By Joseph Santoliquito
LAS VEGAS, NV (CBS) — Not many people outside of boxing know who Robert Guerrero is, but certainly more will after Saturday night, by the way “The Ghost” battled back against the heavily favored Keith Thurman in a welterweight fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
It looks like boxing in primetime is back and it made an audacious debut on NBC as part of the Premier Boxing Championship series orchestrated by boxing powerbroker Al Haymon, who manages local boxing superstar Danny “Swift” Garcia.
The Guerrero-Thurman bout was the main event that also featured on the undercard Floyd Mayweather wannabe Adrien Broner, who easily dispatched John Molina in a junior welterweight fight.
But it might have been Guerrero, a 12-round unanimous loser to Thurman, who stole the event. Thurman knocked down Guerrero in the ninth with a slicing right uppercut to the head, but The Ghost, a line of crimson dripping out of the corner of his left eye, got back up. He battled back in the 10th to give Thurman some trouble, before “One Time” was able to hold Guerrero off in the 11th and 12th to win a wide-margin unanimous decision.
The whole event held a high-profile ambiance about it. Marv Albert provided the blow-by-blow commentary, Sugar Ray Leonard was the color analyst, and the legendary Al Michaels, who called the unforgettable Marvin Hagler-Tommy Hearns war, was the studio host.
Philly’s undefeated Danny Garcia will be featured on prime time next month, when he goes against Washington D.C.’s Lamont Peterson from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, on April 11.