On May 4, 2013, Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero faced off against boxing welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather. After 12 rounds, the decision was unanimous: Mayweather retained his title.
Guerrero began picking apart the defeat.
“There’s more stuff I could have done in the gym,” he says.
The 31-year-old had known Dave Castro, CrossFit Inc.’s Director of the CrossFit Games/Director of Training, since turning professional 13 years earlier, and Castro had been trying to get the fighter to try CrossFit. Skeptical, Guerrero was finally agreeable. At the start of 2014, he began training with Brian Chontosh, a Level 1 Seminar Staff member and a retired U.S. Marine Corps officer who had been awarded the Navy Cross for heroic actions during the 2003 Iraq invasion.
“The warrior aspect of him and the fact that he was a leader of men and he was a leader of men in combat, for me, that made sense to pair him with Guerrero,” Castro explains.
What Chontosh saw in Guerrero was surprising.
“My initial assessment of Rob and his movement was like, ‘There’s no fucking way that this guy is a six-time world champion. There’s no way,’” he recalls.
Guerrero suffered from a weak core, had no awareness of when his body was in flexion or extension, and performed “atrocious” squats.
“I’m surprised that he’s not, like, walking around with a cane,” Chontosh says.
Chontosh knew he had a lot of work to do, but in a matter of four months—and with some inspiration from Chris Spealler—Guerrero upped his game and became a new athlete.
“He’s fast. He’s strong. He has the awareness and the wherewithal of his body—the kinesthetic awareness—to actually apply the strength where he wants to with the speed that he has. He’s dangerous. He’s deadly right now,” Chontosh says.
Video by Jay Vera.
Additional reading: Body Shots by Becca Borawski, published April 1, 2007.