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Robert Guerrero, young L.A. fighter, stars at Tropicana in 8th-round TKO

May 1, 2010 |  3:34 am

  GuerreroArrieta_Hoganphotos(1)
Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero returned Friday night from a nine-month boxing hiatus to help care for his leukemia-stricken wife and knocked down Roberto Arrieta three times, winning by eighth-round technical knockout at the Las Vegas Tropicana Hotel.

Guerrero, from Gilroy, Calif., said he felt a little rust and judged his lightweight performance a "C," but given the turbulence of his wife's health battle, Guerrero (26-1-1, 18 KOs) had everything in proper perspective.

His wife Casey's leukemia is in remission, and the Guerreros are hopeful a bone marrow biopsy will provide results this week showing that a bone marrow transplant was successful.

"We're both fighting, but she's in the fight of her life," Guerrero said. "I box because I love it. To see her battle cancer makes me appreciate boxing."

The southpaw Guerrero unleashed wicked lefts while dropping Arrieta (35-16-4) in the second, third and eighth rounds, and afterward said he wants the winner of the July 31 Juan Manuel Marquez-Juan Diaz fight. Guerrero's manager said Marquez's camp is reluctant to fight a southpaw, but Diaz announced later Friday that he's a willing participant should he avenge his 2009 loss to MarqueGuerrero_300z.

The card, marking the return of "Solo Boxeo Tecate" on Univision, had an old-school feel about it at the indoor venue that has played host to fights years ago featuring Roberto Duran and others. The crowd included Mike Tyson, Oscar De La Hoya, Erik Morales and Marquez.

Junior-welterweight Frankie Gomez, an 18-year-old from East Los Angeles, showed why De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions is so high on him, subjecting Ricardo Malfavon with a second-round flurry that ended with a TKO. Gomez was born on De La Hoya's birthday in 1992, the year the "Golden Boy" won Olympic gold.

"I want to take out anyone who comes my way," said Gomez, a 2009 graduate of L.A.'s Lincoln High. "I know if I train hard, success will come." 

Gomez said Golden Boy is telling him he'll fight monthly -- he'll headline a "Fight Night Club" at downtown's Club Nokia on May 27 -- and will be showcased in other high-profile cards.

--Lance Pugmire

Photos: from top, former three-time and two-division world champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero, right, lands a right en route to an eighth-round technical knockout victory over Roberto Arrieta, left, on Friday in Las Vegas (credit: Tom Hogan / Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions); Guerrero works out in his Gilroy gym (credit: Jeff Chiu / Associated Press).
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