Even though the interview demands have increased tenfold – five
scheduled for Wednesday
– Guerrero again designated time to talk with his hometown paper
and sports editor Josh Weaver. And speaking of Gilroy …
In the weeks leading up to Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero’s WBA interim super lightweight world title clash with Marcos Maidana on Aug. 27 at HP Pavilion, Gilroy’s five-time world champion has checked in once a week to provide some insight and intricacies into his extensive training camp in Big Bear. Even though the interview demands have increased tenfold – five scheduled for Wednesday – Guerrero again designated time to talk with his hometown paper and sports editor Josh Weaver. And speaking of Gilroy …
Josh Weaver: With all the success that you have had, why have you decided to stay in Gilroy?
Robert Guerrero: I was born and raised there. I was born at Wheeler Hospital, which is now a retirement home. Maybe I will be back in there one day.
JW: So you’re set here?
RG: People have seen me grow up there. When I come home it’s peaceful, where if I moved away and came back then it would be crazy like, ‘oh, Guerrero is in town.’ But everyone is used to seeing me around town. They respect me and I treat everybody with respect, ‘like, hey, you know what, I’m a normal person, you’re a normal person, so I just love it there.
JW: Growing up, did you look up to any boxer in particular?
RG: There were a lot of fighters that I used to look up to. I used to look up to Oscar De La Hoya when he won the 1992 Olympics, watching when he turned pro and when his career went through the roof. I watched guys like Julio Cesar Chavez when I was a kid, Pernell Whitaker. There were so many fighters that I grew up watching. I used to watch Tuesday Night Fights on USA (Network). Me and my brothers, all the time, sitting around and watching fights.
JW: What’s it like having your family deeply involved in your career?
RG: It’s a blessing to have your family around, being by your side and enjoying boxing at a world championship level. When we were kids and watching world championship fights on HBO, it wasn’t just my dream it was all of ours. I think for any kid who turns toward boxing it is a dream to be on HBO fighting for a world championship. To be able to be on HBO winning five world championships and having your brothers there enjoying it by your side, it’s awesome. It’s what we grew up watching and now we are center stage.
JW: On that same note, being on center stage, can you describe what it’s like moments before that first bell rings?
RG: It just sends that chill down your spine, like wow, it’s time to go. All eyes are on you. It’s time to make it happen. You’ve been working your whole life for this moment. It’s one of those things where you get super excited.
JW: Do you hear the announcer introduce you?
RG: You know what, when they announce me, it’s kind of a blur because I’m just so zoned out and focused and thinking over my game plan, what I want to do, how I want to attack and how I’m going to approach it at the opening bell. You can hear all the cheering but I’m so caught in the moment that I don’t hear myself being announced.
JW: We talked last week about your workouts and the fact that you are doing quite a few push-ups and sit-ups. How many are you actually doing?
RG: Man, I am doing a lot. I do 300 sit-ups at the gym. Starting Monday, for the next two weeks, I’m going to do another 300 at night also. I do my push-ups in the morning, 300, then I do 500 at night before I go to bed.
JW: OK, so how do you break those down. How many per set?
RG: I do them 25.
JW: But how much rest in between?
RG: Maybe 30 seconds.
JW: Wow, all right.
RG: Yeah, bro, I’m motoring and ripping them out.
JW: You and Maidana did an interview with (The Boxing Lab) the other day. Did you listen to what he had to say at all?
RG: Nah, I didn’t listen.
JW: Do you care?
RG: I don’t really. You get a lot of fighters, they talk themselves into a fight. Maidana is a different guy. He’s quiet. He just comes to fight. As far as him talking fighters down, he’s not that type. He shows it in the ring what he wants to express.
JW: Your friend Carina Moreno is on the undercard, are you excited to see her back in action?
RG: It’s been a tough road for her getting fights. For her to be on the card and do her thing it’s going to be good to see for local amateur fighters. With fighters like Carina making it happen it motivates a lot of girls with hopes of becoming professionals.
JW: So this fight is creeping up on us.
RG: Yep, a week and a half here and then it’s back home. I will spend that last week before the fight in San Jose and do everything the way it has been going here at camp: getting the team together, going over game plan, gym work and getting the proper rest. The rest is very important that week up until fight night.
JW: Anything else you want to add this week?
RG: You know what, you can tell everybody in Gilroy ‘hi’ and I will see them on fight night.