It’s been a quite some time since I viewed Robert Guerrero as a true contender. I expected him to lose badly to Keith Thurman in March 2015, and he did. He lost every round and was knocked down in Round 4. I though Danny Garcia would beat him earlier this year, and all three judges gave Garcia eight of 12 rounds, as did I.
But top contender or not, Guerrero has remained a fighter I am glad to see on a schedule. He has made a career out of turning in great fights. Even as he lost in one-sided fashion to Thurman, he made the bout compelling late in the fight, showing tremendous heart. Against Garcia, he pushed the action in the fight.
Historically, Guerrero has been in some of the best fights of recent years. His November 2012 win over Andre Berto was arguably the best fight of that year, as was his June 2014 victory over Yoshihiro Kamegai.
Even as a fighter past his prime, fighting above his best competitive weight, Guerrero has remained a compelling performer.
But after his performance Saturday night in Anaheim, it is hard not to fee that Guerrero would be best served moving on to the next chapter in his life. In a PBC main event on Spike TV, he lost going away against the virtually unknown David Peralta of Argentina. Guerrero carried one of three judges’ cards, winning seven rounds with Jerry Cantu. But the other two judges had him down 116-112 and 115-113 respectively.
“The Ghost” is still just 33. That is a young man. But it can be old for a fighter, especially one with Guerrero’s take-no-prisoners approach. Damage can pile up over time on a warrior like Guerrero.
Guerrero does not strike me as the sort of fighter who has squandered his money. His public image is that of a dedicated family man (he briefly retired to care for his wife, when she was undergoing cancer treatments). I have to think that just the money he made for fighting Floyd Mayweather left him financially secure for life.
But you cannot put a price tag on pride. Guerrero left the ring Saturday night vowing to return. He probably will be back and will likely turn in another compelling performance. But even for a diehard fan like myself, it is tough to believe that would really be his best option.