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Exclusive Interview: Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero.

“God's blessed me with great talent and I believe that he's put me out there to shine."-Robert Guerrero.

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As the featherweight division enjoys something of a golden age, it is comforting to know that its future is also in good hands. This is principally due to fighters such as Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero who returns to the ring tomorrow night at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in California against Cesar Figueroa. After impressively disposing of Juan Polo Perez and Enrique Sanchez, two fighters with world class credentials, Guerrero looks to extend

his unbeaten record and take one step closer to the superstar status that seems destined for him. Robert acquired the nickname of “The Ghost” because of his impressive defensive capabilities but his firepower poses an added threat that his opponents over the last two years can certainly vouch for. A win against Figueroa will land Guerrero the NABF featherweight title but perhaps more importantly, it will remind the boxing world at large of his presence and the fact that future featherweight matters will not be decided appropriately without the inclusion of “The Ghost.” Robert was gracious enough to talk to us as he made his final preparations for the fight.

SaddoBoxing: Hello Robert and thank you for taking time out of your preparations to talk with us. How are you feeling with just a few days left before your fight with Cesar Figueroa?

Robert Guerrero: "I'm feeling great, ready to go and I haven't had a camp like this in a long time. I'm just ready."

SB: Have you sparred anyone in particular for this fight?

RG: "Yeah, today was my last day of sparring and I was working with Israel Vasquez, Jose Celaya and a couple of others. I got great sparring."

SB: You had a great result in your last fight against Enrique Sanchez, what are your thoughts on that performance?

RG: "He was a tough, solid fighter, a veteran southpaw. I went in there in great fighting shape and worked everything off of my jab. I pulled out a good win by stopping him in the eighth round and I'm ready for the next one."

SB: Can you explain to the fans what kept you out of the ring for six months after the Sanchez fight?

RG: "I've just taken my time as far as where to go from that fight. I basically had to go back and make a lot of corner changes and adjustments, so I'm back and I'm ready to do it."

SB: What positives has your relatively new trainer John Bray brought you and what can the fans expect from this partnership in the future?

RG: "We're on our road to that title! He's been preparing me for anything that comes. He's very knowledgeable and I'm learning a lot off of him."

SB: Figueroa appears to be on the rise, what do you expect from him on fight night?

RG: "I expect him to come to fight and in shape, he's going to be ready. He wants the title, he's hungry and he's going to be ready for me. I'm expecting him to come at his best and I'm ready."

SB: You have acquired a lot of attention at an early stage, what do you think is the main reason for this?

RG: "Jesus Christ. God's blessed me with great talent and I believe that he's put me out there to shine."

SB: Presumably, as you continue to win you will gain in popularity. Do you worry about whether distractions will affect your career in the future?

RG: "No, not at all. I'm a big believer in Christ and with him guiding me through this boxing career, I don't see any walls stopping me from doing anything or any interference. I'm just ready."

SB: You are a very tall southpaw fighter who defends well, things that will be difficult for future opponents to deal with, what do you see as the key factor in your continued success?

RG: "All the strength I have, I'm 5'9, I've got a seventy-two inch reach, I've got quick feet, quick hands and I'm a southpaw who can punch. Put that combination of things together and you've got a dynamite explosion."

SB: Of course, Guerrero means "warrior" and you are of Mexican heritage. How important is it to you to live up to that kind of image?

RG: "Being a warrior in the ring and out, I put everything in Jesus Christ's hands and let him fight my battles. He guides me through everything and will guide me through any obstacle that comes in front of me, any opponent, any test and with Him, I'm always ready and prepared."

SB: What are your thoughts on the recent Barrera-Morales fight?

RG: "It was a great fight, they both came to win. Morales, he stayed there in front of Barrera a little too much and he didn't work his jab. Barrera established his fight with the jab and dictated things. He came in shape and was ready."

SB: I'd just like to get your thoughts on the following fighters and how you think you would fare with them:

Zahir Raheem -
RG: "He's a good boxer from the outside and pretty slick. He's a good mover. I'd do real well with him and I say I'd beat him. Put God first and you can do anything."

Manny Pacquiao -
RG: "Great fighter. Real exciting, he's fast, strong, a southpaw. He can punch but I'd do well with him. I have great height and a good reach over him. I'd establish my jab and that's all you've got to do is establish that jab and you can do everything off of that."

Rocky Juarez -
RG: "He just came off an impressive knockout and he's a real solid and strong fighter with a great left hook. I'll be ready for him. I think he's about 5'5 or 5'4 so you've got to just use that height and that range and you shouldn't have any problem. Give him side to side movement and you shouldn't have any problem."

Juan Manuel Marquez -
RG: "Great fighter, great counter puncher, who's always in great shape and he can punch. And he can take a punch and get up from one. Like I said, I'm 5'9, 72 inch reach, I've got power in both hands, I've got fast hands and feet, I can use great lateral movement and box from the outside. I'd do real well with these guys. Marquez, I'd give him a good fight and I say I can beat him."

SB: I know it is early in your career but it seems like big things are already expected of you, what is your ideal career scenario over the next two years?

RG: "Make that run for the title, try to get there by working and working at it and I'll get there eventually to that title shot and I'll be ready."

SB: I know you are a very religious man, how important is your faith to you in relation to your boxing career?

RG: "I use boxing to spread the word, spread the gospel of the lord and I think it's a great opportunity to be on TV and do that, to express my faith to others by being a shining light. So many people are starting to follow my career and I think one of the reasons is because they can relate to me as I'm so strong with my faith and I spread the word."

SB: Is there anything else you would like to say to your many fans across the world?

RG: "God bless them all, keep watching and I'll be working hard on the way to making that run for the title."

SB: Thank you very much for your time Robert and we wish you the best of luck in this fight and for the future.

RG: "Thank you."

Much thanks must go out to Mario Serrano of Team Guerrero for his assistance in making this interview possible and to Curtis McCormick, my esteemed colleague here at saddoboxing.com, for his invaluable help.

You can learn more about Robert 'The Ghost' Guerrero at his official website...

Jim Cawkwell can be reached at jimcawkwell@yahoo.co.uk

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