Friday, June 5, 2015

Can Guerrero Rebound Against Martinez?

Former three-time world champion Robert Guerrero has endeared himself to Boxing fans throughout his career as a fighter who has been willing to take on all comers and who gives everything he has every time he steps in the ring. Guerrero, who has won world titles in the Featherweight and Jr. Lightweight divisions has gone on to become one of the top fighters in the Welterweight division. 

Many fans remember the exciting battles Guerrero engaged in against Selcuk Aydin and former Welterweight world champion Andre Berto. Two exciting fights where Guerrero showed his mettle and earned a hard fought victories. It was those two victories that earned Guerrero an opportunity against Floyd Mayweather in May 2013 for Mayweather’s WBC Welterweight world championship. On that night however, Mayweather out boxed Guerrero and earned a lopsided twelve round unanimous decision to retain his title.

Despite suffering that loss, Guerrero was able to bounce back from that defeat to earn a twelve round unanimous decision over contender Yoshihiro Kamegai, in what was a grueling war in June of last year. In his last fight in March of this year, Guerrero suffered another setback in another hard fought battle in losing a twelve round unanimous decision to undefeated top contender Keith Thurman. Now three months removed from that fight, Guerrero looks to rebound from his loss to Thurman as he prepares to return to the ring against journeyman contender Aron Martinez on Saturday afternoon at the StubHub Center in Carson, California in a fight that will headline the latest installment of the “Premier Boxing Champions” series on NBC.

This fight would appear to favor Guerrero as he has more experience against top level opposition and will enter the fight with a record of 32-3-1, with 18 Knockouts. Martinez, who will enter the bout with a record of 19-3-1, with 4 Knockouts will be stepping up in class against Guerrero. Martinez however, has failed to successfully step up in class of opposition and will enter this fight having lost two of his last three fights losing a ten round unanimous decision to undefeated Jr. Welterweight contender Jessie Vargas in September 2012 and was stopped in five rounds in his last fight by former world title challenger Josesito Lopez in April of last year.

Although this fight appears to be a “Comeback Fight” for Guerrero, the question heading into this fight in my eyes is what effect if any have Guerrero’s recent fights had on him. After all, several of Guerrero’s recent bouts were grueling give and take battles and one has to wonder if those fights have taken something out of Guerrero. 

Even though Martinez is at a disadvantage in terms of experience, he has only been stopped once in his career and did give a good account of himself in his fight against Jessie Vargas. Although he was outworked by Vargas in that fight, Martinez was “Game” and able to have periodic moments throughout the fight.  It will be interesting to see what Martinez, who has not fought in over a year will bring to this fight in what is the biggest fight of his career thus far. If Martinez is able to score an upset in this fight it will likely lead to an opportunity against another contender in the Welterweight division.

For Guerrero however, one might argue this fight is not just a mere “Comeback Fight”, but an important fight in terms of his standing in the Welterweight division. Guerrero is currently rated number ten in the world in the World Boxing Association’s (WBA) ratings and it is logical to assume that if Guerrero wins this fight and does so in impressive fashion that he could find himself back in the mix of contenders looking for an opportunity at a world title in the talent stacked Welterweight division. If Guerrero loses this fight however, it could likely put his standing as a contender in jeopardy. 

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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