Boxing is a decidedly taxing sport, one that wears down a boxer’s physical and mental well-being over years of training, travel, and fights. Often times, those who step into the ring put their health at risk in order to be remembered as one of the greatest. Welterweight Robert Guerrero spent his 16 year career fighting some of the best boxers in the business in order to achieve that goal, but on Monday, the 34-year-old decided to call it quits.
Guerrero’s retirement comes just 2 days after suffering his first loss via knockout, to former lightweight world title-holder Omar Figueroa Jr. on Saturday night. The bout was incredibly one-sided, with Guerrero getting knocked down five times in total–three times in the second round and twice more in the fifth round–before the fight was stopped. The dominance shown by Figueroa was probably as much of an indication to Guerrero that he should hang up his gloves as the knockout was.
Both fighters were coming off of extended absences from the ring ahead of the fight, with Figueroa (27-0-1, 19 KOs) coming off a 19-month layoff and Guerrero (33-6-1, 18 KOs) was coming off an 11-month absence of his own. The rust seemed present mostly for Guerrero, who could never get it going against his Texan opponent. The loss was the 5th in his last 7 fights, dating back his May 2013 loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr.–Mayweather’s 44th win, and the fight prior to his showdown with Canelo Álvarez.
Guerrero spoke on hanging it up on Monday. “First, I want to thank God for allowing me to have a wonderful career,” he said in a statement. “I’m a kid from a small town in Gilroy, California, who made it to the mountaintop of the boxing world. When I was a young kid growing up, I always believed in myself, but never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined a small-town kid like myself would be fighting in front of millions of fans.”
He continued, saying that “[m]any tears were shed, lots of blood and tons of sweat. Many miles were traveled, thousands of rounds sparred. None were easy, and nothing was ever given to me. I earned everything I got the old-fashion way. I never ducked anyone and fought the best fighters in the world. I fought my way through every obstacle to make sure my fans enjoyed every second of every round of my fights.”