By Bill Tibbs: Former world champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero, 31-2-1 (18), returned to the ring this past Saturday night to face International Boxing Federation (IBF) number seven/World Boxing Council (WBC) number 13-rated welterweight Yoshihiro Kamegai, 24-2-1 (21), on Showtime. The two met at the StubHub Center in Carson, California and waged war for 12 rounds in what could be a “Fight of the Year” candidate. Guerrero came away with the win in his first fight since losing a one-sided 12-round unanimous decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in May of last year in Las Vegas, Nevada.
While Floyd schooled “The Ghost” in their initial outing, Robert feels that if he can put some wins together, he might get another shot at the pound-for-pound king before he retires at the end of his current Showtime contract. While it is hard to imagine Guerrero getting another shot at Mayweather, anything is possible. When opponents’ names come up for Floyd’s next assignment, there is talk of Amir Khan, undefeated Philly tough guy Danny Garcia or the ever-popular water cooler chatter of Floyd vs. Manny Pacquiao. While Guerrero showed heart and tenacity in going the distance the first time with “Money” Mayweather, there hasn’t been a lot of talking in boxing about them doing a rerun. Despite that, Guerrero has stated in recent interviews that he “wants to get back in the ring and get back in the Mayweather picture.”
While Floyd may or may not be a realistic option, there are other fights out there in the welterweight division that would make for an intriguing outing for fight fans and for the former IBF feather and super featherweight, World Boxing Association (WBA) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) lightweight and WBC welterweight world champion. With hot young guns like IBF welterweight champion Shawn “Showtime” Porter, WBA interim welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman, former champions like Khan, Marcos Maidana and established stars like Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, all at the top of the 147-pound heap, there are no shortage of marquee fights for the Guerrero.
Mayweather is the golden ticket everyone wants to cash in on, especially as his time in the ring is apparently nearing an end. But Guerrero is in a talent-rich division that holds a ton of options for a former, multiple-division world champion in terms of match-ups. The win for the Gilroy, California resident on Saturday against Kamegai was the start of an interesting journey down a tough, welterweight road for “The Ghost.” While he speaks of a desire to return to the ring against Floyd, if he takes a look around his division, he will see there a lot of great fights available besides “Money.” And while he will certainly need time to heal and recover from a badly cut and swollen eye from Saturday’s barnburner, the nuts-and-guts style he chose to bring to the table was nothing if not fan-friendly. After that display of grit and heart by both Guerrero and opponent Kamegai, both their phones will be ringing again. The options and opportunities all started with a fabulous battle on Saturday night.
Questions and comments can be sent to Bill Tibbs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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June 22, 2014