In anticipation of Gilroy-native Robert Guerrero's May 4 title fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr., let's take a look back at his brilliant 2011 performance against tough-chinned Aussie Michael Katsidis.
It might have taken Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero all 12 rounds to defeat Australia's Michael Katsidis on Saturday night, but he dominated every one of them. Guerrero appeared to be the fresher and bigger fighter coming in to the fight, and his endurance paid off with a unanimous decision victory to capture the interim WBA and WBO lightweight titles.
Guerrero's offensive display was nothing short of stellar, landing almost half of his 890 total punches thrown. The Ghost was able to outreach the smaller Katsidis, owning each round with jabs and straight lefts that took a visible toll on Katsidis's face.
Despite the punishment Katsidis took, including two highlight uppercuts to the chin, the Australian challenged Guerrero mentally and physically with an aggressive attack that never let up. Katsidis had no problem taking a punch in order to give one, but he was unable to lure Guerrero into a dogfight on the ropes where he could take advantage of his blow-for-blow fighting preference.
The pride of Gilroy showed poise and stamina in perhaps the finest fight of his career, moving to a lifetime record of 29-1-1.
Katsidis came out jawing Guerrero at the touch of the gloves, but it was "The Ghost" who established dominance in the first round. Guerrero, a southpaw, asserted himself in the center of the ring for most of the opening frame, stalking Katsidis while outpunching him 54-18. The two exchanged blows a few times, but it was clear Katsidis was reserving his power for later rounds. Winner: Guerrero
Guerrero would only have to wait until mid-second round to taste that power, as Katsidis connected close to the ear and nearly sent Guerrero to the canvas. Although it appeared as if Guerrero's right glove had touched the floor as he stumbled backwards in an effort to regain balance, no knockdown was called and the fight resumed with a tight exchange between both boxers. Although Kasitidis wasn't able to capitalize on the brief opportunity and lost the round, he would have won the round if the no-call had been properly scored. Winner: Katsidis
Guerrero's early statement round came in the third, as he punished Katsidis for diving in. Katsidis took everything Guerrero gave without fear, but a great combo move with 45 seconds left broke the skin below his right eye. It was clear from that point forward that Guerrero was the superior fighter and would only have to outlast Katsidis in order to win. Winner: Guerrero
Unphased and unmatched in his will to get to the body, Katsidis carried his fast pace into Round Four and made Guerrero show his first signs of fatigue. Still, Guerrero turned away all invasions gracefully and without damage. Guerrero would land 35 power shots in the round, including a strong uppercut to the chin, but again Katsidis kept on ticking like nothing happened. Winner: Guerrero
In response to the beating he'd taken in the first four rounds, Katsidis employed a defensive strategy of trying to catch Guerrero's punches and knock them down. This only worked temporarily, as Guerrero soon caught him with a straight left that sent the battle to the ropes. This sequence was so devastating that even when the fight went back to the middle of the ring Katsidis needed to clinch repeatedly to slow down Guerrero's attack. Winner: Guerrero
Sloppy sparring was the tale in the sixth, as Katsidis took a bit of a breather following his scare in the fifth. The longer Guerrero took advantage of his reach, mixing in body shots and keeping Katsidis at bay for the first time in the fight. Winner: Guerrero
An aggressive outbreak by Katsidis to start the seventh had Guerrero moving around the entire ring on the defensive. Despite Katsidis's best effort, Guerrero won the round by out-landing jabs by a pace of 24-3, one of which cut Katsidis's right eye open. Winner: Guerrero
A low exchange between the two to start the round resulted in a shockingly quick one-point deduction to Katsidis for a low blow. Following the break, Katsidis immediately went back to working the rib area with success but was again deducted, this time for a low blow that was very questionable. Despite the referee's repeated calls to keep the gloves up, Katsidis continued his ways and landed a clear low blow, one which would be grounds for a disqualification for a third offense. The shot went without penalty, however, and it appeared that Katsidis was pushing Guerrero off course. The momentum shift was short-lived, though, as Guerrero came back tough with jabs to reassert himself. A devastating uppercut from The Ghost in the final minute capped off the action, as Guerrero again landed twice as many punches in a round. Winner: Guerrero
As Katsidis continued to take punishment, an appreciation for his courage and determination as a boxer really set in. Throughout the fight he put everything he had into each punch, sticking to his style and taking every chance he could to try and make up for the large deficit he faced. Guerrero gave in to Katsidis's constant pressure in Round Nine for a brief moment, being penalized for a low blow in a likely make-up call for the early deduction on Katsidis in round eight. Winner: Katsidis, by virtue of the "deduction"
Guerrero may have led in power shots landed 183-67 at this point in the fight, but it was his own aggression that cost him a point in Round 10. As he dodged swinging left hands and fascinated with his ability to remain untouched defensively, he got into a interesting situation when Katsidis shook off a clinch attempt and sent him tumbling into the ropes. Guerrero was deducted a point for the sequence, which required a reset by the referee. Winner: Katsidis
Katsidis remained the aggressor in Round 11, pushing Guerrero around the ring. As Katsidis looked for his big shot, The Ghost was able to retreat from all knockout attempts, calmly escaping off the ropes and around the ring. Although it felt like Katsidis owned the round, Guerrero landed nearly three times as many punches and was able to swell up both of his opponent's eyes. Winner: Guerrero
Guerrero showed a tremendous display of offense in the final round, when it should have been Katsidis with an all-out attack in hopes of a knockout. Guerrero's coach told him during the break to jab and keep Katsidis away, and he did just that to finish the fight on the offensive. Winner: Guerrero
My score: Guerrero 9-3
Punches landed by Guerrero: Head - 365; Body - 63; Total - 428
Punches landed by Katsidis: Head - 65; Body - 40; Total - 105
Watch the full fight below: