Robert Guerrero has persevered despite the bumps, bruises, cuts and hand injuries suffered in the ring, and the cancer-related illness of his wife, Casey, outside of it
When Robert Guerrero injured his left hand during training camp before his victory over Malcolm Klassen to win the IBF junior lightweight title in 2009, he nevertheless persevered due to his warrior spirit.
"Against Malcolm Klassen, I went into that fight with an injured hand, and he's one of the toughest guys out there, even though I don't think that his name is not recognized the way that it should be," said Guerrero.
"Being in camp, I injured the hand, but I had to go out and do what I had to do. Work my jab, work combinations, and I even through the left hand in the fight."
The same could be said of Guerrero's 10-round, unanimous decision victory over Vicente Escobedo in November, when the southpaw switched into boxing mode after re-injuring that same fist as a result of whacking Escobedo on the head in the seventh round.
Guerrero scored knockdowns in the third, and, sixth rounds against Escobedo of Woodland, Calif., on the way to winning 100-90, 98-90, and, 96-92.
"When you get cut, or injured, you get cut or injured, but that's got to be the last thing on your mind. Of course, it's there, it's bleeding. Or if you get butted, you're swelling. You've got to be able to be mentally strong and you've got to be able to overcome, said Guerrero.
"It's about having that heart and that will to win where you're not going to let nothing stop you, whether it's a low blow, or a head butt, or punches behind the head or elbows."
That'S the mentality that will accompany the 28-year-old Guerrero (29-1-1, 18 KOs) into his junior welterweight debut opposite hard-punching Marcos Maidana (30-2, 27 KOs) of Argentina, during which the Gilroy, Calif., resident will pursue his 14th straight victory and his 10th knockout during that run.
"It's just like life, you're going to have bumps in the road and you've got to able to overcome whatever is put in front of you," said Guerrero, a former two-time IBF featherweight and one-time IBF super featherweight titlist.
"Whatever it is, you've just got to be able to adapt and to overcome the situation and to keep on trucking through it."
In March of 2010, Guerrero chose to pull out of a scheduled clash with Michael Katsidis in order to be with his wife, Casey Guerrero, during her recovery from a bone marrow transplant due to her life-threatening battle with leukemia.
Casey Guerrero has since recovered. In fact, she was at ringside in April for Guerrero's rout of Katidis, a bout during which Guerero earned the interim WBA and WBO crowns.
Nicknamed, "The Ghost," Guerrero vanquished Katsidis by scores of 117-108, 118-107, and, 118-106, respectively, on the cards of judges Patricia Morse Jarman, C.J. Ross, and, Dave Moretti.
WBA titlist Amir Khan stopped IBF beltholder Zab Judah in the fifth round on July 23. So in accordance with the WBA's policy regarding two-belt titlists, Khan could be elevated to the organization's "super champion" status.
In the wake of Khan's effort, Guerrero could be after his sixth belt over the course of his fourth weight class against Maidana, since Maidana is the WBA's interim titlist. That's because Maidana-Guerrero could be elevated to being a match up for the WBA's "regular" championship.
"Early in my career, I had cut after cut after cut where I would get head-butted, and that's why you've got your corner guys. You've got to have faith in your corner guys to work on that cut and to make everything work," said Guerrero.
"I would get butted in the first round and every round, I would just be bleeding. But, you still have to have faith in your corner to stop the cut, get the swelling down and get you back out there to keep on fighting."
Guerrero last suffered defeat in December of 2005, when he lost a split-decision to Gamaliel Diaz, whom he stopped in the sixth round of their June, 2006 rematch.
A year ago in July, Guerrero earned a decision over four-time beltholder and Cuban Olympic gold medalist Joel Casamayor, this, after having to rise from a knockdown in the final round.
"That's having that mentality where you want to win and be your best, and you're going to put on that poker face and just say, 'You know what? I'm just going to throw this hand, or, I'm going to get up off of the canvas,'" said Guerrero.
"Because when you show signs that you're weak or injured, that's when the guy starts to feed off of it and mentally and that's when he can start to break you. You've got to be mentally strong from Day One in camp all the way until that last bell rings in the fight."