Robert Guerrero is ready to start fast and finish quickly against Aron Martinez.
“Once I step into the ring, the switch goes on. All I can think about is punishing my opponent and winning the fight," Guerrero says. "I want to come out strong from the opening bell and keep the gas on the pedal for the whole fight.”
Robert Guerrero (32-3-1, 18 KOs) intends to put that plan into effect Saturday when he faces Aron Martinez (19-3-1, 4 KOs) in a 147-pound clash at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, in a bout airing on NBC.
Looking to rebound from his loss to hard-punching Keith Thurman in March, Guerrero has had success at the StubHub Center, where he defeated Yoshihiro Kamegai by unanimous decision last June.
“The StubHub Center is probably my favorite venue to fight in. For some reason, it brings out the warrior spirit in everyone,” says Guerrero, a southpaw whose last name means “warrior” in Spanish. “You can feel the energy from the crowd while you're fighting. It's like they’re right on top of you."
Guerrero has had a couple of extended absences from the ring in the last few years. He had a 15-month layoff from April 2011 to July 2012, followed by a 13-month hiatus after he lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in May 2013.
Guerrero, 32, was out of action for nine months leading up to his fight with Thurman, who dropped Guerrero in the ninth round en route to winning a unanimous decision in Las Vegas.
“Everything is 10 times better going into this fight,” says Guerrero, who is trained by his father, Ruben. “I’m finally fighting in back-to-back fights. You’ll see a big difference in my performance, absolutely.”
Unlike the aggressive Thurman, Martinez, 33, often counterpunches from a retreating posture. Guerrero says he intends to force the action Saturday.
“[Martinez is] a tough fighter who likes to draw you into his game plan," Guerrero says. "He can make adjustments if needed, but I feel I’ll be able to impose my will on him at any time.”
Martinez lost his last fight in April 2014 against Josesito Lopez, who gained a fifth-round technical knockout in Rancho Mirage, California. That followed Martinez’s win over Alberto Herrera by eight-round majority decision in April 2013.
Martinez's other two losses were to undefeated Jessie Vargas by 10-round unanimous decision in September 2012, and to Abdon Lozano in a six-round majority decision in November 2008.
Ruben Guerrero says he now wants his son to pick up where he left off against Thurman and hand Martinez his fourth career loss.
“I think we have to start off fast and finish strong in this fight,” he says. “There is no ring rust going into this fight. Robert’s in great shape from the last camp, his body is healthy and he’s looking sharp right now.”