Outside the Ring: Robert Guerrero

By Jill Diamond on January 30, 2015
Outside the Ring: Robert Guerrero
"I used to train with him. He used to give me great advice. May he rest in peace." (Sloane)

“I’m blessed by God and that is the best honor. My award is life. I prefer to stay humble answering these questions…”

Sports and Philanthropy: A series of articles dedicated to those who’ve given their all and still give more. Each article will feature a different community champion; no belts, no medals, no ratings… just good people passing it on.

We are many things to many people. Robert Guerrero, world champion, fighter, father, husband and advocate, is most known as hero. He stepped away from a successful career to support his wife and family during her time of illness. And, given how difficult these battles are, remarkably, he won the war. What he does in the ring is remarkable, but the ring on his finger has taken him into more dangerous arenas, and he comes out a winner. These days, back in training, he remains an audacious adversary; he continues to support many worthy causes where a celebrity’s name and passion can make the difference between good care and no care. So, here is Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero, a boxer you want in your corner.

What is it in your background that led you to boxing?

I come from a family of boxers. My grandfather, my dad and all my brothers were boxers. I even had an aunt that was a boxer. It’s a family tradition.

Who inspired you? Who are your role models?

My older brothers Ruben and Victor had a big influence on me. When I was younger, I always wanted to be in the gym with them when they were training. They were the fighters I looked up to. My dad also had a big role in me becoming a man. My manager Bob Santos is a great role model. He’s the one that turned me pro and I’ve been with him ever since.

A fight you can watch over and over?

Diego Corrales vs. Jose Luis Castillo is a fight I can watch over and over. What a war that was. Both fighters left everything in the ring. Corrales got up off the canvas after being dropped a couple of times and pulled out the victory. I used to train with him and he used to give me great advice. May he rest in peace.

If there is something you could change about the sport, what would it be?

It would be great to have some type of insurance for fighters and their family’s as they come up. When you’re coming up it would be nice not to worry about going to see a doctor, especially if you have a child.

You have made some strong choices. One was to go pro prior to the Olympics. Why?

I turned professional as soon as I was old enough because I was sick of the politics in the amateurs. There were a few times I got robbed and it was upsetting. I have no regrets. My pro career has been very blessed.

You put a promising career on hold to fight alongside your wife. Can you talk about that?

It was an easy decision to leave boxing to take care of my wife. Family comes first and I needed to be there for her and my two kids. It was a very difficult time for me. I’m a big believer in Jesus Christ and I know our prayers were answered when she found a bone marrow match half way across the world in Germany. She’s been cancer free for the last four years and I thank God everyday for getting us through this. My faith was tested and I stood strong. Life is good right now.

What did it teach you? Does it apply to your work in the ring?

Whenever you have a loved one that is dealing with a life or death scenario, more than ever your wife, you realize that life is short and tomorrow is promised to no one. I was very humbled by the whole situation. No doubt the experience has made a difference in my work ethic when I’m training. My family is my inspiration.

A bad ring decision?

For me and my career it was when I had my first blemish on my record. I was fighting Julian Rodriguez and he took a dive when I hit him, allegedly on the back of the head. The fight was ruled a technical draw.

A glorious moment?

When I won my first world title against Eric Aiken, which was a great moment for me and my team. I fulfilled my childhood dream.

Do you think it’s an athlete’s obligation to give back?

Yes I certainly think every athlete should give back in some way or another. If every athlete gave back, then the world would be a better place.

Can you speak about the organizations you represent?

I work closely with BeTheMatch.org and LLS.org. They help fund the quest to cure blood cancers, in addition to helping people find bone marrow matches. I also help out with the local pop Warner football program here in Gilroy.

A life you’ve changed?

I would have to say my wife Casey. I know she gained strength from me being by her side during her battle with cancer.

Honors? Awards?

I’m blessed by God and that is the best honor. My award is life. I prefer to stay humble answering these questions.

As you age, how has your style changed, or has it?

As I’ve moved up in weight, I’ve become more of an inside fighter. I can still box and move off angles if need be, but I love to go to war.

Do you think your strongest tool is your conditioning/agility or your power?

I would have to say it’s my ring intelligence. 

What advice would you have for young boxers starting out?

Put Jesus Christ first in your life and work harder than the next guy. There is someone always working hard, and you have to go the extra mile to be the best. Sacrifice is a word a young boxer should know well.

What are the pitfalls?

Boxing politics. 

What’s it like being in the public eye? How has it helped? How has it hurt?

When you’re in the public eye, those who don’t like you, for whatever reason will say bad things about you. The positive side of being in the public eye is being able to reach millions with an encouraging message, whatever it might be.

Years from now, when you’re no longer boxing, how do you see your life?

I see myself as a motivational speaker and one who will be helping lead the youth to Christ. This world is a dark place and there needs to be some good light shining on the youth.

How have you prepared for the transition?

By staying close to my Christian brothers.

Make a wish..?

A cure for cancer. 

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Outside the Ring: Mauricio Sulaiman
Outside the Ring: Luke Downdey
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Outside the Ring: Chicago Youth Boxing Club
Outside the Ring: Robert Guerrero

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

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  1. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 01:50pm, 02/01/2015

    No….thank you….“they risk far more than our opinion”....it doesn’t get any better than that here on Boxing.com.

  2. Jill diamond 11:16am, 02/01/2015

    I get it. He’s a very empathetic character; however, I don’ t think any fighter of his caliber would step into the ring if they didn’t believe they had the goods. After all, they risk far more than our opinion. Thanks for the feedback!

  3. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 09:46am, 02/01/2015

    Here’s the thing Jill….he did lots of talking leading up to Floyd in a fight where he was hopeless and hapless and his Dad’s act got old pretty darn fast too…..in his last outing he was underwhelming and now he’s all talk coming into Thurman. I’m pulling for him because of his wife and his family more than anything….I just hope he’s not pulling our leg.

  4. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 09:16pm, 01/30/2015

    Another great article to start off 2015 with a boom on Boxing.com.

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