Jesse James Guerrero goes into 2023 the same way he entered 2022—with big goals and renewed optimism.
Even though he’s coming off a draw in his latest boxing match on Dec. 17 in Rosarito Mexico, the Gilroy resident still sports a professional record of 5-0-1 with five knockouts. This was Guerrero’s last fight with Najera Promotions, which means the 19-year-old is free to sign with another agency.
Guerrero’s dad, Ruben, said he’s optimistic Jesse will sign with a new promoter within the next couple of months which should give him expanded opportunities to progress in his career.
“Big things are in store for 2023,” Ruben said of Jesse, who competes as a flyweight.
In his last bout, Jesse boxed to a four-round draw against Jose Lopez Sotelo, who entered the contest having accumulated 28 fights and 110 rounds. Guerrero was deducted a point in the third round for a shoulder roll, but Ruben said Jesse was ahead on all the scorecards before that happened.
Jesse said he and his team were frustrated by what happened during the fight.
“The ref kept on saying I couldn’t do this or that so it threw me off,” Guerrero said. “Every time I would hurt the guy, the ref would step in and complain about something I was doing. But he never complained about anything my opponent was doing. I got head-butted more than once. If he’s going to fight dirty, of course I’m not going to let that go by me. It’s a fight for a reason.”
Despite not coming out with a win, Guerrero said the match was a great learning experience for him and will only help him going forward. For the first time in his pro career, Guerrero was involved in a grind-it-out, chippy contest against a more experienced opponent who tested his resolve and will.
“It was good for me to fight somebody who was a bit older,” Guerrero said. “You see the difference in the experience he had and the four years of age gap between us. It taught me things for me to know next time I’m in a fight like this. The important thing is I’m still undefeated and that’s all that counts. This was a learning experience. We went to war, put on a show for the fans, things happen, it’s boxing. Political stuff like that is always going to happen and now it’s on to bigger and better things.”
Guerrero said in the leadup to the fight, he sparred several high-ranked caliber boxers, highlighted by sessions with Erick “Mini Pacman” Rosa, the WBA mini flyweight champion. The two went at it in Las Vegas and Guerrero was thrilled to be in the same ring with a world champion.
“Sparring someone like Mini Pacman is different because he’s more fast paced and has clean shots with nothing sloppy,” Guerrero said. “He pushed me to be better and I liked it because now it shows me what all the top guys are like and what I have to train like to become a world champion.”