Robert Guerrero is "devastated" after having suffered an injured left shoulder during a sparring session on Wednesday night that forced the cancellation of his junior welterweight debut against Marcos Maidana, which was scheduled for Aug. 27 on HBO.
"I'm devastated because I worked my whole life for the opportunity to be a main event on HBO," said the 28-year-old Guerrero (29-1-1, 18 knockouts). "It's a major blow to my team and family, but I'll continue to keep strong in my faith in Jesus Christ.
"To all my fans, I'll be back and I know God has plans for me to perform in the future."
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer told RingTV.com that he was informed of the injury on Thursday morning.
"They iced it, and they were hoping that it was going to get better, but it didn't. As a matter of fact, it got worse to the point where he can't even put on a shirt or a jacket," said Schaefer.
Schaefer, whose initial fear was that Guerrero had torn a rotator cuff, said the fighter was to get an MRI on Thursday afternoon and be examined by the staff of San Francisco 49ers team physician Michael Dillingham. Guerrero is expected to see Dillingham on Monday.
A source told RingTV.com on Thursday evening that Guerrero's injury did not appear to be career-threatening.
Guerrero was to face Maidana (30-2, 27 KOs) for what the WBA calls its "regular" title.
"I am very disappointed to hear that Guerrero was injured, especially at this stage of training camp," said Maidana. "I hope he recovers soon, but I also want to get an opponent to replace him because I've been working really hard for about 12 weeks and I need to fight. I'll face whoever they put in front of me next."
Schaefer told RingTV.com that HBO is eager to reschedule and broadcast Guerrero-Maidana if Guerrero can return.
"It was a fight that we were all looking forward to, the fight fans, the networks and everybody. It was one of those great match ups," said Schaefer. "But HBO is obviously interested in rescheduling the fight once we know a little bit more on what kind of injury it is."
Guerrero-Maidana was to take place in San Jose, Calif., not far from Guerrero's hometown of Gilroy.
"We were going to have a sellout in San Jose," Schaefer said. "It was a much-talked-about fight in the Bay Area, and fight fans were coming in the thousands and thousands, and they, of course, are going to get a full refund for their purchases."
The card's cancellation forces a co-featured fight matching heavyweight prospect Seth Mitchell against Mike Mollo to be moved. It might take place on Sept. 16 in Las Vegas, the night before Floyd Mayweather challenges WBC welterweight titleholder Victor Ortiz at the MGM Grand.
The injury is the latest setback in what has been an inspirational but sometimes-difficult career for Guerrero, who is coming off of a one-sided, unanimous-decision victory over Australia's hard-punching Michael Katsidis (28-4, 23 KOs) in April.
Guerrero chose in March of last year to pull out of a scheduled clash with Katsidis in order to be with wife Casey as she battled leukemia.
Guerrero often had to drive 50 or so miles back and forth from the hospital and Gilroy, Calif., to care for their two young children, Robert Jr., 4, and, Savannah, 6. Guerrero's devotion to his wife and family were recognized when he received The Bill Crawford Award for Courage In The Face of Adversity from the Boxing Writers Association of America.
Assured that Casey's cancer was in remission, Guerrero returned to the ring with an eighth-round knockout of Roberto David Arrieta in April of last year.
He was after his 14th consecutive victory against Maidana. His last defeat was a split-decision against Gamaliel Diaz in December 2005 but he won their rematch with a sixth-round knockout in June 2006.
A two-time IBF featherweight and one-time IBF super featherweight beltholder, Guerrero's comeback has included unanimous decisions over former four-time titleholder and Cuban Olympic gold medalist Joel Casamayor (38-5-1, 22 KOs) in July and a Vicente Escobedo (23-3, 14 KOs) in November.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]