The last premium network fight for July takes place tomorrow (July 28) with Robert Guerrero making his welterweight debut against Turkish contender Selcuk Aydin. This is a bout that will only generate passing interest from casual fans. But if you’re reading this, odds are you don’t fall in that category. Let’s get right to why this bout could continue the streak of entertaining upsets we’ve seen in recent weeks.
To say Robert Guerrero has a lot riding on this fight is an understatement. Having not fought since April 2011 when he defeated Michael Katsidis impressively by unanimous decision, Guerrero has tried to keep his name afloat the last 15 months with hopeless callouts of Floyd Mayweather. He’s watched as other fighters such as fellow Golden Boy stablemate Victor Ortiz surpassed him to the big payday he’s yearned for. The Ghost knew he had to take a big risk to get his name out there and did just that in jumping two weight classes to a welterweight division that boasts several name fighters.
Selcuk Aydin has had a different journey, but finds himself in a similar predicament. He made a good 2009 appearance on Showtime in an action win over Said Ouali, but the man who’s dubbed himself “Mini-Tyson” has been more spectator than active threat in the welterweight division. Andre Berto passed on him to face Victor Ortiz and since then the Turkish banger has waited for a significant opponent to make his name on American soil. That moment is here with Robert Guerrero.
What can make this fight intense is the desperation both men will bring into the ring along with the chips on their shoulders. Both believe they’ve been ignored by big names far too long and will want to make a statement. In addition, each fighter knows a loss, especially a bad one, might be a unsurmoutable final setback. There’s also been a noticeable undercurrent of tension as if Guerrero and Aydin resent the fact they’re facing each other instead of a bigger name opponent.
As the more skilled and proven fighter, Robert Guerrero is the favorite even with the weight jump. Aydin is a plodder with his feet, so Guerrero will have a marked advantage turning him to prevent the slugger from getting his feet set to punch. Guerrero’s faster hands will also give him plenty of countering opportunities on the outside and at mid-range.
Aydin will have to stay in Guerrero’s chest and keep it a bruising inside fight. Aydin throws very good, compact body shots when he has opponents pinned on the ropes and quick, guard splitting uppercuts. His shorter reach, 65 inches compared to Guerrero’s 70, would also serve him well in landing first during inside exchanges.
Guerrero will have some rough moments when Aydin corners him, but he should be able to outbox the much slower Aydin for enough stretches of the fight to earn a decision. The “larger man” angle might end up becoming misstated; Guerrero was a very big lightweight and those who attended the last press conference earlier this week said Guerrero looked bigger than Aydin. It would not be surprising if Guerrero is the one at times backing up Aydin with the speed, power and variety of his combinations.
Guerrero vs. Aydin airs tomorrow night at 10 p.m. ET.