"Ever since I was young, the only person that I could admire and look up to was Sammy Sosa, and he's a baseball player. I know that if I win this fight, Dominican Republic is gonna come out for the better. It's like, remember how nobody knew about or cared about the Philippines until Manny Pacquiao came out and now their whole country is better. It's not just about boxing, it's about bettering the country," Guerrero said when asked what a win would mean for his home country.
Those are lofty ambitions for Fernando Guerrero, but he thinks he is up to the challenge of becoming the first middleweight from the Dominican Republic to hold a major title. Peter Quillin, however, will be no walk in the park. Undefeated at 28-0, "Kid Chocolate" captured his WBO title in October with a unanimous decision over Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam.
Unlike most title fights that are centered around hostility, whether real or manufactured, this scrap is all about respect. Both Fernando Guerrero and Peter Quillin have only positive things to say about one another. While this may not be the best way to sell a fight, it shows a lot about the character of both men.
"Don't feel bad about cheering for me or cheering for Quillin. If I wasn't fighting him, I would be rooting for him. It's the sport. When you have two men who both think they are champions, we are gonna have all the respect for each other," he said when it was mentioned that it is hard to root against either guy.
In the battle of nice guys, only one will come out on top. Guerrero is certain it will be he who walks out with the WBO title around his waste. If he is able to accomplish that, he will have not only made himself proud, but an entire nation as well. The bout takes place on Feb. 9 at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, NY.