Though it's not for a world title, the Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero (31-2-1, 18 KO) vs. Yoshihiro Kamegai (24-1-1, 21 KO) bout on Saturday from the StubHub Center should be action-packed.
Both Guerrero and Kamegai have crowd-pleasing styles, and that's part of the reason the bout will headline a triple-header on Showtime.
Golden Boy President Oscar De La Hoya talked up the bout in a recent press conference, per Lem Satterfield of The Ring Magazine: "We're all about the fans and giving them the best fights that we have to offer and obviously, we know that Robert 'The Ghost' Guerrero is one of the few elite fighters that boxing has today."
That's, um…very debatable, but we know Oscar has to sell the bout.
Guerrero will be looking to move back into position to fight for a welterweight title at 147 pounds. Kamegai is a relative unknown who has rarely fought outside of his native Japan, but with 21 knockouts in 26 fights, he brings in an impressive resume.
Also on the Showtime card, Gary Russell Jr. will tangle with Vasyl Lomachenko for the vacant WBO featherweight title, and former welterweight champion Devon Alexander will face Jesus Soto Karass.
Here's how you can watch.
When: June 21 at 10 p.m. ET
Where: StubHub Center, Carson, California
Live Stream: BoxNation (subscription required and region restricted)
The Book on Guerrero
The last time we saw The Ghost, a myriad of quick shots were caroming off his head too fast for him to move or block.
It's a similar plight many have faced while fighting Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr.
The 31-year-old from Gilroy, California, has taken over a year off since losing to Money in May 2013, and he's looking to make a statement upon his return. Fighting in his home state, Guerrero is sure to have a large contingent of fans cheering him on.
When asked why he took so much time away from the ring, Guerrero told Satterfield:
I had the three fights fights back-to-back. The fight with [Selcuk] Aydin was a tough, 12-round fight with him; you know? He was a hard puncher. Then, I had the tough fight with Berto too and we went at it for 12 hard rounds and then also the Mayweather fight. Those training camps were brutal and they were really close together. So it took a little bit of time to recover and to recoup and now we're back.
Guerrero also earned a career-high $3 million plus a percentage of the pay-per-view dollars in his loss to Mayweather. It may have paled in comparison to Mayweather's $32 million, but it was still enough to fund a needed vacation from the sport.
When he returns to the ring on Saturday, he'll have a fairly hard-punching foe in front of him.
The Book on Kamegai
Saturday's bout will be just the fourth fight outside of Japan for Kamegai.
The results have been mixed thus far for the 31-year-old when he's ventured west. He's 1-1-1. Most recently, he lost a unanimous decision to Johan Perez in June 2013.
Per Ryan Maquinana of Boxing Scene, Kamegai says he had communication issues in his corner, and that drastically affected his performance. Kamegai said:
I had some challenges communication-wise because my team and I did not speak the same language. So coming back this time, I have a different team, we speak the same language now, and we’re in a lot better position than we were before.
If you're worried about Kamegai getting on his horse during the bout, don't be. He doesn't own one.
He comes in looking to throw power shots and willing to take punishment in the process. It's a style that should draw some cheers, but will it produce an upset win?
It's hard to imagine a scenario in which Kamegai wins. He has slow hands and very little movement. Fighters who stand right in front of Guerrero are made to order for him.
Throw in the slow hands and Kamegai is headed for a one-sided beating.
Guerrero wins by TKO in the sixth round.
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