Boxing: Fernando Guerrero

Often, in defending the sport of boxing against those who see it as pointless brutality, I point to the multitudes who have been lifted up by the sport. On an annual basis hundreds of children in the United States and thousands worldwide find the gym, lace up the gloves and find a positive outlet, a way to escape the lure of the street and instead focus on a meaningful goal. Yes, I concede that the road they have chosen isn't without bumps. But, as I heard Jim Lampley of HBO say once, do the people calling for the abolition of boxing think working in a coal mine for 40 years doesn't do things to a person's body, long-term?

I was reminded of the uplifting nature of the sport when talking to Fernando Guerrero (25-1 with 19 KOs; age 26; sole loss to Grady Brewer in June 2011, has won four straight against B or lower grade opposition) who fights WBO middleweight champion Peter Quillin at Barclays Center on Saturday night, in a bout to be shown on Showtime.

Guerrero told NYFightblog that he came to the US from the Dominican Republic in 1995, with his parents. "My dad brought us here to get an education, to better ourselves," he said. They settled in Salisbury, Maryland, a community Guerrero is proud to be part of. "The most famous person from Salisbury is that woman from "The Terminator" (Linda Hamilton)," he said. "I want to beat Quillin and represent all the people touched by poverty."

Young Guerrero grew up poor and didn't truly realize how much so till he came here. Without shoes in DR, he came to America, and realized what was missing. He's hoping a win over Quillin sends a jolt through his homeland. "In the Dominican Republic, it's all about baseball, they've never had that person to idolize in boxing. I want to be the Sammy Sosa of boxing."

The left-hander Guerrero took some hits on the message boards that he got this shot not because of his talent, but who he knows. He's repped by influential advisor Al Haymon; I asked Guerrero if that line of thinking insulted him. "Those people are opinionated," he said. "I'm not a matchmaker. I'm trying to do my dream. Whoever they put in front of me, let the best man win."

Quillin and Guerrero get heated on call

April, 4, 2013
One might have expected a conference call featuring Danny Garcia and Zab Judah to devolve into a word war, a violent tennis match of insults and threats such as we saw when the Brooklyner Judah became insulted by Garcia's father/trainer Angel Garcia during a Dec. 1 presser in NYC, and the two crews almost brawled.

But the call didn't deteriorate into a too-passionate showcase of cojones, likely because Mr. Garcia, an excitable provocateur who has succeeded in spicing up most of his son's recent promotions with inflammatory trash-talking, didn't take part.

"Zab is a four-round fighter," said Angel Garcia on Dec. 1, "and Danny's going to knock him out in four rounds."

"ICU doesn't discriminate on any patients," said Judah in response, following up with some off-color words and implying that Team Garcia would have a hard time making it back to Philly without getting touched up. But things simmered down and the event proceeded. The bout didn't, though, because Garcia hurt his ribs in training, so the Feb. 9 date got moved to April 27, at Barclays Center.

On a conference call to bang the drums for the Golden Boy card, which will be televised on Showtime, Judah and the unified junior lightweight champ Garcia played nice, while middleweights Peter Quillin, the WBO champ, and Fernando Guerrero got heated.

Things started sedately. The Dominican-born Guerrero (25-1, age 26; a left-hander) talked about his celeb status in his home base, Salisbury, Maryland. "From my hometown, there's only one person that came out of there and did something, that was the girl from 'Terminator,'" he said, referencing Linda Hamilton. "[The Dominican Republic is a small country] and we're coming up. Back in the day people didn't understand when I tried to tell them the only person that I had to look up to was Sammy Sosa. But they're like, 'Oh, he's not from boxing.' I was like, yeah, but that's my idol. I want to be the Sammy Sosa of boxing."

Things started to turn when Quillin (28-0, age 29; lives in NYC, trains in L.A.) delved into his ethnic pride. "I have my own reasons why I should be doing what I'm doing," he said. "A lot of Cubans back in Cuba, they sit on the beach and it's a sad thing to watch. People just want to get out of that country and fight for opportunity. So, me doing this, it's more than just like for Cuba and my father, who came over here with just a pair of pants and a shirt with no shoes on and come over here to make a ..."

Guerrero interrupted, they engaged in cross talk, and Quillin got more pointed. "You will not beat me April 27th," he said. "The only thing you're going to know how to do is run back in that hole like you did with Grady Brewer. You know how to lose."

There isn't huge buzz over this fight, as Guerrero isn't a buzz-y fighter, but this faceoff could well steal the show in Brooklyn.

Quillin to face Guerrero?

December, 17, 2012
It was rumored that Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin would face Jermain Taylor on Feb. 9 at Barclays Center, in Quillin's first defense of the WBO middleweight crown he wrested from Hassan N'Dam on Oct. 20 in Brooklyn. Pundits and fans rejected that, pointing out that the 34-year-old Taylor hasn't looked exceedingly sharp since coming back after leaving the ring following a TKO loss to Arthur Abraham in October 2009, Taylor's second straight KO loss.

So it looks like Plan B might be in effect, and Quillin, the 29-year-old NYC resident with a 28-0 record, could fight Maryland resident Fernando Guerrero (25-1). That's what, the popular records and schedule site on the Net, is showing.

I asked Quillin if Quillin-Guerrero is signed, sealed and delivered. I have signed nothing, Quillin answered.

Guerrero, 26, has won four straight since losing via TKO to 27-11 Grady Brewer. Guerrero, a lefty, isn't seen as a current or future star in the middleweight division, by and large, but most see him as a more viable threat than Taylor to topple Quillin.

Follow me on Twitter here!/Woodsy1069.