COMMENTARY | Robert Guerrero defeated Andre Berto on Saturday night at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California, in an HBO-televised interim WBC Welterweight title clash.
Guerrero scored a knockdown in each of the first two rounds and then showcased a phenomenal chin and an unending will to win in taking home a Unanimous Decision in a grueling, gritty affair. All three judges scored the fight 116-110 for The Ghost, as he notched the biggest win of his professional career to date.
Berto also showed amazing heart, stamina and toughness in a losing effort. His right eye got grazed by the thumb of Guerrero's glove in the 2nd round, immediately leading to bad swelling and diminishing vision. Soon, both of his eyes were puffy and narrow, but he continued digging in and giving it his all.
It was only thanks to Guerrero's other-worldly chin, and his own innate and unquenchable desire for victory, that he was able to stay up on his feet. If that wasn't amazing enough though, then consider that it was Guerrero, with only two previous fights above the Lightweight limit of 135 pounds, who was more physical than Berto was.
He was able to negate Berto's fantastic hand speed by wading his way inside, and initiating a rough and tumble brawl. Guerrero ate plenty of uppercuts for his trouble, his own right eye getting swollen shut in the process, but consistently outworked Berto, and had more than enough points in the bank from the two early knockdowns to take home the decision victory.
Guerrero is one of those guys who simply finds a way to win fights.
In a pre-fight interview I conducted with him, getting inside and standing forehead to forehead, toe to toe, certainly wasn't his intention. However, he knew what his real strength was heading into this match. He said, "The difference between me and the other southpaws he fought is that they were one dimensional fighters. I bring different dimensions in the ring where I can fight different styles, so that's going to make it even a tougher fight for Berto."
That proved to be prophetic. By adapting his style, and presenting Berto with something different than what he was expecting, he took control of the fight. From there, his physical ability and unending reserve of desire took over, and that was that.
So, has Robert Guerrero earned a shot against Floyd Mayweather? I say that he absolutely has. Why not?
Guerrero has just taken out one of the most respected fighters in the Welterweight division. He has a proven fan base in California, and a growing name thanks to the HBO exposure he has received over his past few bouts. He's young, in his prime, has a phenomenal story, and is a fighter you can't help but root for. He also won and has defended the interim version of the full title that Mayweather holds.
The Ghost, as mentioned, is a fighter who simply finds a way to win fights. He won't be deterred by Mayweather, he'll make him work for every square inch of space that he has in the squared circle. Isn't that what we want to see?
And besides, if you're telling me that Robert Guerrero is going to be a 5-to-1, 6-to-1, or who knows how large of an underdog against anybody, then haven't we learned that it's the ideal time to believe in his chances? I'll take those odds, and I'm firm in my belief that Mayweather vs. Guerrero is now one of the premier fights to make at 147 pounds.
Sources : HBO Boxing, Yahoo! Sports, ProBoxing-Fans.com
Jake Emen runs the boxing news websiteProBoxing-Fans.com, where you can find breaking news stories, interviews, rankings and more. You can also follow Jake and ProBoxing-Fans.com on Twitter,@ProBoxingFans.