After watching fellow southpaw Manny Pacquiao’s disputed split-decision loss to Tim Bradley that dethroned him as WBO welterweight beltholder on June 9, Robert Guerrero called Pacquiao “tailor-made and right there for me to knock him out.”
“I think about [fighting Pacquiao] all the time. The way Pacquiao comes in is reckless,” said Guerrero (29-1-1, 18 knockouts), who is riding a 13-fight winning streak that includes nine knockouts. “He comes in a lot of times jumping in. Being a left-hander also, I really feel that he’s tailor-made for me to knock him out.”
A former two-time featherweight titleholder who also held a major belt at 130 pounds and two interim crowns at lightweight, Guerrero is in South Lake Tahoe preparing for his Showtime-televised July 28 clash with unbeaten Selcuk Aydin (23-0, 17 KOs) in what will be Guerrero’s welterweight debut.
Guerrero is coming off a uanimous decision victory over Michael Katsidis for the WBO and WBA’s interim lightweight belts in April of last year.
In September, Guerrero had arthroscopic surgery which repaired a torn tendon in the rotator cuff of his shoulder. The injury forced him to cancel an August bout with junior welterweight Marcos Maidana.
Guerrero is in training for the bout at a surface elevation of 6,225 feet in Lake Tahoe along the border between California and Nevada, west of Carson City.
“This is going to be my sixth weight class,” said Guerrero, for whom the WBC’s interim 147-pound title will be on the line when he faces Aydin at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.
“A lot of people don’t realize that I’ve come up from 122 pounds and now I’m going two weight up to fight for the world championship.”
Guerrero offered more of his thoughts on Bradley (29-0, 12 KOs), who defeated Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KOs) by scores of 115-113 on the cards of official judges C.J. Ross and Duane Ford, even though Jerry Roth had it 115-113 for Pacquiao.
“When Tim Bradley would get in there and just mix it up with Pacquiao, he threw some great combinations and landed some great shots,” said Guerrero, who stands 5-foot-8 to 5-6 for Bradley and 5-6 and a half for Pacquiao.
“Just the handspeed that Bradley has, and with his short arms, getting in there with those tight, compact punches, you know I just liked that.”
The Bradley-Pacquiao contract already had contained a clause calling for a rematch on Nov. 10, although Pacquiao may be considering a fourth bout with Juan Manuel Marquez, with whom he has battled through a draw and victories by split- and majority decision.
Guerrero said that his strategy would employ ingredients from those by Bradley and Marquez against Pacquiao coupled with his own ideas.
“I have done the homework on Pacquiao. I would use the long jab and go with a triple and quadruple jab. I would change my whole gameplan,” said Guerrero.
“I would just continue to study him. I have a whole completely different idea on how to beat him. So it’s just about getting that opportunity to further expose him. From there, I would just go to work.”
In the meantime, Guerrero is focusing on defeating Aydin, which would make him the mandatory challenger to face WBC titleholder Floyd Mayweather Jr. It would also place Guerrero in an elite class of multi-belt, mult-division titlewinners such as Pacquiao, Mayweather, Shane Mosley and Oscar De La Hoya.
“The only guys are Pacquiao, Mayweather and De La Hoya, Shane Mosley. There are only a handful of fighters who have done it, and now I have the chance and the ability to do it.”
Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org