Guerrero's happy ... and grateful
Story by Robert Hough
Photo by Chris Cozzone
Robert Guerrero’s a happy guy. His wife’s doing well in her battle with leukemia, he returns to the ring on Friday and he’s going to the Mosley-Mayweather fight.
The former IBF junior lightweight champ, who’s making his debut at 135 pounds in a 10-round bought against Roberto Arrieta (35-15-4, 16 KOs) on Telefutura’s "Sólo Boxeo Tecate," will be even happier if people register for a bone marrow donation program—which saved his wife’s life.
“It would be great if people hear about this and want to help,” Guerrero (25-1-1, 17 KOs), who faces Arrieta at the Tropicana in Las Vegas, said recently. “If people help out—and it’s really easy to register—and someone saves a life because of this, that would be amazing.”
Guerrero, who noted that his wife, Casey, received a transplant from a donor in Europe, said he’s learned that there are misperceptions about donating bone marrow. People can learn more at www.marrow.org.
“I’ve heard that there’s a lot of information out there that’s not correct so I hope everyone will take a look and learn more about it,” he said.
Guerrero, who stepped away from boxing and gave up his title to help his wife, hasn’t fought in eight months. He feels refreshed and, much as he’s always come across as humble and grateful, he’s all the more aware of his good fortune.
“With what my wife’s going through, I’m more thankful for my blessings and more aware that I need to make the most of my opportunities to provide for my family,” said the father of two. “I’m really fortunate that I can do that by doing what I love. I just turned 27 so I’m right in my prime. I’m ready to have big fights.”
Being in Las Vegas, seeing the crowds for the Mosley-Mayweather fight and looking forward to watching it is fun for the huge boxing fan, and extra motivation.
“It’s crazy here and being around it, it makes me want to get that level that much more,” the Gilroy, Calif., native and resident said. “When you have a love for the sport as a fighter and as a fan, you get excited. I see everything going on and, sure, it makes me hungrier for big fights.”
Moving up to 135 makes Guerrero all the more excited about his prospects.
“A five-pound difference might not seem like a lot, but it really is,” he said. “Fighting at 135 is pretty close to my walking-around weight, which is 142, 145. I’m able to work on more stuff in the gym instead of spending time getting the weight off. I feel stronger and faster.”
Assuming all goes well on Friday, onward to a title fight, said Guerrero, who’s open to who’s next.
“If I win on Friday and don’t get injured or cut, I’ll be ready to fight again pretty quickly,” he said. “We’ll see how it goes and talk about it, but right now, mentally and physically, I feel ready for anyone at 135.”