As if Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero needed any other motivation while training in Lake Tahoe for his WBC interim welterweight world championship bout against undefeated slugger Selcuk Aydin, a bear sighting during an early morning run with younger brother Randy Guerrero got the juices going that much more.
“It was pretty cool, but I was like, ‘We better get out of here,” Guerrero said Thursday. “We picked our feet up a little more.”
If anyone can pass a bear unnoticed, a ghost can.
Wild animal encounters aside, Guerrero is settling into training camp six weeks ahead of his July 28 clash with Aydin, where the winner will exit HP Pavilion in San Jose as not only the interim world champion at 147 pounds, but also the No. 1 contender to Floyd Mayweather Jr.
“Everything is good. The weather is great, training is going great,” the five-time world champion said. “We are treating the workouts a little different. It’s a little tricky when you’re in elevation and you’re already in great shape. You need to know when to push and when to pull. So right now we are getting a feel for it.”
It is Randy Guerrero’s first full-fledged training camp in advance of his first pro fight, which will be on the July 28 undercard.
“It’s going to be a night of Guerreros,” the “elder” Guerrero said.
Though the allure of becoming the No. 1 contender to Mayweather may shine brightly at the end of the tunnel, Guerrero (29-1-1, 18 KOs) is certainly not overlooking the task right in front of him, as he prepares to jump two weight class, debut at 147 and face a powerful Aydin (23-0-0, 17 KOs).
“You can’t look past anybody. I learned that when I got my first loss,” Guerrero warned. “I’ve been through that. It’s just experiences you get going through the boxing game that you look back at and use. You’ve got to be focused on what you need to take that next step. If you don’t take that step right, you are going to lose your footing and fall back to square one.”
Phase one of this training camp involved laying the groundwork for Guerrero’s plan of attack when he climbs in the ropes against Aydin – a relentless puncher out to punish.
“We are putting together a crazy game plan and I don’t think this guy is going to know what hit him,” Guerrero said, emphasizing the importance of a honed-in strategy.
“It’s very important. You have to have a game plan every time you go in there. Not every fighter is the same, they all have their own niche – their own style,” Guerrero said. “You may see some guys that look the same in the ring, but they do different things. It just goes back to having a good team. My father (Ruben Guerrero), (manager) Bob Santos, myself, we sit down watch film and look for different things that we can do.”
And when those tactics, tendencies and schemes are in place, instincts take over.
“It’s about executing,” Guerrero said. “You have to be able think in a split second. Thank God I have those tools and that I’m able to execute the game plan.”
NOTE: Saturday at Dutchman’s Pizza, 6940 Chestnut St., Guerrero’s publicist Mario Serrano is selling tickets from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The Ghost will not be there, but encourages fans to get their tickets as soon as possible.
“I’m feeling great, strong and hitting hard,” Guerrero said. “This guy is undefeated, saying he is going to break my jaw, saying this and that. Also, being for the world championship, it makes guys step up 10-times more. So he is coming to fight. It’s going to be a big one for San Jose and the Bay Area. You’ve got to come out and watch this.”