Five keys for Robert Guerrero
Plotting a path to victory against Andre Berto
Interim welterweight titlist Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero (30-1-1, 18 KOs) will take on former titlist Andre Berto on Saturday (HBO, 10 p.m. ET/PT) at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California. The fight will be a true test for the Californian fighter in just his second welterweight fight after campaigning at lightweight for most of his career.
These are the keys to a possible Guerrero victory over Berto (28-1, 22 KOs) on Saturday:
The more, the better
|Left, another left, up and in the middle. This seems to be Guerrero's main recipe, something that worked very well for him against Selcuk Aydin in his previous fight, a unanimous decision victory in July. Guerrero averaged 80 punches per round in that fight. It is possible that Berto, just as it happened against Victor Ortiz, may not feel comfortable against a disciplined left-handed fighter throwing lots of punches, and that could open the door to mistakes that Guerrero should take advantage of.|
Take and give
|Guerrero proved against Aydin that he can take a punch, but Berto is stronger and heavier. If Guerrero moves to his opponent's right, avoiding the frontal attack, he could counterpunch on the inside and consistently punish Berto to the midsection. Knowing Berto has been known to slow down during the late rounds, those body punches could bring the victory home.|
Prepare for a long battle
|It won't be easy to stop Berto, unless you catch him off balance. It may be the exception, but not the rule. For this, Guerrero shouldn't think about a stoppage, and he should plan to go the full 12 rounds. This tactic has paid off for him in the past, and it may be an advantage if he manages to tire Berto after the eighth. Remember, Berto has been inactive for the past 14 months.|
Fight, think, adjust, collect
|What makes Guerrero different to other fighters is his versatility and his ability to make adjustments on the go. He is not as strong as Berto, but he is a superior technical fighter. It's evident that there will be an exciting clash of styles, and the victory for the champion will depend on how smart he is when it comes to adjusting his technique against a much stronger opponent.|
Don't be brave, be smart
|An essential key for any chance of victory for Guerrero involves avoiding his opponent's power punches. Being exposed for too long may be the end for the interimm champ. For the first time, he will be facing an opponent who combines speed, power and ferocity and that's something that he shouldn't mess with.|
Bernardo Pilatti is a contributor to ESPNdeportes.com.