Things heating up between Guerrero, Garcia ahead of Jan. 23 bout

Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero win his fight Premier Boxing Champions welterweight 10-round bout over Aron Martinez by split decision June 6 at the StubHub Center in Carson.

As if it isn’t bad enough that Robert Guerrero is an underdog in his Jan. 23 welterweight bout in Los Angeles, unbeaten Danny Garcia predicted Thursday that he’ll stop “The Ghost” from Gilroy in five rounds.
“Come and do it,” Guerrero dared back. “If you’re coming to K.O. me in the fifth round, it means you’re coming to fight.”
That was about as nasty as it got during Thursday’s teleconference to hype a 12-round bout that will take place at the Staples Center and will air on Fox and Fox Deportes. Garcia’s prediction was merely a response to a request for one.
“I’m not really too concerned about being the underdog or the promoted fighter, the favorite. I prepare myself to be the best Danny Garcia every fight,” Garcia said.
Garcia (31-0, 18 knockouts), the former World Boxing Association super-lightweight champion (140 pounds) will be making only his second appearance at 147, the other being a 2014 stoppage of another longtime 140-pounder, Paulie Malignaggi. Garcia also has beaten Amir Khan, Lucas Matthysse and Zab Judah, although his narrow 2014 victory over unsung Mauricio Herrera made Garcia seem eminently beatable.
Guerrero (33-3, 18 knockouts) is still looked upon as a recent arrival in the 147-pound class, but he has been there more than three years and has fought the best, losing to Floyd Mayweather and Keith Thurman, but also beating Andre Berto and former WBC champion Selcuk Aydin.  His victims in lower weights have included Michael Katsidis, Joel Casamayor and Vicente Escobedo.
If Guerrero has anything to atone for, it’s his most recent fight, a much-too-close comeback victory over journeyman Aron Martinez last June. Guerrero suffered a knockdown in that bout.  That fight, coming only three months after his brutal loss to Thurman, added to a sense that Guerrero, 32, might be on the downside of his career, and it certainly made him the underdog against Garcia.
“That don’t bother me at all,” Guerrero said. “My whole life I’ve been an underdog … For a lot of Latinos, that’s the way it is. We come from poverty and work our way to the top.”
Garcia, five years Guerrero’s junior, is a Puerto Rican-American from Philadelphia, so the match with Guerrero is being promoted as one of boxing’s frequent Mexico vs. Puerto Rico collisions.
Guerrero said he identifies more specifically as Chicano.
Garcia said, “I feel like I’m representing all Latinos.”
So maybe the ethnic angle is tepid. But the favorite-underdog theme has picked up steam.


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