Promising southpaw middleweight prospect Fernando Guerrero suffered a training injury to his left biceps that has forced him to withdraw from his scheduled ShoBox: The Next Generation-televised clash with Chris “The Irish Ghost”’ Fitzpatrick that was slated for the undercard of a main event featuring former undisputed middleweight champ Jermain Taylor on Friday.
A 25-year-old resident of Salisbury, Md., Guerrero (23-1, 18 knockouts) was after his third straight knockout and his fifth appearance on Showtime opposite Fitzpattick (15-1, 6 KOs), of Las Vegas, having endured his only loss in June, when he was stopped in the fourth round by a then-40-year-old journeyman, Grady Brewer.
“It occurred two or three days ago, like on Wednesday. It’s my left bicep. It was during a sparring session. We were taking it easy. I went to throw a body shot, and I just pulled a muscle when I threw it. My bicep just started to swell up really bad. It was just crazy,” said Guerrero, who fought at a career-low 152 pounds and three quarters against Brewer.
“We didn’t know how bad that it was, and we thought that maybe it was going to be okay. But the day before yesterday, we went straight to the doctor and they thought that it was torn, but it wasn’t. So we went to a specialist and I’m taking therapy and going through rehab. Their telling me it’s going to be about three of four weeks without any action.”
Gerrero had returned to middleweight, scoring a fifth-round stoppage of Robert Kliewer last December and a fifth-round stoppage of Jason Naugler in February.
Guerrero fought a few pounds over the 160-pound middleweight limit for those fights and was to do so again against Fitzpatrick, whose sixth-round knockout of Ken Dunham in February helped him to rebound from October’s unanimous decision loss to Jose Medina.
“When you get to this age, you don’t want to milk you way in. You’ve got to take things like this seriously. It is what it is. I’ll train hard and push through. I think God is working his way in, and this will be a learning experience,” said Guerrero.
“I’ll still be training and running and whatever, since I didn’t tear it. The one or two days that I’ve had therapy, it’s already feeling much better. So I’m glad that it wasn’t a serious injury where I have to take several months off, you know, and all of that other stuff. So we’re all good, and so there are positive things that will come from this.”
ANSELMO MORENO EYES RISE IN WEIGHT, NONITO DONAIRE
WBA bantamweight titleholder Anselmo Moreno (32-1-1, 11 KOs) of Panama would consider a rise in weight to face THE RING’s No. 4-rated fighter, pound-for-pound, Nonito Donaire (28-1, 18 KOs) should he get beyond Saturday night’s Showtime-televised defense against David De La Mora.
“That’s a dream of mine. I’ve been dreaming about it, thinking about it, and that is something that I look forward to,” said Moreno, 26, who will meet De La Mora at the Don Haskins Convention Center in El Paso, Texas. “Work my way up to 122 pounds and fighting Nonito Donaire is definitely something that I have on my mind.”
Moreno has successfully defended nine times the title he won in 2008 by outpointing Wladimir Sidorenko, a man Donaire stopped in the fourth round in December of 2010.
Moreno’s lone defeat was a four-round split decision against Ricardo Molina in his eighth professional fight of 2002, the year Moreno turned pro.
A resident of Panama City, Panaman, Moreno earned his 27th consecutive win during a run that includes nine stoppage victories by securing December’s unanimous decision over Vic Darchinyan.
The victory over Darchinyan at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., marked the American debut for Moreno, who was coming off an eighth-round knockout of Lorenzo Parra on June 17 in Panama City.
It also ended a two-bout winning streak for Darchinyan in Moreno’s first appearance on Showtime, and his initial fight with Golden Boy, having signed with the promotional company in August.
“There was a lot of talk from people that it was a dangerous fight, that I was in over my head and that he was going to run over, but I was never worried about that,” said Moreno of Darchinyan, who lost for the first time in 29 bouts when Donaire knocked him out in the fifth round in July of 2007.
“I was always very confident in my skills. Once I stepped into the ring, I was very comfortable and I was very confident that I could outbox him and beat him clearly.”
Moreno is looking for a similar performance against De La Mora, who had stopped five of six opponents, including two straight, prior to losing by unanimous decision to WBA beltholder Koki Kameda in August. De La Mora rebounded from that loss, however, with a seventh-round knockout of Eddy Julio in December.
THE RING’s No. 4-rated fighter, pound-for-pound, Donaire is being eyed for an appearance on July 14 at Dallas Cowboys Stadium opposite Mexico’s Cristian Mijares (44-6-2, 20 KOs) in defense of the WBO belt.
Donaire earned his third crown over as many weight divisions in February, when he dethroned Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. as WBO beltholder by split decision.
“Roberto Duran was the most famous boxer,” from Panama, Moreno said during an interview in November. “I know I wouldn’t be recognized walking down the street in Los Angeles now, so that’s what I’m hoping will change after a few more fights in the States.”
ERIC MOREL SAYS AGE WON’T BE A FACTOR AGAINST ABNER MARES
In facing Meican-born Mares of Montebello, Calif., for the WBA’s vacant junior lightweight belt, Morel will be in against a fighter who is 10 years younger.
In Mares, Morel is in against a young man who has endured a difficult schedule over a 20-month span through December of last year, having twice defeated ex-beltholder Joseph Agbeko, earned a decision over Darchinyan and battled to a draw with then-beltholder Yonnhy Perez.
Although Morel respects Mares’ abilities, he claims that neither his age nor Mares’ skills will be a factor.
“Mares is a great fighter, but my age is nothing but a number,” said Morel, a Puerto Rican-born Madison, Wis., resident and former 1996 Olympian. “I’m in great shape, my speed is there and I have more power. I feel like nothing is going to stop me. I can guarantee you that age is not catching up to me.”
Nicknamed “Little Hands Of Steel.” Morel will try to earn a title belt for the first time since August of 2000, when he won the WBA flyweight belt by unanimous decision over Sornpichai Kratingdaenggym. Morel defended that crown five times — twice by knockout– before losing it by unanimous decision to Lorenzo Parra in December of 2003.
In March of 2005, Morel lost his bid for the WBA’s junior bantamweight title by unanimous decision to Martin Castillo. Since scoring an eight-round, unanimous decision over Felipe Almanza in February of 2008, Morel has won 11 consecutive fights, five of them by knockout.
“This fight is going to be at a catch weight of 120 pounds. I’ve been fightint at 120 for the past three or four fights,” said Morel. “That’s going to be an advantage, I think, because I won’t have to make 118. I’m not saying that I have problems making 118, but I can come into the ring a little bit stronger.”
Mares-Morel also revives the Mexico-Puerto Rican rivalry, which motivates Morel.
“Puerto Rico and Mexico have been going at it for a very long time, and lately, we’ve been doing bad,” said Morel. “But on April 21, I’m going to change that.”
KALIESHA WEST CONTINUES TO RANK AMONG WOMEN’S BEST
Kaliesha West (15-1-3, 4 KOs) scored the third straight defense of her WBO bantamweight belt with Saturday night’s unanimous decision over Claudia Andrea Lopez (18-6, 4 KOs) Rosarito, Mex. West, 24, is from Moreno Valley, Calif.
Photo / Craig Bennett
Photo by Esther Lin / Showtime
Photo by Chris Cozzone, Fightwireimages.com
Photo by Box Latino/Team West