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Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero – Where Are You?

Robert GuerreroBy Matt Wood: Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero hasn’t fought since his loss to Floyd Mayweather last May. If he wanted to take some time off and enjoy his $3 million payday after getting roughed up by the pound for pound champ, that’s perfectly understandable, but that was an entire year ago. Bear in mind that fights need many months to be promoted, so Guerrero could easily have a year and half of rust on him when he next steps into the ring. So what’s he been up to lately?

Well, earlier this year he tried to leave Golden Boy, with whom he has a contract, to pursue a fight with Manny Pacquiao. His team hasn’t been overly vocal on how that was ultimately resolved, but Guerrero signed on with advisor/manager Al Haymon in March, who generally works with Golden Boy promoted fighters, so for the purposes of this article let’s assume Guerrero is staying with Golden Boy. Who should he fight next?

One name that’s been floated around is Jesus Soto Karass, who’s coming off a loss to knockout artist Keith Thurman. Karass would be a relatively safe yet solid pick for Guerrero. He makes for competitive fights, has a good chin, and is hittable unlike Floyd Mayweather. There are some common names on their resumes: both men have wins over Andre Berto and Selcuk Aydin, but I have to think that if Guerrero brings his A-game he would be the favorite in a competitive fight.

Another fighter Guerrero should pursue is Amir Khan. The British boxer has solid name recognition, is coming off his best win in three years in beating Luis Collazo, and is likely going to be overlooked as Floyd Mayweather’s next opponent in September due to the date conflicting with Ramadan. If Khan wants to stay busy and prove himself as a legitimate welterweight, a fight with Robert Guerrero looks compelling.

Khan vs Guerrero could headline an ordinary (non-PPV) Showtime card in late 2014, or be a great contribution to a PPV undercard. Golden Boy could really sell this fight, and I think it would be a lot of fun. Guerrero’s relentless hunting would be effective against Khan, who again is much easier to find than Mayweather, but the Ghost would have to take a lot of punches in the process. Guerrero would also have to roughhouse and find a way to deal with Khan’s wily stick-and-clinch tactics that proved so effective against Collazo.

If Guerrero wants a real tune up fight, Josesito Lopez could be an ideal bout. Lopez is an entertaining fighter coming off two wins in a row against Mike Arnaoutis and Aaron Martinez, and he’s not afraid to take on dangerous foes, losing by tko after admirable performances against Saul Alvarez and Marcos Maidana. I have to think Lopez is the underdog here, but we thought the same thing when he broke Victor Ortiz’s jaw back in 2012. Guerrero should win this fight, but it would be competitive.

The riskiest fight Guerrero will have available, and the one that probably won’t happen, is with Keith Thurman. Golden Boy has been quietly building up Thurman, and some signs point to Thurman vs Shawn Porter sometime in 2015, assuming Porter gets and wins a fight with Kell Brook (a lot of ifs, I know). The problem Thurman will have in the near future is a lack of quality opponents to propel him to the main stage of a PPV card. Robert Guerrero could be that opponent, but he likely won’t care for such a risky fight coming off a loss and a fairly long layoff.  If both men stay at welterweight and with Golden Boy, expect this fight to be mentioned before too long.

Whoever he fights, let’s hope the Ghost can get back in the mix soon.

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