Robert Guerrero would love to punch up video of one of Danny Garcia’s losses to glean insight on how to beat the man he’ll face Saturday night. Just one problem: Garcia is 31-0, thus no such video exists, leaving Guerrero to settle for the next best thing.
In April 2013, Garcia won a 12-round unanimous decision over Zab Judah. But it was a narrow decision for Garcia and a difficult fight, which Guerrero and his father/trainer Ruben Guerrero discovered when they studied the tape.
“We broke down Garcia-Judah,” Robert Guerrero says. “We see a lot of things we can capitalize on and give Danny problems.”
Here's part of what they saw: After enduring a fifth- and sixth-round pounding, Judah came out in the seventh and outlanded Garcia, 19-12. In Round 8, Garcia used a guard-splitting straight right hand to drop Judah to the canvas and open a cut beneath the southpaw’s left eye.
But from there, Judah began timing Garcia's jab and straight left, and in the 10th he forced Garcia to the ropes for a stinging straight left to the chin.
Judah buzzed Garcia yet again late in the 10th off a straight-left, right-hook, left-cross combination, all landing flush on the retreating Garcia’s face. Then in the 11th, Judah rocked Garcia with a straight left to the temple, a zinging left follow-up, two rights to the head and another to the body.
“Danny had the momentum at first,” Guerrero says. “But when Danny’s intensity died, Zab figured, ‘Man, this guy can’t fight going backward,’ and started putting it on him and dominated. Unfortunately, it was a little too late.”
While Judah ultimately came up short, he provided something of a scouting report for Robert Guerrero (33-3-1, 18 KOs). In essence, Guerrero plans to control the action out of his southpaw stance and bring the fight to Danny Garcia (31-0, 18 KOs) during Saturday’s 147-pound title bout at Staples Center in Los Angeles (Fox, 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT).
Count Judah among those who believe Guerrero, 32, has more than a puncher's chance to deal Garcia his first defeat.
“Danny doesn’t seem to understand how to fight a good southpaw, so Guerrero’s got to apply pressure early and give Danny a lot of problems,” says Judah, who has been out of the ring since he followed his loss to Garcia by dropping a unanimous decision to Paulie Malignaggi in December 2013.
“Don’t lay back. Use that jab and straight left early, as Danny looks to counter with his left hook. Danny’s strong, coming forward, so you set the tempo, back him up, build momentum. Don’t let Danny hang around and get stronger. If Guerrero fights that way, he can upset Danny.”
Malignaggi also offers an interesting perspective, in that he was a ringside analyst for Garcia-Judah, and he was stopped in the ninth round by Garcia in the latter’s 147-pound debut in August.
“Guerrero’s best weapon is a mixture of good feints and increased tempo,” Malignaggi says. “This fight can be a little bit dangerous for Danny if Guerrero brings a fierce pace.”
The problem is Guerrero’s intensity has been hot and cold as he’s split his last four bouts. He was knocked down in two of those and labored through his most recent fight, when he won a split decision over Aron Martinez in June after rising from a fourth-round knockdown.
Before beating Martinez, Guerrero lost a 12-round unanimous decision to Keith Thurman last March in the debut of Premier Boxing Champions. In that fight, Guerrero was knocked down in the ninth round before battling valiantly until the final bell.
“I can’t do what I did against Thurman and Martinez,” Guerrero says. “I started off slow and picked it up, but that was way too late.”
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