Robert Guerrero may have lost in the ring to Keith Thurman earlier this year, but he won a ton of respect outside of it for his gutsy performance.
After being floored in the ninth round in Las Vegas on March 7 in the debut of the Premier Boxing Champions series, Guerrero picked himself off the canvas and battled back in a bloody, crowd-pleasing brawl at the MGM Grand Garden Arena that Thurman won by unanimous decision.
“People have said, ‘that’s old-school boxing,’ and ‘man, you’re a warrior,’ and ‘you fought with your heart,’” says Guerrero, who had blood streaming from a gash over his left eye during the fight. “Everybody was going crazy for me after getting knocked down and getting up, chasing the guy down, pressing the action and trying to finish him. It’s thrown my fan base on steroids.”
Robert Guerrero (32-3-1, 18 KOs) aims to delight those fans with a victory June 6, when he takes on Aron Martinez (19–3-1, 4 KOs) at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, as the PBC returns to NBC.
Guerrero last fought at the StubHub Center in June, when he won a hard-fought unanimous decision over Yoshihiro Kamegai.
“I love the StubHub Center. It’s one of the best places to fight,” said Guerrero, a former world champion at 126 and 130 pounds, and an interim titleholder at 135 and 147. “There's something about the fan base, the atmosphere there. The way the arena's built, it seems like everybody's right on top of you.”
Guerrero, 32, received praise a couple of weeks after fighting Thurman in the unlikeliest of places.
“I came out of a grocery store and had just gotten into my car when this 86-year-old lady came up to my car door,” Guerrero said. “I was like, ‘did I do something wrong?’ So I rolled the window down and she told me what a great performance I had.
“When you have an 86-year-old lady come up to you and tell you that you remind her of the good old days, that’s when you know you’ve done your job. I was like, ‘Wow.’ I was in a daze all day after that.”
Martinez, 33, is 1-2 in his past three fights. He lost to Josesito Lopez by a fifth-round technical knockout in April 2014 after winning a unanimous decision over Alberto Herrera a year earlier. He previously lost to unbeaten Jessie Vargas by unanimous decision in Las Vegas in September 2012.
Guerrero is seeking his first KO since gaining an eighth-round stoppage of Roberto David Arrieta in Las Vegas in April 2010.
“If I start this fight the way that I did the second half of the fight with Thurman, I have a good chance of stopping anybody," Guerrero said. "I want to get back into position for a rematch with Thurman, so I’m always looking for a knockout. But the way that I fight, the fans will love it, whether it’s a knockout or not.”
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