The Ghost loses in a split decision

Robert Guerrero throws a jab during a sparing session as he gears up for his Aug. 27 fight.

Robert Guerrero may have lost his status as an elite fighter Saturday.
Outclassed over the final eight rounds  after piling up an early lead,  Guerrero suffered a split-decision loss to underdog David Peralta in their 12-round welterweight fight in Anaheim. Two scorecards favored Peralta, 115-113 and 116-112, and a third scorecard favored Guerrero 115-113.
But even if “The Ghost” from Gilroy thought he deserved a victory, it was by no means the impressive performance the 33-year-old former four-time world champion needed to remain a title contender.
It appeared to be a more promising night during the first four rounds than it turned out for Guerrero. Counter-punching with thunderous left crosses to Peralta’s body, Guerrero was winning rounds without many showy shots to Peralta’s face and seemed likely to wear down the visitor from Argentina so that he could start landing to the head.
Instead, Peralta began to control the bout in the fifth round with a classic left-jab, right-cross combination strategy, and his two-inch height advantage clearly was a factor that began to throw Guerrero out of kilter. No matter how much harder Guerrero (33-5-1) was punching, Peralta  (26-2-1) clearly was landing more blows.
If Peralta’s takeover of the bout appeared to be an illusion, he dispelled it in the ninth round with a right-left-right combination that send Guerrero toward the ropes for what appeared to be a knockdown. No knockdown was called, and Guerrero’s staggering may have been due partly to a tangle of feet, but the visual impact constituted the signature moment of the bout.
Still, Guerrero might have hoped to escape with a draw, and it didn’t help that the best-known of the three judges, Max DeLuca, was the one who scored it 116-112.
 “I thought I clearly won the fight,” Guerrero said. “For the judge to say I lost eight rounds sounds crazy to me.
“Peralta was very awkward, but I felt I won. I won the rounds when I boxed.”
 Unfortunately for Guerrero, that wasn’t obvious to everyone. He certainly wasn’t dominant, which he needed to be to keep his illustrious career on track.
“This is very disappointing,” Guerrero said, “but I’ll be back. That you can count on.”

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