I got the chance to speak with Robert Guerrero, two-time IBF featherweight champion about his upcoming fight against Daud Cino Yordan (23-0, 17 KOs) of Indonesia, fighting on HBO in his home town of San Jose and how it feels to be back in action.
How was the Sharks game the other night? (Robert was a guest at HP Pavilion for the Sharks-Kings game on February 19)
RG: It was nice. It was a good game, we had a good time out there.
It must be great to be in front of the fans and obviously you are going to be fighting in San Jose coming up. What does that mean to you to be fighting in front of your hometown fans?
RG: It means a lot, I’ve been wanting to fight in San Jose for a long time, and the fans want me to fight out here. The event is going to be huge. It’s going to be an HBO fight, first time ever that HBO has been to San Jose. It’s going to be awesome and I can’t wait. I know everybody’s excited. It’s what the Bay Area needs, big fights.
I know you also have your own blog, you have a MySpace page. How is it getting to interact with the fans directly like that?
RG: The fans are always there for me, with support… they support me a lot. Not just in boxing, but with the situation with my wife and everything. So you have to take the time for the fans.
Do you read any other athlete’s blogs or do you have any websites you try to stay up to date with?
RG: Yea I visit Fightnews and Maxboxing a lot, and just try to keep up on what’s going on with boxing.
So anyway, getting to the fight, it was great to see you back in the ring last month. I know you must be excited with it getting close to fight time, so how are you feeling and how is training going?
RG: I’m feeling great, my body is feeling great. The nice thing is after the last fight I came out of there in 43 seconds and didn’t get injured, no soreness or anything. So I was able to take a couple of days off and jump right back in, and not have to worry about getting into shape and just working on what I need to do for this fight.
A lack of rounds has to be somewhat of a concern for you though, you’ve only gotten 1 round of action in the last year. Have you been doing anything different in camp to help with that or have you been sparring more or anything?
RG: Just keeping the sparring at a certain amount and making sure I’m in great shape. The one thing is you don’t want to overwork for a fight, and having the lack of rounds you don’t want to think you need to train harder, because then you’ll burn yourself out. So it’s touchy, it’s a touchy situation. That’s where your experience comes in.
What do you know about your opponent, have you seen any tapes of him?
RG: Yea I’ve seen some tapes of him, I saw his last fight which was actually here in the United States (Note: Yordan has fought once more since then). He’s a good, sharp fighter. Good counter puncher, moves good. So we’re working up a game plan to take advantage of his style. He’s a solid fighter.
You’re also up at super featherweight now, how does your body feel at 130 lbs?
RG: Oh, it feels great! Real strong, real strong! It’s a huge difference. I feel stronger, faster. I’m happy and I’m happy making this move to 130 lbs.
After this fight do you think you’ll be ready for some of the big names at 130 lbs and a possible title shot? Or do you think you’ll need a few more step up fights?
RG: I’m hoping to get a title fight after this fight, but if not then by the end of the year. I’m excited about that and with Golden Boy I’ll be able to take advantage of that.
Obviously your promotional situation was a big hassle for you and it kept you out of the ring (a dispute with his former promoter kept him out of the ring for almost a year). How does it feel to be with Golden Boy right now and to have that whole situation squared away?
RG: I’m happy, happy to be with Golden Boy. It’s a big weight off my shoulders. When you’re working with Golden Boy they make you feel like family, it’s like a big happy family, and I couldn’t be happier right now.
Do you have anybody in particular your eyeing? Rocky Juarez is at 130 and you’ve had a fight cancelled with him in the past. There are other guys like Jorge Linares or Humberto Soto… Yuriorkis Gamboa is around that weight. Anybody you’d really like to step in there with?
RG: With the best! All of those names are top fighters in this division and that’s who I want to be in with. I’m not picky about who I’m going to fight, it’s just about getting those fights. I’m excited that I’m going to have the opportunity to get those fights, and they’ll be there. I just can’t wait. Whoever it is… whether it’s Soto or Gamboa or somebody up there that’s ready to go, I’m excited and I’ll be ready.
Would you consider moving up to 135 lbs for a big fight with somebody like Juan Manuel Marquez or Juan Diaz or anybody like that?
RG: Oh yea, in a heart beat. I’d love to get up to 135 and challenge one of the top fighters there.
So from 130 to 135 you’re taking all comers.
RG: Oh yea!
Lastly and most importantly, you’ve announced that your wife’s cancer is in remission, which is great news. How is she feeling and how is the family?
RG: She’s feeling good, the family is doing great. It’s always rough and tough when you have a family member that’s sick. Especially with boxing and all of the focus needed and all the time you have to put in the gym. It’s really a balancing act and everything has to be balanced perfectly. It’s been tough, but we’ve been doing it.
I appreciate the time and wish you and your family the best, and good luck in your upcoming bout.
RG: Thank you.
The Guerrero-Yordan fight will be televised on HBO Boxing After Dark on Saturday, March 7th from San Jose, California.