The CBZ Newswire

Robert Guerrero Return Triumphant in Life and Death Slugfest with Yoshihiro Kamegai

by on Jun.23, 2014, under Boxing News

Guerreo, at left, lands a crunching left to the head of Kamegai (photo courtesy of

Guerreo, at left, lands a crunching left to the head of Kamegai (photo courtesy of www.theboxingblog.sho.com)

 

By CHRISTOPHER MORGAN

 

CARSON, CA, June, 21, 2014 — The StubHub center in Carson California which has hosted quite a bit of highly memorable events just added another classic to the books with a greatly entertaining 12 round war between welterweights Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero and Yoshihiro Kamegai.

Robert Guerrero (31-2, 18 Kos) of Gilroy, California was making his first appearance in the ring since losing a wide Unanimous Decision to pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather in May of 2013. Not much was known of Yoshihiro Kamegai (of Tokyo Japan other than his high kayo percentage record, that most of his bouts had taken place in Japan and that he’d gone 1-2 when venturing outside of Japan even losing a 10 round decision to Hector Munoz in June of 2013 in this very building.

It’s a warm night with light wind in the outdoor arena with the majority of the seats full and an exciting and upbeat summer feeling in the air. Yoshiro makes a quick run to the ring followed by Robert Guerrero accompanied by an entourage holding up the championship hardware “The Ghost” has been collecting over the years from Featherweight to Welterweight.

Yoshihiro Kamegai comes right out in the first round with a high guard waking Robert Guerrero down and landing a few right hands right down the pipe on Guerreros head. Guerrero hooks hard to the body and then they both land simultaneous hooks to the body with Guerreros more flush and hard. A quick 1-2 from Guerrero snaps Kamegai’s head back, souble left hook from Guerrero punctuates the first round.

For the first 2 minutes of the second round Guerrero uses great angles, spinning Kamegai and hitting him on the spins, punching in combination and moving well. Robert’s punch connect accuracy must be in the high 60’s as he lands everything he is throwing while Kamegai is still walking forward with a high guard tryig to get on track. With a minute left in the round Kamegai pushes Guerrero into the ropes landing a hook to the body and an uppercut upstairs, Guerrero answers with his own uppercut. Kamegai begins landing home run right hands that shake Guerrero up a little at rounds end.

In rounds 3 -5 Kamegai puts relentless pressure on Guerrero as both engage in a hellacious phone booth brawl with no quarter given by either man and nary a jab to be seen as every shot is a haymaker thrown with the worst possible intentions. Most of these 3 rounds feature 2 minutes of Guerrero being pushed back into the ropes absorbing heavy leather before Guerrero springs out and lands vicious combinations sometimes 5 punches in a row that pushing Kamegai’s onslaught back temporarily.

By round 6 every shot landed on either man sends the sweat flying through the air and with the constant barrages it looks like a continuous trail of sea breeze mist flowing through the ring. For the first time since the early rounds Guerrero begins pushing back Kamegai who appears to be tiring, the fight moves to ring center briefly when a second wind lifts Kamegai to drive Guerrero back into the ropes with 3 firecracker right hands. Guerrero looks badly hurt and ready to go, his face is suddenly beat red and swollen, his left eye beginning to swell shut just when it looks like the end might be near Guerrero jumps out with a massive sweeping right hook that blasts Kamegai in the side of his melon bringing the crowd to its feet as Kamegai reels back and staggers at the end of the round eating a few more follow up blows in the process.

After another toe to toe slugfest in round 7 Guerrero begins moving a little more in round 8 using the boxing pedigree he was known for back in his featherweight days. Guerrero fires off some jabs to create separation then launches into a precise 1-2-3, jab, cross hook. The boxing works for about a minute but Kamegai is relentless and he comes forward and crowds Guerrero into the ropes again, uppercuts and hooks raining down on Guerrero who somehow comes back at rounds end with a vicious fusillade of heavy artillery in possibly the best round of the fight so far.

In rounds 9 and 10 and Guerrero walks down a tiring Kamegai and wobbles him a couple of times with huge straight left hands, Kamegai begins to tire with his punches not carrying the same steam as the earlier rounds but both men are pretty arm weary by this point. Guerrero is taking over the fight at this point.

In rounds 11 and 12 neither man feels that the victory is in the bag and they bring it back to the chest to chest style of the earlier rounds. Breathtaking action all the way to the final bell ensues with both men leaving everything in the ring.

Showtime ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. announces the 3 scores, 116-112, 117-111 and 117-111 all in favor of the winner, from Gilroy California, Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero. For this writer it was pretty hard scoring this fight from Ringside as much of the fight was a give and take affair with both men having their moments, I feel that Guerrero edged with his output in the later rounds but Kamegai deserves major props for his gutsy performance, iron chin and great stamina. Yoshihiro Kamegai made a lot of fans and would definitely be welcomed back to Los Angeles.

As for Robert, he answered some questions about himself and also about his unique training method for this fight. Many folks felt that Robert maybe just didn’t have the desire to fight anymore after his big payday against Floyd Mayweather last year and a possible problem with ring rust after having been inactive for over a year. The other question was whether Robert’s decision to use ‘CrossFit’ as his sole training for the bout might lead to overtraining or stamina issues. Judging by his performance his heart seems to be firmly in the boxing game and his condition never let him down so for now CrossFit was probably a good fit for him and may be adopted by more fighters in the future although the long term effects have still yet to be determined.

Robert has some attractive options at Welterweight with Amir Khan the most likely opponent as Robert ducked the question when asked if he would like to face murderous punching and undefeated Keith “One Time” Thurman next.

 

Undercard:

 

Lomachenko, at right, bounces a left off the head of Russell (photo courtesy of Chris Farina - Top Rank, Copyright 2014)

Lomachenko, at right, bounces a left off the head of Russell (photo courtesy of Chris Farina – Top Rank, Copyright 2014)

In the fight preceding the main event and the second televised fight of Showtimes triple header, 2 time Olympic Gold Medalist Vasyl Lomachenko won the WBO featherweight championship in his 3rd professional bout taking a majority decision over undefeated Gary Russel Jr.

Vasyl Lomachenko of Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Ukraine, displayed amazing handspeed, fleet feet tremendous head movement and blocking ability catching the majority of Gary Russels punches on his gloves or in many instances simply getting just out of range causing many of Gary’s punches to land on the air.

It didn’t help Gary Russel Jr. (24-0, 14 Kos) of Silver Springs, Maryland that he spent the greater part of the bout backing up while Vasyl Lomachenko (1-1, 1 Ko) was consistently the aggressor taking breathers in the 6th and 9th rounds so as not to punch himself out. Lomachenko was able to land at wil and staggered Russel a few times in the bout and pressed for the finish but Gary Russel displayed enogh defensive savvy and toughness to weather the storms.

At the conclusion of the 12 round contest judge Lisa Giampa inexplicably had the bout scored at 114-114 a draw which was luckily overturned by the other two judges as they both correctly scored the fight for Vasyl Lomachenko by scores of 116-112 (this writer feels it was even more lopsided than that)

Vasyl is an exciting addition to a strong featherweight division and a dream matchup down the road could happen between Vasyl and the ther 2 time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux of Cuba.

Devon Alexander catches Karass with a sharp right uppercut to the face (photo courtesy of   )

Devon Alexander catches Karass with a sharp right uppercut to the face (photo courtesy of www.theboxingblog.sho.com)

 

The Showtime triple header telecast began with an entertaining scrap when former 140lb champ Devon Alexander (25-2, 14 Kos) of St. Louis Missouri, won a near shutout 10 round decision over the always entertaining crowd favorite Jesus Soto Karass (28-9, 18 Kos) of Los Mochis, Mexico.

Jesus Soto Karass was simply too slow for the fast moving Devon Alexander who was able to counter and lead with rapid combinations at will. Jesus had his best moments in the 1st, 2nd and 10th rounds when Devon stood and traded as Jesus is excellent at punching with his opponents when they stand still and landing in tandem. Jesus a loser of 5 of his previous 9 fights coming in seemed a little shopworn as he spent large stretches of the bout walking Devon down with no jab or head movement and standing right in front of Devon without throwing allowing Devon to pick him apart with ease.

An outside the ring highlight and one of the funniest moments of the night came in the 10th round when a Saul Canelo Alvarez look a like was kicked out of the arena by security taking the majority of the crowds attention with everyone laughing and yelling “Canelo”! When asking around ringside it seems this guy makes regular appearances at boxing matches in LA and poses for pictures with fans, he is literally a spitting image with the same hair cut and color along with the same build as the real thing.

The scores after 12 rounds were academic reading 97-91 and 99-91 twice.

 

Vyacheslav Shabranskyy (8-0, 7 Kos) of North Hollywood by way of Zhytomyr, Ukraine won a dominating victory over Michael Gbenga of Accra, Ghana (19-14, 19 Kos) the ight taking place in the Light Heavyweight division.

Michael was content to wait by the ropes and throw a sneaky right hand lead over the top on the ever advancing Vyacheslav, and had great success with it for the first 3 rounds before it was figured out and blocked. Vyacheslav scored one official knockdown in the bout and caused Michael to fall to the canvas in every round of the fight eventually winning a shutout decision.

In a scheduled 10 round heavyweight fight Anaheim, Californias Dominic Breazeale (10-0, 9 Kos) won by TKO in the 3rd round when his opponent Devin Vargas (18-3, 7 Kos) turned his back complaining of hits to the back of the head that forced the ref to step in and stop the contest. Devin Vargas standing 6’1 was at a 6 inch height advantage to the 6’7 Dominic and gave up 40 pounds in weight as well. In what started as a one sided affair for the heavy favorite Dominic turned competitive by the 3rd as Devin began walking through the Dominics best shot landing left hooks repeatedly?

 

Bad Chad Dawson (31-3, 17 Kos) New Haven, CT, fighting in the cruiserweight division failed to make weight for the bout coming in 3 pounds over the contracted weight of 179 pounds and gained a tremendous 20 pounds overnight entering the ring at 202 pounds. It was all academic as Chad made quick work of his overmatched opponent George Blades (23-4, 16 Kos) Indianapolis, In flooring him once with a left hook to the body and with a left hook upstairs once action resume. George never recovered from the body shot aing the second he was touched upstairs. Chad called out Adonis Stevenson in the post fight interview a fight he will need to lose massive weight to be able to make.

Sharif Bogeree (25-1, 16 Kos) of Las Vegas, Nv scored a 3rd round TKOover Miguel Zemudio (29-4, 16 Kos) when Miguel complained of an injured left arm.

Heavyweight Michael Hunter of Las Vegas (4-0, 3 Kos) scored an uneventful 8 round unanimous decision victory over Newport News, VA Jerry Forrest (7-1, 6 Kos) who did not want to engage and used slippery movement and defense to avoid contact. The highlight of the bout came in the 4th when Michael answered one of his corner men by saying “he’s slippery” when implored to do more.

Fabian Maidana, Margarita Argentina the younger brother of his much more famous brother Marcos “El Chino” Maidana triumphed in his pro debut winning 39-37, 40-36 and 40-36. The 4 round contest was fought in the Welterweight division, Fabians opponent, Alhambra Californias Eddie Diaz also making his pro debut stood in front of Fabian all night taking heavy leather but was unfazed and never rocked. Fabian showed a good arsenal mixing both to the head and body well while displaying good defense.

In the opener Fresno California Welterweight Mark Anthony Hernandez (1-0, 0 Kos) scored a shutout 4 round unanimous decision victory over Victorville California’s Donte Stower (0-3, 0 KOs).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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