By Miguel Maravilla
Photos: Big Joe Miranda
WBC interim welterweight champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (30-1-1, 18 KOs) and former two-time world champion Andre Berto (28-1, 22KOs) faced off Tuesday afternoon at the J.W Marriot Hotel at L.A Live in downtown Los Angeles at the final press conference for their welterweight title fight on Saturday at the Citizen’s Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California.
Starting it off at Tuesday’s press conference was the Golden Boy Oscar de la Hoya welcoming everyone in attendance as we are days away from Thanksgiving and fight night. “This is a special treat we have special fighters who will put everything on the line this event will be an exciting event,” De la Hoya said.
“It has been a long time coming. We have been going through a lot of trials and tribulations,” Berto said. “I am excited. I have had a tremendous training camp. I’m in the best shape in my life. I am focused. I want to thank the Guerrero team for taking the fight. I have nothing but respect for him for what he has been through with his wife. He’s a tough opponent. I know he’ll come to fight. Now it’s time to go in and have fun. Make sure to tune in Saturday night. We will go in and have some fun!”
The champion Robert Guerrero was brief, welcoming everyone in attendance, thanking Team Berto, and saying “There is nothing to say. It’s time to fight. I’m ready to go. I’m excited for this fight. We’re going to take care of business come November 24. We are ready.”
The press conference concluded with a special message before the fighters posed for cameras. “Eat your turkey, your gravy, gobble, gobble, gobble, have a Happy Thanksgiving, Saturday night we have a fight,” De la Hoya said.
“I am anxious to return and definitely want that title back. That’s why I have been putting the work,” Berto told Fightnews.com. “Everyone make sure you enjoy your turkey day and after you get full, definitely tune in Saturday night.”
Guerrero told us, “Moving up two weights is like going to Disneyland compared to what I have seen and experienced with my wife outside the ring. Boxing is nothing. It’s a privilege compared to what I have gone through, so that’s why I say it’s like going to Disneyland.”
“Things like that prepare you mentally strong and that’s a big key for boxing. The main focus is the fight with Berto and there is going to be those haters when I beat Berto first thing they will say is ‘he was out a year’ or ‘ring rusted.’
“I’m excited fighting thanksgiving weekend. It’s almost like the Dallas Cowboys playing on Thanksgiving Day so not only will there be football, but on the weekend there will be boxing so tune in.”
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Also at Tuesday’s press conference were welterweights Keith “One Time” Thurman (18-0, 17 KOs) and former world champion Carlos “Indio” Quintana (29-3, 23 KOs). Their fight will co-headline Saturday night on HBO World Championship Boxing.
“This is a 50/50 fight, a toss of a coin type of fight. On one side you have the guy that has the experience going into this fight on the other side you have the up and coming guy,” De la Hoya said.
Quintana stated, “I am very happy to be here fighting on HBO and especially at this weight. I am undefeated at this division I feel good and strong. I expect a difficult fight from my opponent. I know he is young and strong but come Saturday we will be victorious….after I win on Saturday, May 4th unless Cotto gets in my way I want Canelo Alvarez.”
Thurman commented, “I am really living the dream. This is where I want to be on HBO. This fight is a great fight we both have the desire to win. Carlos has already been a champion once….I am ready to represent and do my thing ‘one time.’ He’s looking forward to taking care of his business and doing his thing. That’s what I want to hear, confidence. I don’t want to fight someone with fear. Come out and show your support there will be plenty of action. Don’t blink. If you have to go to the bathroom try to hold it!”
Also in action Saturday night at the Citizens Bank Arena in the preliminary card will be prospects Jr. Middleweight Jermell Charlo (18-0, 9KOs) of Houston, Texas as well as Coachella bantamweight Randy Caballero (16-0, 8KOs) and 2012 U.S. Olympian Heavyweight Dominic Breazeale (1-0, 1 KO).
Follow me on Twitter @MigMaravilla