Robert Guerrero outpoints Gerald Thomas, wins third straight since ending retirement
LOS ANGELES — Former two-division titleholder Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero defeated Kansas native Gerald Thomas via unanimous decision Saturday night at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angles. Neither man set the world on fire with their performance, but Guerrero did the better work throughout.
The judges scored it 98-92 and 99-91 twice for Guerrero (36-6-1, 20 knockouts), while Thomas drops to 14-2-1 (8 KOs). Guerrero has now won three in a row against limited opposition since ending a year-plus retirement last December.
The welterweight bout completed the preliminary action on Fox Sports 1 before the start of the Spence-Porter card on Fox PPV.
Both fighters began with a measured pace, feeling one another out early on. Thomas, fighting outside of his home state for the first time as a pro, tried to stick his jab down to Guerrero’s body. Thomas kept his hands low and stayed on the back foot while the veteran from Gilroy, California kept a traditional high guard and stalked forward.
Guerrero began to find a home for his power punches in the third round. The southpaw connected with several straight lefts and left uppercuts, pushing Thomas back. The kid from Kansas did a lot of moving backward and bending down, ceding control of the fight to Guerrero for the most part. Thomas did have moments, but they were infrequent. Halfway through the bout neither men had exactly lit up the CompuBox stats, but Guerrero had landed more than double the amount of total punches.
The boo birds came out in the second half of the bout, as both men did more feinting and posturing than anything. The predominantly Mexican-American crowd in Los Angeles expected more from Guerrero, who looked flat and uninspired at times. In fairness, Thomas appeared content to do little more than go the distance.
Things finally heated up a little in the ninth round, with Thomas coming forward and landing clean blows throughout. Guerrero grinned, trying to play it off, but he was clearly pushed back with a few good shots from Thomas.
The former featherweight and junior lightweight titleholder came out with a sense of purpose in the tenth and final round. The veteran wanted to remind his younger opponent who was boss. Both men traded leather in the closing moments of the final round, which brought the crowd back into it.