Robert Guerrero: ‘We’ve got something in store for Keith Thurman’
RING No. 8-rated welterweight Robert Guerrero has been to the mountaintop of the boxing world despite having lost by unanimous decision to RING champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. in May 2013 on Showtime Pay-Per-View.
A former two-division titleholder, Guerrero (32-2-1, 18 knockouts) is two bouts removed from the setback to Mayweather as he enters a clash with No. 7-rated Keith Thurman (24-0, 21 KOs) on March 7 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Guerrero will meet Thurman part of NBC’s new boxing series titled, “Premier Boxing Champions” (“PBC on NBC”) in accordance with a multi-year deal between the network and adviser Al Haymon.
Although he has called Thurman “a unique challenge,” Guerrero’s participation in the sometimes chaotic major promotion involved in the Mayweather build-up could give him an edge in terms of big fight experience.
Guerrero spoke during a national conference call on Wednesday.
“It’s an experience, especially everything that comes with that, the whole circus with Floyd and with the ‘All-Accesses’ and all of that stuff in your camp following you around day to day,” said Guerrero, whose fight with Thurman is part of a doubleheader matching RING No. 5-rated junior welterweight Adrien Broner opposite John Molina.
“It’s a big deal and you have to be well-prepared for it because it could be a distraction if you let it. You’ve got to be 100 percent focused and I think that this could be even bigger with the viewing audience that comes with it and which goes along with NBC. It’s going to be even bigger, so I’m excited about it and very focused and ready to go.”
Guerrero was last in action for a hard-fought unanimous decision over Japan’s Yoshihiro Kamegai in June to rebound from the loss to Mayweather.
Nicknamed “The Ghost,” Guerrero has fought four times as a welterweight since making his division debut with a unanimous decision over Selcuk Aydin in July 2012.
Thurman, 26, is coming off last month’s shutout unanimous decision over previously undefeated Leonard Bundu. Had it not been for a left shoulder injury suffered since his victory over Julio Diaz last April, Thurman said his plan was to have been more active than just having one fight in 2014.
Nicknamed “One Time,” Thurman had scored knockouts in 11 of his previous 12 bouts in advance of Bundu, with only Jan Zaveck going the distance in March 2013 while being outpointed 120-108 on all three judges’ cards.
As a result of Thurman’s strategy of boxing and moving against Bundu, whom he floored in the first round, Thurman was called “Run Time” by Guerrero’s father and trainer, Ruben Guerrero.
“I didn’t call him that. My father called him that. I respect every fighter that comes into the ring with me. Keith Thurman, he’s a great fighter, you know. He’s quick on his feet. Has quick hands. Has power. You’ve got to respect that. My whole idea is to come ready for whatever happens in that ring,” said Guerrero, a southpaw who had won 15 straight fights, nine by knockout before losing to Mayweather.
“Whether it’s inside, outside or whatever happens. If he gets on the move, I’m going to be ready for it. It’s just being well-prepared for the fight and we’re professionals and that’s what we do. We get well-prepared to be in that ring…You learn from experiences and Mayweather was a big experience for me. So you break down tape and you work on your game plan and that’s what we’re going to to. We’re going to work on our game plan. We’re breaking down film on Keith and we’ve got something in store for him.”