Guerrero says he is better prepared for Figueroa fight

Robert Guerrero throws a jab during a sparing session.

Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero said he is more prepared for a fight than he has been for a long time.
“I’m getting back to the basics, it’s like in any sport, you got to come back to the basics and not just, have an ego and just think you’re going to move everybody down and put that pressure and just knock somebody out,” Gilroy’s Guerrero said in a conference call on Tuesday in preparation of the fight.
Guerrero, who is seeking his first win since his June, 2015 victory over Aaron Martinez by split decision, said he stopped doing what he did to become a champion.
The Ghost is in the midst of his first multi-bout losing streak of his career, having suffered back-to-back losses to David Emanuel Peralta and Danny Garcia in 2016.
Guerrero sits at 33-5-1 overall after four of his last six fights.
Guerrero said he was hearing people talking about how crazy he was to move up to 147 pounds and he wanted to prove people wrong.
That led him to want to just muscle through opponents, but it backfired.
“You go out there thinking, sorry about my language, my (expletive deleted) is bigger than yours. That was the type of mentality I was going out there with,” Guerrero said. “In this game at 147 pounds … everybody is putting their skills to work and if you are the guy trying to mow people down, it doesn’t work with the talent right now.”
Guerrero will lace up the gloves against Omar Figueroa 5 p.m. July 15 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in New York. The fight will be aired on Fox.
Figueroa—who enters with an undefeated record of 26-0-1—is a relative newcomer to the welterweight division, having made a name for himself coming up through the lightweight ranks, including winning the WBC lightweight title.
After winning his first fight at the welterweight division, Figueroa took more than a year off from boxing to heal up after suffering broken hands against Antonio DeMarco.
Figueroa said his hands have been an issue for him during his career and he wanted to take time to get his hands right before stepping back in the ring.
Even now Figueroa said his hands feel great, but it may take a few punches for him to clear a mental block that he is fully back.
“It’s something that lingers, my hands feel great and I can punch a wall right now with full force but mentally I won’t allow myself to do so,” Figueroa said.
The DeMarco fight was back on December, 2015 and Figueroa said he is itching to get back in the ring.
“I’m at a loss for words when it comes to how excited I am to be back,” Figueroa said. “I’ve missed everything that has to do with this. I’ve been on big stage before and, at the same time it’s something that I crave.”
Guerrero himself has taken almost a full year off after his loss to Peralta. He said it was a good opportunity to get his body right and refocus before he got back in the ring.
The fight is being categorized as a must win for both fighters. For Figueroa it’s about proving he belongs at 147 and that his lingering injuries won’t affect his future.
For Guerrero it’s about proving he still has something left in boxing and that he’s not just a stepping stone for others’ advancements but he’s a target fight.
“You want to be the guy they’re on their way to. It does motivate you. It gets you excited, gets you out there to work hard and really look back at everything and think about what you’ve been doing in the ring and being smart about things so it really does light a fire under you,” Guerrero said.
Guerrero said looking ahead is something he shouldn’t do, but he knows if he does well in this fight, it could open the door for bigger fights down the road.
“There’s a lot of big fights out there lot championship fights out there,” Guerrero said. “… I’m excited that I’m in this position and this fight right here, it’s going to get me over that horizon to see what’s up next, what’s next in my career so fight night we got to take care of business.”
Figueroa, however, is barely looking one day past his fight with Guerrero.
“The only thing I’ve looked past Guerrero was going to get a hot dog and maybe some pizza there in New York City,” Figueroa said.
Both fighters should be close in styles, as both have proven they like to mix it up in the ring and not dance too much.
“It’s going to be a war like you said. This is going to come down to a war so we’re doing what we got to do,” said Guerrero’s trainer and father Ruben Guerrero.
“We’re going to be ready and that’s all I got to say is we’re going to be super ready for this fight and this is a fight we want and it’s going to be great for the fans and they can’t miss this fight because like you said, it’s going to be a great fight, a tremendous fight. They both can fight.”
The Ghost said he’s excited because Figueroa isn’t someone who is just going to run in the ring. He credited his opponent’s Texas upbringing for instilling a sense of toughness against anyone.
Guerrero said Figueroa can do plenty in the ring to throw someone’s game off, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t weaknesses in the way Figueroa boxes.
“There’s a lot of flaws in his style, there’s a lot of flaws you can capitalize on, but that being said, the type of style he brings makes things very awkward for other guys,” Guerrero said.
In probably the snarkiest moment of the conference call, Figueroa acknowledged Guerrero’s readiness to stand and box, but said he aims to throw The Ghost off his game plan.
“They all say they’re going to stand in the middle of the ring and go toe to toe and blah blah blah but it tells a different story once you start getting hit,” Figueroa said. “As Mike Tyson said, ‘Everyone has a plan ‘till they get punched in the mouth.’”
Guerrero said he knows that he will need to stick to a game plan against Figueroa mainly because he knows his opponent will be prepared for the fight.
Guerrero said initially they had tried to get the fight scheduled for earlier in the year, but Figueroa said he needed more preparation time, so they bumped it to July 15.
“I think I just got to come out and do my job, come out and work and put my game plan together during the fight. Keep everything together throughout the fight and, you know, come do my job, just come 100 percent ready and prepared,” Guerrero said. “I know every time I get in that ring, it can change in a heartbeat where one or two punches changes my whole attitude and it’s like now I got to show this guy, but it’s about being smart and using my head in the ring and that’s what I’m going to do.”
The undercards will feature Long Island native Seanie Monaghan (28-0) against fellow undefeated Marcus Browne (19-0) from Staten Island in a light heavyweight bout.
Finally, the card will also include what organizer Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment, called the “Polish heavyweight championship” with Artur Szpilka (20-2) and Adam Kownacki (15-0).
Szpilka currently fights out of Poland while Kownacki was Polish born but fights out of Brooklyn.

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