ABILITY TO JUDGE “RAW” BOXING TALENT: ANDRE WARD & ROBERT GUERRERO

August 16th, 2011 By Pedro Fernandez

SEPARATING THE BOXING BULL CRAP FROM THE GOLDEN NUGGETS

San Francisco, CA-Throughout my almost 40-years of writing, I have done some good things well, some bad things bad. But at the end of day, whatever you might think of me as a person or a writer, you cannot take away my innate ability to judge “talent.” Although I had no idea he would go on and set a precedent in boxing by using Steroids and EPO to help him win a fight, I knew watching Shane Mosley, both as an amateur and as the boxing TV commentator for his fourth professional fight, that the kid then haling from Pomona did have the skills to become a world boxing champion. Simply put, Shane Mosley, although he would later become a “cheater” so skilled at lying that he “beat the box,” passed a lie detector test when in reality he was not telling the truth, there was no denying that he, as many an expert would say, “Had the goods.

The late Alexis Arguello

REMEMBERING JACK FISKE’S “GOLDEN” RULE

“Never fall in love with a fighter,” was what Hall of Fame writer Jack Fiske, this after he did so with Alexis Arguello, only to find out the late Alex wasn’t the champion in life that he was in the ring. So, when local fighter James Page made a move at welterweight in the 90s, I knew he “had the ability” and became WBA welterweight champ for a minute, until he allowed his mother to represent him with promoter Don King and co-manager Carl King. Underprepared and sans a shark proof suit, Mrs. Page turned down a $1 million purse with the IBF’s Tito Trinidad in a unification bout, this because James was only getting $500 grand out of the million. Had he beaten Tito, James would have been a bona-fide superstar, making millions upon millions of dollars! In this case, momma’ didn’t know best! As it turned out, James would never make more than $100K for any subsequent fight, and would lose to “Six Heads” Lewis in front of a few hundred people. Last I heard, James was in a southern state prison for 20 years after a number of convictions for armed robbery.

FROM NEGATIVES TO THE BOXING POSITIVES OF “THE GHOST” & ANDRE WARD

Robert Guerrero

When I first saw Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero, it was nothing real special. A taller than the other kids, Robert was a scrapper, one of whom I put an asterisk next to his name and included the words, “unlimited potential,” this when he was only about 14. Once beaten Guerrero, a champion at 126, 130 & 135 lbs., next battles at 140 August 27 when he faces perennial powerhouse Marcos Maidana in an HBO production emanating from San Jose, CA at 140 lbs. Expecting “The Ghost” to win here, not because I’ve watched him from the boxing crib to world champion, but because I think he’s superior boxing talent should be able to keep Maidana reaching, but not connecting for 12 rounds.

SAVING MY BEST FOR LAST

About 15 years ago, I was at an East Oakland amateur boxing card and was told the impressive fighter on the card would be the approximately 12-year old Andre Ward, born in San Francisco of a white father and black mother, who ended up moving across the bay to Oakland. In between a bunch of boring “smokers,” out came Ward, a young man who was so relaxed you could have suspected he was on Valium. As it turns out, that Valium-like demeanor of being so relaxed before a fight was an intangible that separated Ward from his fellow amateur fighters, most of whom were frenetically nervous wrecks by the time the first bell rang.

Andre Ward: Champion Fighter & Father

WARD HAS JUST KEPT ON WINNING…….FOR YEARS

With the exception of one fight I didn’t witness, but people that did told me Andre got ripped off, he hasn’t lost a fight since. If my memory is correct, Ward brings an unbeaten record going back some-15 years when he meets the overmatched Carl Froch this Saturday in the “Super Six” super middleweight tournament finale this coming Saturday on Showtime. The young man, no longer a kid, has a solid family, two boys, a baby daughter and a supportive wife in Tiffany. After handling Froch with relative ease, there will be many besides Ring Magazine that will believe his is the best boxer ‘pound for pound’ in boxing.

Pedro Fernandez

COMMENTS

  1. Pedro,

    Being that you are from the Bay area and knew that both Ward and Guerrero had the goods, what was your opinion of Nonito Donaire? Did you get a chance to see him as an amateur and has he lived up to your initial billing or blown out the expectations you had of him while witnessing him before anyone knew who he was? Love the stories and knowledge that both you and the Professor share on this site. Thanks.

    Jay$$$ on August 17th, 2011 at 6:57 AM
  2. Such a shame Sugar Shane will go down in history as a cheat. It is my belief that Jin AKA Lady Macbeth was instrumental in persuading him to take steroids. The man’s EQ/intellect aren’t exactly off the charts. It’s no excuse but I think Jin’s influence tipped the balance.
    Ward will probably win but Froch is a lot more fun to watch. I just hope Andre doesn’t manage to ‘handcuff’ him and turn the fight into a snooze-fest.

    Enrique Casador on August 17th, 2011 at 9:29 AM
  3. let me try my humble oberservation against your learned 40 years experience this one time.

    i don’t think guerrero is at the level of amir khan and we know he almost got ko’ed.
    while he looked good being the aggressor in his fights, we don’t know how guerrero would do fighting backwards whether he’ll still have pop in his punches or how well he can take those of the hardest puncher in that weight division. not to forget further that RG is going up in weight class.

    moreover, el chino is not all that slow. except for khan he was able to keep up with ortiz and morales who are not exactly slowpokes themselves, and you saw the faces on them guys. with a little bit of cutting and trapping he’ll tag guerrero and when that happens fuhggedaboudit!!!

    waingro on August 17th, 2011 at 9:56 AM
  4. I had no idea Page was in jail. Shame. I remember him beating Jose Luis Lopez in a good fight. Never capitalized on it. Lewis dominated him before knocking him out and that was it for him. I’m not sure Guerrero wins. Maidana isn’t a skilled guy, but he manages to do his thing. Khan, Kotelnik and Ortiz were all far more skilled than him, yet he gets in his damage. NOt sure how effective the ghost is at 140

    Javier Ruiz on August 17th, 2011 at 11:37 AM
  5. i don’t know – khan is a pretty physically strong guy and he had to dance and run from Maidana who was also too physically strong for Ortiz.

    If they were both the same size/strength I’d go with Guerrero for sure. But maybe Maidana is simply too strong.

    Anyway Guerrero has balls that’s for sure.

    warren on August 17th, 2011 at 12:32 PM
  6. Pedro is correct about his assessment of boxing talent. But don’t count Froch out. He has some talent as well. And I think he just might win. Remember when more than a few thought Calzaghe was overhyped and hadn’t faced any real good American fighters. And turned out he whipped All their asses. Including Bhop

    tpc on August 17th, 2011 at 5:58 PM
  7. Guerrero : I just don’t see him as special by nature. Very good, but not special. Good enought that with a combination of toughness, tenacity and supreme ring IQ he could still rise above “very good” in the final analisys, but I’m not seeing it yet.

    A while back I posted that going to 140 made no sense for Guererro (even though it’s probably a really good fighting weight for him) because I didn’t think he could figure into the top 5 or 6 of that Division.

    Here’s your (and Guererro’s) chance to show me wrong.

    I salute Guererro for taking the fight …. although upon closer examination, the emergence of Rios as top dog at Lightweight suddenly makes this fight much more attractive – between the two pressure fighters, might as well face the slightly more limited, predictable and used up guy at a more comfortable weight… but still, it’s commendable.

    After all on my scorecard the only thing between Maidana & Khan was the questionable point deduction, so if Guererro can equal or improve on that, he’s right there. Khan nevertheless answered alot of questions in that fight, and Guererro has a chance to do the same.

    Right now though, my early pick is Maidana by very late TKO.

    Ten Count on August 17th, 2011 at 10:44 PM
  8. I’ll be surprised and will be giving you the props if Ward-Froch is as much of a mismatch as you predict.

    Ward’s versatility and the depth of his boxing foundation is too great for me to actually pick a Froch win. But I suspect that before the bout is over, Froch will find a way to push Ward hard one way or another.

    The quality of Froch’s early instruction, gym work and amateur competiton was probably far inferior to what Ward developed in. And perhaps Froch did not discover the single-minded focus on greatness until a later age. But his ability to catch up and improve with the quality of opposition has been very impressive.

    Unlike Ward’s other Super Six opponents, Froch is not (anymore) predictable or locked into one style of boxing. Like Bika, he has physical strenght and will not be out of his element with the rough stuff. He’s got an uppercut that tends go right where Ward likes to duck his head before punching or making his move inside.

    In terms of common opponents, it’s true that Ward comprehensively beat Kessler while Froch had trouble with him (EVERYONE I know thought that was a hometown decision for Kessler, but it was a difficult fight nonetheless). On the other hand, Froch handled Abraham more impressively and without any early hicups. Plus Forch handled Glen Johnson bmore impressively than Ward did Sakio Bika (disregardign the absurd officiall scoring). Who on Earth would rate Bika on par with Johnson?

    Ten Count on August 17th, 2011 at 11:47 PM
  9. James Page had a criminal background before emerging as a pro. In the early ’90s he was in county jail for a year or so for drug dealing. His pinnacle in boxing was bright for a short time but once he saw Six Heads instead of one he reverted to his natural criminal instincts. He could’ve used that $500,000 his mom flushed down the toilet.

    The Truth on August 21st, 2011 at 3:06 PM
  10. The Truth, it be told!

    Pedro Fernandez on August 21st, 2011 at 11:11 PM

Leave a Reply

Powered by Crowd Ignite