Guerrero Defeats Klassen, Captures IBF Super Featherweight title

By Boxing News - 08/22/2009 - Comments

guerrero432434By Jason Kim: Robert Guerrero (25-1-1, 17 KOs) defeated Malcolm Klassen (24-5-2, 14 KOs) tonight to capture Klassen’s International Boxing Federation (IBF) super featherweight title at the Toyota Center, in Houston, Texas. The final judges’ scores were 117-111, 116-113, 116-112.

However, Guerrero, 26, looked hardly impressive as he ran out of gas in the final four rounds, resulting in Guerrero clinching continuously and making it an awful fight to watch. I thought that Guerrero should have been penalized a point due to all the holding he was doing, because he was doing little but grabbing and holding in the last four rounds, trying to prevent Klassen from unloading on him.

I saw Guerrero winning the fight by a narrow two round margin, largely because Klassen slowed down with his work rate in the 11th and 12th, reminding me of how welterweight Joshua Clottey failed to let his hands to in the final two rounds against Miguel Cotto in their recent fight. Guerrero seemed to be focusing more on volume punching rather than throwing punches with power. His pitty-pat punches did nothing to Klassen, who returned fire through much of the fight getting the better of Guerrero.

Guerrero control the action by a slight margin going into the 8th round. That’s when Guerrero started to fade and grab. It was ugly to watch because Guerrero looked exhausted and was doing little but push weak shots at Klassen every now and then.

Overall, I thought Guerrero looked terrible, nothing like a champion. However, the IBF is one of the weakest in the super featherweight division and unless they suddenly push Yuriorkis Gamboa to a top number #1 ranking, Guerrero will likely be able to defend the IBF title for awhile against the likes of Kevin Mitchell and Mzonke Fana. However, as soon as Guerrero is putted against Gamboa, Roman Martinez or Humberto Soto, I see Guerrero being destroyed. I’m not in the least impressed with what I see from Guerrero and see him more as a sacrificial lamb than a real champion based on this performance and his fight against Daud Cino Yordan earlier this year.

Guerrero threw a lot of punches from rounds one through eight, averaging over 100 per round. Fighting at super featherweight for the first time, Guerrero showed little in the way of power and looked as if he was out of his class in terms of power. Guerrero’s one advantage in the fight was that he had a huge four inch height advantage over the 5’4″ Klassen, which allowed Guerrero to bomb away at distance. Even in close, Guerrero looked like the much bigger fighter and appeared to be a minimum of 15 pounds heavier than the short and small Klassen. This size really helped Guerrero in this fight, although I can’t imagine it helping Guerrero when and if he ever fights super featherweight Yuriorkis Gamboa, who I feel will knock Guerrero out within one or two rounds.

Guerrero was cut on the side of his left eye in the 7th round. Thankfully, Guerrero didn’t start looking to have the fight stopped. By the 8th round, Guerrero began to look tired, grabbing Klassen often in a tight clinch to prevent him from throwing punches. Klassen landed some big shots in the 8th, 9th and 10th rounds, winning all three of the rounds on my scorecards. However, Klassen tired out by the 11th, allowing Guerrero to retake control over the fight with his volume punching.

Guerrero’s punches had zero power by this point and were mostly just weak arm shots. However, in the absence of any real offense from Klassen, it was enough for Guerrero to win the 11th and 12th rounds. It wasn’t impressive, but then again Klassen wasn’t doing much himself, so you can hardly blame Guerrero for his lack of power and his constant clinching.

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