Flashback: Robert Guerrero Lobbying for a Showdown with Mayweather

Las Vegas (April 10) – Six-Time and Four-Division World Champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero will attempt to hand Eight-Time and Five-Division World Champion Floyd “Money” Mayweather the first loss of his professional career when they face off on Saturday, May 4 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. in a fight which will be produced and distributed live by SHOWTIME PPV®.
While it has yet to be seen whether Guerrero’s faith can will him to victory as he has recently claimed it will, it is evident that determination has guided him to the biggest fight of his career.
Guerrero has shown that he can certainly back up his talk with his actions in the ring.  In 2012, he won two back-to-back bouts in the welterweight division and captured the WBC Interim Welterweight World Championship, making him the third fighter in boxing history to win a world title at featherweight and welterweight, joining the likes of legends Henry Armstrong and Manny Pacquiao.  Guerrero has also joined the exclusive fraternity of fighters who have jumped up two weight classes to win world championships during their careers, a group which includes Roberto Duran, Roy Jones Jr. and Sugar Shane Mosley with only Guerrero and Jones accomplishing the feat in their first fights in their new weight classes.   Lastly, he is one of two Mexican American fighters to win world titles in four divisions, the other being Oscar De La Hoya.
While it’s not a surprise that Guerrero has earned the opportunity to face Mayweather, the proven pound-for-pound and pay-per-view king, it might surprise even the most dedicated boxing fans to know just how long Guerrero lobbied for this opportunity.
November 11, 2011
“I just believe that there’s a potential Mayweather fight out there for me.  You know, Mayweather wants to come back on May 5. (Ring TV)
“I’m a world champion over three different weight divisions.  I’ve fought overseas and I’ve won five titles.  What more can I do in boxing to put myself into position for a fight of this magnitude?” (Ring TV)
“I’m throwing it out there.  There shouldn’t be any reason that that fight can’t be made.  My last fight, I walked into the ring at 152 pounds.  Mayweather walks into the ring at 148 or 149 or 150, so that’s not much of a difference.  I can make 147 no problem.” (Ring TV)
November 21, 2011
“I’m a multiple world champion and I’ve won titles in three different divisions.  That’s always the excuse when you’re trying to avoid the young lion.  For instance, Jesus Chavez, Carlos Hernandez, Sharmba Mitchell, Victor Ortiz and Henry Bruseles, who did they beat to get their chance to fight Floyd?  Not one of them has accomplished as much as I have.” (Boxing Scene)
“We are approaching this challenge like ‘Hey, let’s make it happen.  I know he set that date.  Cinco de Mayo.  I am Mexican American right here.  Let’s do it.” (The Sweet Science)
“Mayweather is the guy I want.  Like I said, I want to fight the best… I’d love to fight him.” (The Sweet Science)
“I know he is paying attention.  Floyd Mayweather would not be pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, if he wasn’t paying attention.  Even when he retired, he was paying attention.  I’m expecting him to take on the challenge.” (The Sweet Science)
December 1, 2011
“The fact is I’ve always faced the biggest challenges in and out of the ring head on.  I’ve always said to be the best you have to fight the best and right now Floyd Mayweather is considered the best fighter in the world.  I’m here to say I’m the best fighter in the world.  There’s only one way to find out…May 5th let’s do it.” (Boxing Scene)
December 6, 2011
“I’m a five-time world champion in three different weight divisions.  I’m a 5’9″ lefty and everyone says he has trouble with lefties.  This is his chance to show the world.  I’ve won world titles, defending them a number of times.  He isn’t getting a guy that’s only had one world title fight.  He’d have an experienced fighter in front of him and also a big fighter… Everything is setup right there to make a big fight…When it comes down to it, I take care of business.  If it comes down to having to go to Floyd’s gym, that’s what I’ll do.” (Fight Hype)
December 15, 2011
“I haven’t fought in awhile, but it hasn’t been that long.  I will get the best sparring partners in the world and will be sharper than I’ve ever been.  Like I said, I respect Floyd a lot and will make sure I am on top of my game.  I feel like some of these things can help me get the fight.  You know how Floyd likes to hand pick his opponents…Maybe this will make me look more attractive to him.” (Fight Saga)
“Floyd needs a dancing partner on Cinco de Mayo and I’m willing to step up and face the biggest challenge out there.  I know I can beat him.  It’s up to Floyd to take the fight.” (Fight Hype)
“Well for one, like I said, I wanna fight the best fighters out there.  Everyone says I am 135, that I have no experience at 140 or 147.  Size is not the issue.  I am a physically bigger guy.  I have been around Floyd, I have seen Floyd in person.  I have been on undercards that Floyd was fighting on.  I am a bigger guy than Floyd.  At the end of the day words are not going to get the job done.” (Examiner)
January 4, 2012
“Yes, I’ve been seeking a fight with Floyd since his date on May 5th was announced.  I’m here to fight the best fighters in the world.” (Doghouse Boxing)
January 9, 2012
“I’m going to shock the world and beat Floyd Mayweather.” (LA Times)
“No matter who it is, a fight with Floyd Mayweather would be the biggest fight of anybody’s career.  This is where you start setting your legacy as one of the greatest in boxing.” (Daily News)

Out Of The Ring Romantics: Broner, Banks, Mitchell

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (February 5) – When it comes to Valentine’s Day, even the toughest guys can be softies.  This is the case with WBC Lightweight World Champion Adrien Broner, NABO & WBC International Heavyweight Champion Johnathon Banks and heavyweight contender Seth Mitchell.  Despite being deep in training camp for their respective February 16 fights at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City which will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing, Broner, Banks and Mitchell took time to discuss their Valentine’s Day memories, secret admirers and their special some ones for this year.
Even Broner, whose ring name is “The Problem,” offered his recipe for a successful relationship saying, “If you feel like you have somebody special, hold on to them, don’t let them go and fight for them.”
Q: Do you remember your first Valentine?  If so, what grade were you in and why was she your Valentine? 
Adrien Broner: Should I name all eight?  I was in first grade and they were all cute.  I have had all types of Valentines.  I even had teachers as Valentines.
Johnathon Banks: My first Valentine was in the third grade.  I thought she was pretty.  She was in the same class as me and was the smartest girl in the class.  Brains and beauty, I fell for her like a sack of rocks.
Seth Mitchell: My first real Valentine was in the 10th grade.  She was my first Valentine because we were actually dating at the time.  I didn’t have a car, so her mom came, picked us up and dropped us off at Red Lobster.  We ate dinner and then went to a movie.  Then her mom came and picked us up and dropped me back off at home.  I was able to sneak in a hug, but that’s about it.  It was a fun night though.
Q: What was the nicest Valentine you ever received?
Adrien Broner: I have gotten too many to count.  I got a huge heart shaped cake once, which was pretty tasty.  Other than that, I would rather not say…
Johnathon Banks: The nicest Valentine I received was a teddy bear, candy and a card with money from a girl when I was 15.  She became my girlfriend after that.  She knew that I liked her and I knew she liked me, but I was too shy at the time.
Seth Mitchell: When I was a junior in college, my girlfriend at the time invited me over.  When I walked into her apartment, slow jams were playing.  I could smell something good cooking in the kitchen.  I sat and watched her put the final touches on the meal she was making for me, while she wearing my favorite pumps.  It was the beginning of a very romantic evening…let’s just say that girl ended up being my wife.
Q: What was the best/most exciting Valentine’s Day gift you have given someone?
Adrien Broner: I am usually in training camp so that’s tough, but I always send gifts.  This year, I am sending my girlfriend a huge teddy bear, it’s as big as a couch.  All I can say is when it comes to Valentine’s Day presents, you have to go all out, every time.  Every year, presents should be better than the year before.
Johnathon Banks: I gave my mom a large sum of cash on Valentine’s Day a couple of years back.  The smile on her face was priceless.
Seth Mitchell: When I’m with my wife, I pay attention to comments she makes about things she likes while we are at the mall or out and about.  I make mental notes of these things and Valentine’s Day is one day out of many days of the year, where I try to surprise her by getting her a gift to make her day special.
Q: Did you ever have a secret Valentine or crush that you always wondered about?
Adrien Broner: All the girls that were cute back then have kids now and are all out of shape…so no.
Johnathon Banks: I don’t remember having a secret Valentine, but I have always had a crush on [actress] Halle Berry.
Seth Mitchell: Growing up, [actress] Nia Long was my wish for a Valentine.  I thought she was beautiful and I have a thing for dark-skinned women.  I thought she was a natural beauty.
Q: When was your first kiss?  Who was she and how did it happen?
Adrien Broner: Whew.  I don’t know.  I can’t think that far back.  It was like really early.  I was a ‘baby kid.’
Johnathon Banks: It was in the fifth grade, after a choir assembly in an after school program.  I was scared and shaking-I kissed her on the lips.
Seth Mitchell: My first kiss was when I was in the second grade.  The girl I kissed was in the fourth grade.  She lived next door to me.  It happened on her porch.  We were just talking and one thing led to another.  I was scared and I didn’t know what I was doing.  It took a few more years to perfect my technique.
Q: Even though it will be two days before your fight, who is your Valentine this year and why?
Adrien Broner: My girlfriend.  We are going to celebrate Valentine’s Day after the fight.  It’s going to be good.
Johnathon Banks: I don’t have one this year, I’ll send flowers to my mom like I do every year.
Seth Mitchell: My Valentine this year is my wife.  She’s my best friend.  She knows what makes me happy.  She has given me my children, who are my two most precious gifts.  I trust her and I can confide in her.  She makes me feel special by just being around me.

Flashback: Reggie “Sweet” Johnson

By: Heath Harlem
Follow me @pittgrad0214

Reggie “Sweet” Johnson was born on August 28. 1966 in Houston Texas. Reggie grew up in Houston’s tough “fifth ward” neighborhood and when he was 12 years old his uncle took him to the Salvation Army Boys Club where he first learned to box. At the gym, Johnson quickly found a mentor in James Carter a local boxing coach. Coach Carter taught Reggie the sport of boxing and mentored him for life outside of the ring. While Reggie felt that he was a natural and boxing was his niche in life, things didn’t start smoothly for him. Johnson lost his first 4 amateur fights, including being disqualified in his first fight for slapping. In a short period of time after beginning his amateur career, Johnson’s raw talent was developed into great boxing skill, and Reggie Johnson became one of the best amateurs in the United States. Reggie was a member of the United States Boxing team and won both national and international tournaments. In the 1984 Olympic Trials he lost a 3-2 decision to Frank Tate. At the end of 1984 Reggie turned pro after compiling an amateur record of 96-12. The relationship that Reggie formed with James Carter and the others at the Salvation Army gym influence Reggie’s life even to this day. Reggie is active in the Houston community with performing various charity work, and calls James carter the greatest influence on his life.

Reggie began his pro career with a fourth round win over journeyman Mark Henderson in Pasadena, Texas on August 14th, 1984. After that win Johnson steadily rose through the middleweight ranks going from prospect, to contender, before getting his first world title shot against James Tony on June 29th, 1991. With a record of 29-1-1 Johnson a 2-1 underdog, faced the undefeated Tony. The underdog started with a bang, putting Tony on the canvas for the first time in his career, before ultimately losing a split decision. To this day Johnson still feels he was on the wrong end of the decision. Johnson recovered from the defeat, and in April 1992 he defeated Steve Collins to become the WBA Middle Weight Champion. Reggie was able to successfully defend his title three times before losing the title to John David Jackson in Argentina, another decision Johnson did not agree with. Despite two opportunities, Johnson was never able to regain his WBA Middleweight title.

On February 6th 1998 Reggie moved up to Light heavyweight to face IBF Champion William Guthrie. In a fight that was scheduled for 12 rounds Johnson scored a stunning knockout in the 5th round. Johnson successfully defended his title twice before losing his title in a unification bout against Roy Jones Jr. on June 5th, 1999. Reggie fought 3 more times successfully in the Light Heavyweight division before losing to Antonio Tarver on January 25th, 2002 via a 12 round split decision. Reggie then became inactive for three and half years before returning to face and defeat via knockout journeyman Fred Moore on August of 2005. After another two and half years of inactivity, Johnson returned to the ring for the final time on February 23rd 2008 to face and defeat via a 12 round split decision former Light Heavyweight champion Julio Cesar Gonzalez. While many have reported that the extended breaks between Johnson’s last fights were retirements, Reggie has gone on the record to state that he has never retired, not even to this day and that it was management disputes that lead to the lack of activity.

Less than one month after the Gonzalez fight Reggie Johnson was inducted for a second degree felony theft of $120,000. On October 22nd, 2010 he was convicted of stealing the funds dedicated to him for boxing clinics that were distributed through the Urban league from the Red Cross intended for children displaced by Hurricanes Rita and Katrina. Reggie was sentenced to 12 years in prison but he was released in 2012 due to good behavior.

Since his release from prison Reggie has been working to fight to clear his name. From the day that the indictment was handed down to today, Johnson has maintained his innocence. Johnson has claimed that he could have avoided jail time if he simply plead guilty, but that it was something he wouldn’t do since he is innocent. Despite serving his time, Johnson is continuing the fight to clear his name with the vigor that he showed in the ring as a young fighter. Reggie is also working on a comeback to the ring. Motivated by George Foreman and Bernard Hopkins, Reggie feels he can be the next Light Heavyweight Champion at 46 years old. Confident he can work himself back to 175lbs, Reggie has begun looking for a fight, calling out the whole light heavyweight division and targeting Nathan Cleverly publically. Citing his success off of the long breaks, the strength of the competition he has faced and defeated in his career as evidence that he will be successful in a return to the ring. Reggie says his desire to return to the ring isn’t about money, it is instead about showing the world what he can do, becoming world champion again and ultimately being recognized as a member of the boxing hall of fame. While he is working in the ring on a potential return to the sport and working his legal fight to clear his name outside the ring, Johnson has not stopped working with his charities in the Houston area. The influence of his first mentor and coach James Carter is driving him today and Johnson feels confident that his best days are ahead of him. Johnson envisions in the not so distant future he will have his name cleared, he will be lightweight champion of the world and he will be in a position to give more back to his community.