As he prepares for one of the biggest fights of his career April 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, Gilroy, California native and three-time former world champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero is currently training miles away from his usual hometown location in Northern California over to the city that never sleeps.
Guerrero, whose wife Casey has dealt with a well-documented battle against leukemia, typically set camp in the Bay Area where he could stay close to his ill wife and assist with the daily routine of raising two children. Now Johnny Tocco’s and the Pound for Pound gyms are where he trains for his next prizefight inside the squared circle.
“Since my wife is cancer-free, I am able to move camp to Las Vegas, away from distractions at home,” said Guerrero. “Plus, I’m fighting here, so I figure I will get used to the atmosphere in Las Vegas.”
Guerrero (28-1-1, 18 KO’s) stepped away from the ring for eight months in 2010 to care for his ailing wife, but now that her cancer is in full remission, Guerrero has been able to reestablish himself as one of the top-rated lightweights in the sport. Despite the change of location, everything else in Guerrero’s camp has remained the same. Regular camp members who made the trip with Guerrero to Vegas include his head trainer and father Ruben Guerrero, who has been in his corner since he first walked into a boxing gym at age nine, and Guerrero’s manager/nutritionist Bob Santos who keeps his training and diet on track.
“As far as my training routine, we are keeping everything the same as if we were back at home,” Guerrero continued. “My thinking is why would I change something that has been working?”
The biggest obstacle involved with changing locations for Team Guerrero has been getting a lay of the land.
“Because this is our first camp in Las Vegas, we have to get used to the area in terms of where everything is located. We had to find the grocery stores, gyms, etc., but we have a good routine now,” stated Guerrero.
“The Ghost” also intends to assemble an effective routine against his dynamic opponent Michael Katsidis (27-3, 22KO’s) of Queensland, Australia now residing in Pattaya, Thailand. The two were originally scheduled to fight in March of last year, but Guerrero was forced to withdraw later in February when his wife underwent a bone-marrow transplant.
Guerrero was also forced to relinquish the IBF super featherweight title he’d won with a decision over Malcolm Klassen the prior year. However, when Casey’s condition improved, Robert returned to the ring at the higher weight limit of 135 pounds. Guerrero had his first comeback fight against Roberto David Arrieta, whom he stopped in eight rounds, and then won a pair of decisions against former two-division champion Joel Casamayor and top ten contender Vicente Escobedo.
Currently ranked #1 by the World Boxing Organization (WBO), #1 by the World Boxing Association (WBA), #4 by the International Boxing Federation (IBF) and #8 by the World Boxing Council (WBC), Guerrero will have the opportunity to maintain his status as one of the best lightweight contenders in the world. Thus, his mind is set to continue facing the best fighters in his division and to regain a world championship belt.
“A win against a great fighter like Katsidis will open up huge doors for me. This is the fight that is going to catapult me into bigger fights. I’m going to get the job done April 9.”
At stake in this fight will be the vacant interim WBO lightweight title.