A Second Chance

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Guerrero will get another shot at Diaz in title eliminator in
Oakland June 23
Gilroy – Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero wanted a rematch with Gamaliel Diaz.

He just didn’t think it would come this soon.

Just over six months since the up-and-coming featherweight boxer lost his first fight and the NABF 126-pound title to Diaz in Lemoore, Guerrero (17-1-1, 10 KO’s) will get the chance to face the Mexican fighter in a title eliminator bout June 23 at 8pm at the Oakland Arena.

“I wasn’t expecting to get (a rematch) this fast,” Guerrero said Monday. “I want the fight real bad.”

With his TKO of Sandro Marcos May 18 at Fight Night at the Tank, Guerrero sealed the deal to his second Bay Area main-event fight. But getting Diaz (20-5-2, 9 KO’s) to agree to a title eliminator rematch makes the opportunity even sweeter for the 23-year-old southpaw. If he wins, Guerrero could be looking at a WBC world title fight with champion Takashi Koshimoto within the year.

Diaz, currently the second-ranked WBC featherweight, became available for the main event – which will be aired on Showtime’s ShoBox – when his deal for a fight this summer with No. 1-ranked featherweight Nicky Cook of England fell through.

“That fell out and went my way,” Guerrero said. “It worked in mysterious ways. I feel it’s time.”

The Ghost made an emphatic comeback against Marcos, whom he TKO’d 53 seconds into the third round of the Bay Area debut for the Gilroy native. Guerrero feels if he fights in Oakland the same way he did that night at HP Pavilion, he’ll beat Diaz.

“(I just have to) be myself, come as Robert Guerrero, the same as in San Jose and in all my fights previous to (the Dec. 2 loss to) Diaz,” Guerrero said. “I wasn’t as busy (as Diaz), I didn’t go to the body as much…Right out of the gate, I’m going to come out and press him.”

While the Ghost will be fighting in his second bout in just over a month, Diaz has not been in the ring since his last go-around with Guerrero. The Gilroy High grad sees that as an advantage.

“That’s the way I like to do it. I like to stay busy. There’s nothing better than being in the ring and doing it and training,” Guerrero said. “It takes a lot out of you to take a layoff. If you’re in shape and come out training from a fight and get right back in – especially if you took no abuse or injury – it’s like, ‘Hey, why not?'”

Guerrero will spend the next two weeks training at camp in Los Angeles before heading back up to Gilroy for the fight. On Monday, Guerrero got in his first day of sparring since the Tank fight and said he felt strong.

“You really don’t know how you feel until after you spar and after sparring and working out, you go from there,” Guerrero said.

Tickets for the fight can be purchased at Oakland Coliseum or through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com.

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