Just four months ago, Robert "the Ghost" Guerrero made his debut at welterweight, taking on the undefeated and highly avoided WBC silver welterweight champion Selcuk Aydin, winning an impressive convincing unanimous decision after being out of the ring for 15 months due to injuries.
Now, Guerrero is facing former welterweight champion Andre Berto, 28(22)-1, this Saturday in Ontario, Calif. on HBO, which should make for a great fight style-wise, and the winner of this fight should be deserving of a title shot next.
Robert is in the final phase of his training and taking care of last minute promotional duties, but he was able to take some time to talk to us here at the Bleacher Report.
King J: Robert in your last training camp for the Aydin fight, you did it cave-man style in Lake Tahoe, cut off from the distractions of the modern world for several weeks. That doesn't seem to be the case this time around, for we saw you recently sitting ringside at the Mikey Garcia vs Jonathon Barros in Vegas, looking pretty relaxed to be honest.Obviously, this is a much different training camp for Berto, wouldn't you say?
Robert Guerrero: Yeah, I’m training out here in Las Vegas for this fight. I’m running up at Mt. Charleston, where the elevation is somewhere near 9,000 feet. I feel good right now, and this camp has been great.
King J: So, word came out that this Saturday's fight with Andre Berto is your career-high payday; you will be making the big seven figures for your fight purse for the first time. How does that feel? You have always been a real down-to-earth simple guy, who, for lack of a better term, never really flosses or flaunts your wealth. Will you at least get a few new toys after Saturday?
Robert Guerrero (laughing): I’m sure I’ll get something for my family, but right now, I’m not even thinking about that kind of stuff. My whole focus is on beating Berto.
King J: Andre Berto is the biggest fight of your career. Berto was an undefeated welterweight champion for many years, but was criticized for never really fighting the top elite welterweights, and I think that may have to do more so with his advisers.
Speaking of which, some may view he is even protected in a sense by one of his very powerful advisers that, should it go to a decision, he may get the decision because of that extremely powerful adviser of his. What do you think about that?
Robert Guerrero: Berto is a great fighter, and he’s done a lot in this sport, so whether people thinks he’s been brought up soft or not, you can’t take away the fact that he’s a two-time world champion. The fight is in California, so I’m confident that the judging will be fair. Once we get in the ring, it’s going to be me and him getting busy.
King J: Berto's two toughest fights were against Luis Collazo and Victor Ortiz (his only loss). Have you and your team studied these fights, and without giving away too much, have you seen errors or bad habits in Berto that you can capitalize on? Obviously, your southpaw style will give him problems.
Robert Guerrero: I’ve watched all those tapes with my team, and we see some flaws in his game. I’m definitely going to expose those flaws when we fight.
King J: Berto has been out of the ring for injuries, and just when we thought we were heading into the long-awaited Berto vs Ortiz II fight in June, he failed a pre-fight drug test, which caused him to be out of the ring for pretty much the same amount of time you were for your injuries going into the Aydin fight about almost 15 months now. He will obviously have ring rust, but what concerns or precautions has your team taken because of his failed drug test?
Robert Guerrero: We are both using USADA to do the strict drug testing. Those guys are on it, and I’m not worried about the situation at all. If he’s going to cheat, I’m confident he’ll get caught.
King J: The last time we talked, you were Twitter beefing with Adrian Broner. Broner and myself were both ringside (opposite sides of the ring) at the Mares vs Moreno fight in Staples Center, and as soon as they showed him on the jumbotron, the crowd began to boo him hard. Why do you think that is? Did you also get booed when they showed you on the jumbotron at the Garcia vs Barros fight?
Robert Guerrero: The fans were great and cheered for me at the Lara fight and I signed some autographs, so it was good. As for Broner, you know Mexican fans in LA; they like real fighters who talk in the ring. Real fighters fight!
King J: Have you seen Broner's fight with DeMarco last Saturday yet? Do you still feel he is untested and unworthy of a fight with you?
Robert Guerrero: I didn’t see the fight, but I picked him to win. I got to take care of business with Berto before I start talking about other fights, but I heard he had a good win against DeMarco. Once he gets to welterweight, then we can talk about that fight.
King J: I've pretty much been begging you to talk smack and to trash talk, and you have been going the good guy high road route, but recently, you had called Amir Khan a "scumbag" for dissing his former trainer Freddie Roach, and overall, you have been more so "keeping it real" with the boxing media. Why the sudden real talk from you? Do you feel it may help you hype and get more of the fights you been aiming for?
Robert Guerrero: I’ve tried to be quiet about things, but it seems to get you know where in this sport. People don’t take you serious, so I’m just starting to speak my mind about certain things.
King J: Alright Garlic Ghost Champion, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us. Believe it or not, I have to fly up to Sacramento this week, and Saturday afternoon, I'll be flying into Ontario just for this fight. So remember that when you cash that seven-figure check, maybe you can buy me a lobster dinner or something next time we are both in Vegas (laughing).
Robert Guerrero (laughing): I got you, King J. Thanks for the interview, and I just want to say, this fight will be one of those fights that people will remember for many years to come. Tune in this Saturday on HBO. God Bless!
Robert Guerrero vs Andre Berto is taking place this Saturday at the Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif. and can be seen live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Tickets for Guerrero vs Berto can be purchased on Ticketmaster at (800) 736-1420 or at AXS (888) 9AXS- TIX (888-929-7849), at the Citizens Business Bank Arena box office or online at www.ticketmaster.com, www.cbbankarena.com or www.axs.com.
King J is the Bleacher Report Boxing Community Leader and a Featured Columnist. All of these statements were acquired first hand from an interview with Robert Guerrero.
Follow on Twitter: @KingJ323