Saturday, March 25, 2023  |


Q&A: Pedro Guevara

Akira Yaegashi (L) and Pedro Guevara, photo by Naoki Fukuda.

Akira Yaegashi (L) and Pedro Guevara, photo by Naoki Fukuda.

For the first time in his professional career, Pedro Guevara will leave Mexico when he travels to Japan to meet Akira Yaegashi for the vacant WBC junior flyweight title on Dec. 30.

Guevara (23-1-1, 15 knockouts) isn’t unduly concerned by having to make his way to Asia.

“No, its better for me. I took the fight very serious,” Guevara said from the mountains in Centro Otomi, Mexico, in mid-December through promoter Oswaldo Kulche. “I left my hometown, Mazatlan, left my family and I’m here in the mountains. [It’s] very cold, [it’s] snowing — not the best conditions, but with a great team and great camp organization.”

It isn’t the first time Guevara has fought for a world title; he challenged former IBF 108-pound titlist Johnriel Casimero two years ago.

During that fight Guevara had to recover from the ignominy of being dumped on the seat of his pants in the opening stanza in front of his home crowd before charging back and making a fight of it. Ultimately, “Jibran” lost a split decision, (116-111 and 114-113 for Casimero, 114-113 for Guevara).

Since the title loss, Guevara has rebounded to win five straight, putting him in position to challenge for the WBC strap.

Currently ranked No. 5 at 108 pounds by THE RING, Guevara will be taking on the No. 1 contender in Yaegashi (20-4, 10 KOs). The division champion is Donnie Nietes, who also holds the WBO title.

Anson Wainwright – What are your thoughts on facing Yaegashi?

Pedro Guevara – I’m going to win. There is no other plan — win. I have a much better team than the last time I challenged for a world title.

AW – When you look at Yaegashi what do you see as his strengths and also areas of weakness?

PG – He is fast and strong, he will endure punishment, but I’m ready to go to war.

AW – Yaegashi lost his WBC flyweight title to Roman Gonzalez back in September — what are your thoughts on that fight?

PG – I don’t consider that a loss or a weakness. On the contrary, he lost in a war against one of the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. He is like a hurt lion.

AW – What has your training been like for Yaegashi?

PG – I’m training in the mountains (at Centro Otomi), very hard. I’m at an excellent weight, and have great sparring. I also have my trainer, Marcos Hernandez, and just added to our team Lorenzo Lopez, who has lots of experience in world title fights held in Japan.

AW – What are your thoughts on the junior flyweight division?

PG – Very tough division, very good fighters and very interesting. I love the challenges.

AW – You put up a very good effort losing a split decision to then-IBF champion Johnriel Casimero — can you tell us about that fight? Do you feel you should have gotten the decision?

PG – I thought I won the bout. Very tough fight. I was young and didn’t have the experience to KO him. I’m still sure that I won the bout.

AW – Do you feel that experience against Casimero improved you as a fighter? If so, in what way did you improve?

PG – Yes of course. He is tough and I was young. I’ve learned a lot, now it’s my time.

AW – You’re from Mazatlan, Mexico — tell us about your youth growing up.

PG – Yes, very poor family in Mazatlan. I grew up and my parents worked to give me a degree in law school. Now I have to pay them back and earn a world title.

AW – How did you become interested in boxing?

PG – My dad wanted something to compliment my studies. Boxing is very popular in my country so I started boxing, and I loved it.

AW – Tell us about your life away from boxing.

PG – I studied law and I still read a lot of books. My dad works as an attorney assistant so I like to help him. I love baseball, and I love watching the Yankees. I’m a huge fan.

AW – Lastly, do you have a message for Yaegashi?

PG – I am going to win, the belt is coming with me to Mexico. I will make history, for me, my family and my country.

Along with Yaegashi-Guevara, the stacked Tokyo card is headlined by the intriguing WBO junior bantamweight title fight between Omar Narvaez and Naoya Inoue. Jorge Linares and Javier Prieto will meet for the vacant WBC lightweight title, junior bantamweights Ryo Matsumoto and Rusalee Samor square off, and highly regarded prospects Ryota Murata (middleweight) and Naoya’s younger brother, Takuma (flyweight), will look to continue their progressions.

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected]and you can follow him at