Guy Robb, arguably the most exciting prospect on the Northern California boxing scene, returns to the ring Friday night in Phoenix against John Herrera.
Robb (10-1, 4 KOs), a Sacramento native who trains out of the Golden State Bloodhounds Gym, possesses an uncanny flair for the dramatic that has earned him NorCal Fight of the Year nominations in each of his first two full years as a pro.
“When I step in the ring, it’s with bad intentions,” the 24-year-old featherweight told CSNBayArea.com. “We’re looking to end the fight every time. It’s nothing personal against my opponent, but it’s just the name of the game. The mentality is always to crush and dominate.”
It’s not a wise proposition to hit the beer line when “The Sactown Bloodhound” enters a ring. He seems to treat every second as if his paycheck were solely contingent on the amount of applause in the arena. Whether swashbuckling a path through a jungle of pressure or launching his own fearless offensives, Robb’s exploits remind his trainer Ray Woods of another local legend.
“Guy will fight until he drops, and Diego was the same way. They’re different fighters, but they got the same heart,” Woods said, referring to his stepson, the late Diego “Chico” Corrales.
Corrales, who died in 2007 from a tragic motorcycle accident, was the last Sacramento fighter to hold a world title. But while he was revered for staining canvases with enough copious splashes of blood to create his own pugilistic Pollocks, “Chico” could also ditch the trench warfare and break out the boxing skills when necessary.
“The fans love to see Guy brawl, and he’s good at it, but I told him he can extend his career by boxing a little more,” Woods said.
It was Robb’s penchant for giving and taking punishment on the inside that led to his only loss, a Showtime-televised seventh-round stoppage last year at the hands of Joel Diaz Jr. that had both warriors on the canvas early in the fight.
“I made some huge mental mistakes, and they cost me,” Robb said. “There were times I could have added some better movement, but in the rematch, there won’t be a whole lot different except the outcome.”
Robb realizes that in order to graduate from prospect to legitimate contender, he must display the ability to outpoint opponents from the outside with the same zeal that he utilizes brute force. Otherwise, the 126-pounder might soon be labeled with the S-word fighters hate to hear.
“I would never want to fall into being perceived as having an exciting style but seen as a steppingstone for other guys,” said Robb, who has a 2-year-old son named Treyano. “I’m a poor sport. I’m a terrible loser, and I’m in it to win it. To climb the ladder, I needed to add a few things to my game, and as Ray calls it, I’ve been fighting with a little more controlled rage.”
Honing his craft by sparring superstars like San Leandro’s Nonito Donaire and riding a three-bout winning streak, Robb has vowed to put the rest of his revamped repertoire on display at the Celebrity Theater against Herrera (4-6-1, 2 KOs).
“I’m looking forward to a tough fight and the challenge of being the first one to stop Herrera,” said Robb, who is in the first fight of a deal with promoter Boxing 360. “You know I love to fight. I can’t wait.”
KNIGHT OUTCLASSES SOTO, RETAINS TITLE
Reigning world flyweight champion Ava Knight (11-1-3, 5 KOs) successfully defended her lineal title, pounding out a ten-round unanimous decision over Linda Soto (5-2, 3 KOs) in Toluca, Mex., last Saturday.
“We did it again,” said Knight, who is pondering a move up in weight. “Soto is a tough girl! She has my respect.”
REWIND: [Boxing notes: Knight running out of foes]
On the same card, Knight's gymmate, Hayward junior middleweight Aaron Coley (6-0, 4 KOs), knocked out Arnoldo Pacheco (4-18-2, 3 KOs) in the first round.
REGION 11 JUNIOR OLYMPIANS ADVANCE TO NATIONALS
Northern and Central California's best young amateurs faced off in the Region 11 Junior Olympic finals in Redwood Valley last Saturday.
The Senior division (age 15-16) winners advanced to the National Junior Olympics in Mobile, Ala., which will take place from June 26-29. Among them include Salinas’s Ruben “Dracula” Villa, Fresno’s Isidro Ochoa, USF’s Katrina Nahe, and South San Francisco’s Charlie Sheehy, who was featured on CSNBayArea.com last year.
For the full list of champions in all age divisions, check out my blog at Norcalboxing.net.