Weekly Stud: Fernando Guerrero, middleweight
By Coach Tim Walker - Occasionally a fighter comes around that we really want to cheer. Sometimes it's because we recognize an amazing talent, sometimes it's because of their individual success and accolades and then there are those rare fighters we cheer simply because of who they are and what they stand for. Our Weekly Stud is one of those fighters of the latter mention that says and does the right thing not as a public relations move or to bolster his image but because he respects and values the position that he is in and understands the responsibilities of it. He just happens to be a super talented boxer.
Article posted on 24.10.2009
Salisbury, Maryland (population nearly 24,000 and no it is not where Salisbury steak originates from) is not a metropolitan area and it certainly isn't a boxing Mecca like Philly, Atlantic City or Vegas but it is the home of our latest Weekly Stud, Fernando Guerrero..
Fernando Guerrero, middleweight (16-0-0 KO 13s)
Though he lives in Salisbury he is actually a native of the Dominican Republic, a relatively small island country adjoined to Haiti in the South Pacific. His parents moved to the United States seeking a better life and he, seeing their passion to achieve it, bought into the American dream that hard works leads to success.
His first experience in boxing was humble and casual. He simply followed his brothers (Alex and Carmello) to the Main Street Gym (Hal Chernoff, kudos to you Hal…thanks bud) at the age of 14. Shortly after lacing up his gloves for the first time he went on to win the Junior Golden Gloves and the International Junior Olympics representing his native country. Later on he experienced even greater amateur success on his way to 140 amateur fights. He won a National Golden Gloves at 17 and the U.S. National Championship in 2007 at 165 pounds (beating current stable mate and 2008 Olympic alternate Shawn Porter in the finals).
Guerrero the Fighter
Guerrero is a 5'-9" two handed power punching nightmare with fights in both the 160 and 168 pound divisions. His height would suggest fighting at the middleweight ranks and possibly in the junior middleweight division if his muscular frame will allow it. His power, however, suggests he will enjoy success at either weight though I am anticipating a steady feasting at 160 pounds and would love to see him at 154.
Guerrero is a strong southpaw with single shot power in both hands. Unlike many modern day power punchers he is somewhat of a throwback fighter that works his way in a half step at a time behind a decent jab (enough to keep his competition honest) and good purposeful head movement. It’s not Joe Frazier-like head movement, now-a-days no fighter has that, but it is good and purposeful. In addition to that he does not present his opponent with a stationary target from distance.
As with many modern day power punchers his stance is a bit wide-legged but he remains fluid in the ring despite the stance. His stance is not a problem because, again, his head movement is appropriate during his approach. He does carry his lead right hand around his mid section but that it not due to laziness rather it is a byproduct of his quick countering speed and motion.
As previously mentioned he uses a jab but is not a jabber by nature. The presence of a decent jab does allow him to throw a quick paced hook off the jab. Unfortunately, the wide-legged stance causes him to square up occasionally inside once he closes the distance on his opponent. He overcomes this error by being highly active inside. He has proven to be very difficult to tie up, continually works to get his hands free and uses any free hand as an offensive battering ram.
There is a side to his fight game that you don't usually expect from a pressing power puncher, slickness. One of his weapons is a very aggressive side step coupled with immediate power shots. If he side steps opponents beware...the power is upon you. Another is his faints, though not used often, which are very effective when he does use them. An extra bonus to his overall slickness is his ability to cut off the ring. His opponents typically have half a ring at a time to work around which will serve him well as he continues up the ranks. One more feather in the slickness cap is his combination punching. Many developing fighters still throw multiple punches without intent. Guerrero isn't one of them. He has a good body attack, good punch elevation, sets up punches nicely and whether it's the first round or last, he doesn't punch in singles very often.
With continued development he will be difficult to beat. His main focus is on what he intends to do in the ring as opposed to being overly concerned with his opponent's game plan. That means he will produce tons and tons of offense. Fans will love that.
Guerrero has a good team backing his career. Evidence of this is the smart developmental moves that have occurred on his behalf. When he beat undefeated fellow prospect Tyrone Watson who had wins over Dyah Davis (Howard Davis’ son) and Stephan Pryor (Aaron Pryor’s son) who were both better fighters than any of Guerroro’s competition at that point he wasn't thrown to the wolves following that success. Instead his team pulled back on the throttle a bit for his next two matches pitting him with Gevonte Davis (3-1-1) and Ernesto Zamora (16-16-0). This allowed him to continue developing the results of which were evident when he faced tough, tough Philly fighter Gabriel Rosado (10-2-0) and won by unanimous decision. In that fight Guerrero touched the canvas but showed resilience and improved work to the body something that wasn't as prevalent when he faced Watson.
Following his success over Rosado his team went back into developmental mode matching him with Brian Norman (17-8-0) who is considered to be a heavy puncher in his own right, though not extremely technical, and Chris Archer (11-7-0). The results of those fights were excellent, 2nd and 3rd knockouts, which lead to his most recent and probably his toughest opponent Ossie Duran (23-7-2) whom he beat by majority decision. Don’t let Duran’s record fool you. He has never been knocked out and his losses are by close decisions.
I hope Guerrero’s team continues the trend of development. It will serve him well later in his career and may even elongate it.
Final Synopsis of Guerrero
His competition in his first nine bouts compiled a record of 33-62-4 (expected at the beginning of a career). His next seven opponents are definitely steps above those fighters having a combined record of 87-41-3 sprinkled with wins against Tyrone Watson, Ossie Duran and Gabriel Rosado.
Guerrero's team should stay on the current path of development. At the age of 23 he has yet to fully grow into his power or into his ring knowledge which is a definite plus and should yield long term results for his fight style. If he were 4 or 5 years older it might be prudent to move him quicker but they have time and talent on their side. Coupling this with the fact that he draws massive crowds in his hometown (as many as 6,200 on one event) affords them the ability to defer away from sanctioning bodies and the ever present press of TV networks. Drawing large numbers in his hometown means his team has capital to keep the ship afloat while he develops.
Note: Guerrero is currently trained by Barry Hunter and promoted by Prize Fight Promotions. Oh, just in case you have a need to know, Salisbury steak got its name from Dr. James John Salisbury, a doctor during the Civil War who advocated eating ground meat and drinking coffee in lieu of fruits and vegetables (LOL). He is currently ranked #15 WBO and is the interim NABO Middleweight Champion.
Championship Potential (scale of outside shot, decent, good, excellent, absolute): DECENT to GOOD in consideration of the budding talent pool at 160. He would benefit from a little more time with developmental fights before he steps into the deep end of the 160 pound pool.
Coach Tim Walker is a contributing writer for Eastsideboxing.com and his own blog at boxing4life.blogspot.com. For questions, comments or to suggest fighters for Weekly Stud please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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