By John J. Raspanti
Featherweight contender Guy Robb is keenly aware of the importance of his August 27 showdown with hard-hitting Miguel Marriaga.
“It’s the biggest fight of my career,” Robb told this writer via email a few weeks ago. ”I feel confident and excited about the things to come.”
The winner of the Robb-Marriaga match will likely get a shot at newly-crowned WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez.
Trainer Roy Woods, who has worked with Robb (18-1, 8 KOs) since the Sacramento native was seventeen, feels his charge is ready.
“Guy started training for this fight in June” said Woods Monday at a media event. “He’s almost never out of the ring. He’s sharp.”
Robb, ranked number 14 by the WBO, paid his boxing dues the old-fashioned way by fighting as much as possible. In 2011, he engaged in six fights, winning them all, several by knockouts. (with two knockouts). The only blemish on his record came four years ago when he was stopped by undefeated Joel Diaz. Robb has reeled off 11 straight victories since his lone setback.
Marriago (23-1, 19 KOs) last fought in March, winning an eight-round decision over Adones Agelo. Last year, he went the distance with power-punching former super featherweight champion Nicolas Walters. Marriaga lost the fight, but gained the former champion’s respect.
Robb knows Marriaga will be a formidable opponent. He began his career by knocking out 14 of his first 15 adversaries.
“He’s a powerful man,” said Robb. “He likes to pressure. He’s pretty sharp.”
How does Robb counter Marraiga’s strengths?
“I need to be boss,” said Robb. “We got a game plan to take him out of his comfort zone.”
Marriaga,29, rated the number four featherweight by the WBO, has won three consecutive fights since losing his championship bid against Walters.
Robb is days away from the most significant fight of his life. He’s confident and focused.
“I’ve watched tape and see things I can take advantage of,” Robb said. “And situations I have to be responsible in.”