn’t win the fight.

“He was the WBC champion at 140 so coming up to 147 it’s like taking his title I guess,” Guerrero said. “I’m excited about it but I still gotta go out there and make that happen. I know Danny Garcia is 100% prepared because when somebody fights me they come extra ready knowing what kind of fighter I am.”

The 32-year-old Guerrero has been in many wars throughout his career but perhaps none were more brutal than his fight with Keith Thurman last March. He picked himself off the campus and even seemed to fight even better after the knockdown, but it was the type of fight that clearly requires a fighter to take some time to recuperate. Guerrero was back in the ring with Aron Martinez just three months after the Thurman fight.

“I came back a little too fast but I’m not gonna use that as an excuse,” Guerrero said. “I just wasn’t 100% prepared for that fight and Martinez came and he did his thing. He fought and worked his butt off in the fight and had a great performance but I sucked it up and got it done. I’m kind of happy with how that fight turned out because it really made me step back and assess my whole training regimen and how I get prepared for fights.”

Robert’s father Ruben Guerrero is often criticized for having such a small stable of fighters. Some believe he is not getting the full potential out of his son, but Robert begs to differ.

“Look at how many world championships I’ve won. My father is doing a tremendous job,” Guerrero said. “If you watch some of my fights he’ll be telling me to do something and I’ll do the complete opposite. He tells me to box a guy and I’m banging with a guy or to bang with a guy and I’m boxing the guy. My father does a great job and we’re gonna show on the 23rd what kind of trainer my father really is.”

Danny Garcia recently said that he thinks he will knock Guerrero out in the fifth round. These types of words are nothing new for the Gilroy fighter.

Photo: Suzanne Teresa/Premier Boxing Champions

Photo: Suzanne Teresa/Premier Boxing Champions

“Everybody says they’re gonna knock me out. It is what it is,” Guerrero said. “I’m coming to fight. It excites me to know that he’s gonna come and try to knock me out.”

Sitting at +500 odds, Guerrero is the clear underdog against the younger, undefeated Garcia. Guerrero realizes this and said that being the underdog is only going to make him stronger.

“Everybody has me as the underdog,” Guerrero said. “A lot of the media is hyped about Danny Garcia and that’s the way it is. I’ve been an underdog my whole life. Since I was a kid my whole family were underdogs. It’s just having your back against that wall makes you fight that much more.”

Though Garcia seems to be everyone’s favorite heading into it, Guerrero says he sees some holes in Garcia’s game that he believes he can exploit after watching Garcia’s fights with Mauricio Herrera, a fight many felt Herrera won, and Zab Judah.

“Herrera did a really good job in that fight. Judges thought different and that’s the way it went,” Guerrero said. “Zab gave him a bit of trouble. Zab took some stuff away from him. Danny got the job done but I think guys like Zab aren’t as crafty as me. He’s quick and got some pop, but it’s predictable.”

Although Garcia has been playing down the Mexico vs. Puerto Rico rivalry throughout the promotion of the fight, Guerrero said it is something he takes pride in.

LA-WKOT-Guerrero“It’s been a rivalry in boxing since before I was even born. It’s one of those things that gets the fans really involved and excited,” Guerrero said. “It’s like watching the World Cup. You’re gonna go for your country and that’s how it is in boxing. It is a big deal and Danny Garcia acts like it isn’t but it is with the fans and that’s the way it’s gonna go down. It’s one of the best rivalries out there. We just saw Canelo-Cotto which was a big rivalry fight and the fans were excited.”

Guerrero even took a shot at Garcia for his spanish-speaking skills.

“Well he doesn’t talk spanish. Maybe he doesn’t communicate with them (Puerto Rican fans) very well because of that,” Guerrero said. “He’s playing that politcally correct card where he wants to just be for everybody and that’s the way he wants to roll.”

While he is still doing his intense Crossfit training, Guerrero said he has gone back to the more traditional style of training that helped him win world titles in multiple weight classes.

“For me it wasn’t really making adjustments in my style. It was more making adjustments in my training regimen and bringing in better sparring,” Guerrero said. “Going throwback to the way I used to train for fights. I was kind of falling off of what I need to do to get ready. It’s just a matter of doing everyting right and the proper way. I think I did that for this fight.”

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