By Felipe Leon
Despite the bleakness of 2008, from the unexpected illness of his wife to his sitting out most of the year because of legal issues with his former promoter, elite super featherweight Robert “Ghost” Guerrero (23-1-1, 16KO) of Gilroy, CA, sees a much different 2009. “I see a very bright year. It has been a big weight off my shoulders knowing that my wife’s health is better. Now I can focus one hundred percent on boxing, I got a new contract with Golden Boy Promotions so I am looking to having a great 2009.” His next step towards the brightness comes this Saturday night as he takes on undefeated Indonesian Daud Cino Yordan (23-0, 17KO) at HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA and showcased on HBO’s Boxing After Dark along Victor Ortiz and James Kirkland.
“This is the perfect time for this fight card. HBO is showcasing the up and coming elite fighters that are going to carry boxing in the future,” Guerrero says enthusiastically about his upcoming bout. “I am really excited to fight in San Jose. Gilroy is only ten minutes away so it is almost like fighting in Gilroy. It feels good to bring a fight like this to San Jose, to the bay area.”
Guerrero first fight this year and in fact his first fight in eleven months was as the semi main event on the Mosley-Margarito card six weeks ago where he stopped grizzly Mexican veteran Edel Ruiz in 43 seconds of the first round of a scheduled ten.
“Just want to get back in the game because of last year. My last fight was 43 seconds, I left the ring uninjured so why not get back in there?”
But after the longest time off in his career, Guerrero in hindsight wished his fight against Ruiz would of gone a little longer: “Yeah, it would have been nice if it could of gone a couple of rounds and then gotten the knock out. I connected with a great body shot and that’s all she wrote so we made it happen. The best part of the night was being able to fight in front of 20,000 fans, it was an electrifying crowd and it allowed me to gain the experience of fighting in front of that many people. It helped me get prepared.”
Although it will be difficult for this Saturday’s crowd at HP Pavilion to rival the size of his last, it will be easy to believe that it might match its intensity since the southpaw Guerrero will be fighting so near his hometown for the first time since he defended his IBF featherweight title with a 8th round TKO over Jason Litzau in Lemoore, CA early last year.
“Everybody I run into is very excited to watch the fight, either on TV or at the venue so its good to know that the fans are there.”
Guerrero’s fans should be in for a treat since a complicated fight is expected for the twenty five year old two time champion. Yordan, 21, a virtual unknown in the United States, carries a 74% KO ratio while fighting his entire 23 fight career in his home country except a majority decision over Antonio Meza over eight rounds back in September ’08.
“This is a tough fight not knowing much about him. I got one fight of his on video, the only one he has fought in the U.S., so it is hard to come up with a solid game plan. A lot of my fights have been televised so he has more material to prepare with but I think that point is going to make it into an interesting fight.”
So after an almost year lay off and a contest earlier this year where Guerrero hardly broke a sweat, is an undefeated hard hitting unknown fighter the best choice to go against on Guerrero’s biggest stage to date?
“I want to get in the ring with good fighters not guy that are just going to lay down. I want guys that have solid good records. It is a gamble but that is how you get better in boxing, by fighting good fighters.”
“Little bit of time off, relax and then fight again in about three or four months so we can stay on the ball,” Guerrero states regarding the fast pace of his career this year but the “Ghost” has one fighter in mind that he would love to close out the year against. “Humberto Soto, the WBC champion is who I would like to make a run at.”
For information on the San Diego/Tijuana region, please visit www.SDFights.com