Robert Guerrero believes he’s a class above David Emanuel Peralta. Now he just has to go out and prove it.
The former two-division world champion returns to the ring Saturday night when he takes on Peralta in a 147-pound main event at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California (Spike, 9 p.m. ET/PT).
“Looking at his record, I don’t see any big punchers, and none of the fighters he’s faced have fought at the championship level,” said Guerrero, a southpaw who has won world titles at 126 and 130 pounds, along with interim titles at 135 and 147.
“The goal is to get the knockout, but if I have to go the distance for the win then so be it. I’m prepared to make a statement in this fight.”
The 10-round bout is Guerrero’s first since losing a unanimous decision to unbeaten Danny Garcia in January in a spirited contest for a vacant 147-pound world title.
“It's a must that I win this fight,” Guerrero said. “The welterweight division has plenty of good fighters whom I want to get in the ring with.”
To get that chance, though, Robert Guerrero (33-4-1, 18 KOs) will have to get past David Emanuel Peralta (25-2-1, 14 KOs), who is 5-2-1 in his last eight bouts dating to July 2011. Peralta, who turns 34 on Wednesday, hasn't fought since earning an eight-round unanimous decision over Guillermo de Jesus Paz in May 2015.
At Friday's weigh-in, Guerrero tipped the scales at 146.8 pounds, while Peralta came in at 147.
“I'm physically and mentally prepared for this fight,” Peralta said. “Robert Guerrero is a great fighter and a great champion. I've seen everything he's done, and I think this is my time.”
Despite the Argentine’s recent inactivity—and his own desires for another world title shot—Guerrero said he’s not looking past Peralta, who has been stopped just once in his 28-fight career and will be fighting outside of his home country for the first time.
“I don't know much about him, but I do know most Argentine fighters are tough, so I’m prepared to battle,” Guerrero said. “No one knew who Marcos Maidana or Lucas Matthysse were until they got their opportunity in the States.
“But Peralta’s going to realize once he’s in the ring with me that I’m not some washed-up fighter like some people may think. I’ve got plenty of fight left in me, and Peralta will find out what I’m all about.”
Guerrero, 33, has split his last six fights since defeating former 147-pound champion Andre Berto in an interim title bout in November 2012. However, those losses all came by decision against unbeaten 147-pound titleholders—Floyd Mayweather Jr. in May 2013, Keith Thurman in March 2015 and Garcia this year.
Guerrero hit the canvas against Thurman and again during his disputed 10-round split decision victory over Aron Martinez in June 2015, leading many observers to write him off afterward. But after extensive study of Peralta, the Gilroy, California, native said he expects to be at the top of his game on Saturday.
“I definitely see some flaws,” Guerrero said of his opponent. “There is always something to be gained when you’re watching film on other fighters. You see their tendencies and what they like to do. All their bad habits are on display.”
Guerrero said he took some time off after the Garcia defeat, but still remained active and insists he enters this fight as hungry as he's ever been.
“I spent a lot of time traveling with my family since my last fight, but I’ve also spent a lot of time in the gym," he said. "I’m always energized and ready to get back on track toward winning another world title. Peralta’s standing in my way."
For a complete look at Guerrero vs Peralta, visit our fight page.