Guerrero delivers knockout blow to Diaz in sixth round, avenges
loss to No. 4-ranked WBC fighter
Oakland – Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero had a pretty straightforward plan heading into his rematch with Gamaliel Diaz.

“Put a hole in his body,” the Ghost said.

Guerrero didn’t quite get his wish. But the Ghost did leave Oakland Arena Friday night with a sixth-round knockout and some sweet redemption.

With 2:33 left in the sixth round, Guerrero landed a powerful left-handed blow to Diaz’s ribs, causing the Mexican fighter to keel over to his knees and go down for the count.

“It feels great,” said Guerrero of avenging his surprise December loss to the then No. 7-ranked WBC featherweight. “Especially to knock him out with that body shot.”

With the final blow, Guerrero (18-1-1, 11 KO’s) gave Diaz (20-6-2, 9 KO’s) his first loss since April of 2000. The No. 4-ranked WBC featherweight came into the WBC title eliminator bout unbeaten in 11 straight.

“The round before, I saw him hunched over,” Guerrero said about the winning hit to Diaz. “He started to come in and his head went back. I threw the right hook and ripped through his body with the (left) uppercut.”

The win will no doubt move currently ranked No. 7 featherweight Guerrero up the WBC rankings, closer to his ultimate goal of a world featherweight title. But according to promoter Dan Goossen of Goossen Tutor Promotions, the win opens up other doors as well. In particular, for the Ghost to contend for the International Boxing Council (IBC) 126-pound featherweight title, which is currently held by Eric Aiken.

“It’s the IBF champ who we’re going to go after, maybe in September,” Goosen said immediately after the fight.

Friday’s rematch was quite different from the slow-opening December fight. In a furious Round 1, Guerrero attacked Diaz with body shots from the get-go. About a minute in, the Ghost landed the first solid hit of the night, a left to Diaz’s body that sent the fighter back against the ropes. Guerrero knocked Diaz down again a few moments later with more hits to the fighter’s core. The pro-Guerrero crowd at Oakland Arena responded to the Ghost’s aggressive opening with loud chants of “Robert!”

“I was surprised that he went down (so early),” Guerrero said. “But fights are quick and anything can happen.”

Guerrero’s first round couldn’t have been truer to his trainer’s game plan.

“We wanted pressure, pressure, pressure, a high volume of punches and a vicious body attack,” said Guerrero’s trainer John Bray.

By the third round, Guerrero slowed down. His punches weren’t as sharp and he missed the target on several left-right combinations. Meanwhile, Diaz was gaining composure after being dominated in the opening round. But in the fourth and fifth round, the Gilroy fighter appeared rejuvenated despite being cut in the forehead in the fifth.

“We were not concerned with Diaz’s punching power at all,” Bray said. “Guerrero is too big, too strong. We went into the last fight with the wrong game plan.”

Guerrero was impressed with the way Diaz bounced back from the first round.

“I tried to establish my jab and get in there and let him know I was there to fight this time,” he said. “But (Diaz) just stayed right with me.”

Until the final round.

The fight opened up in the last stanza when the momentum of a Guerrero swing that was off the mark allowed Diaz to get Guerrero between himself and the ropes. Diaz began hitting, but Guerrero countered with some shots to the head. Shortly after, Guerrero found his opening for the bout-ending blow.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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