Although known for his calm demeanor outside of the ring, Robert Guerrero went postal when upcoming opponent Selcuk Aydin interrupted his interview session during Thursday’s national conference call promoting their Showtime-televised July 28 clash, called Guerrero “a politician” and threatened to break his jaw after initially declining to participate.
In what will be Guerrero’s welterweight debut, the 29-year-old southpaw will be after his 14th-straight victory and his 10th knockout during that run in a bout for the WBC’s interim belt at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., near Guerrero’s hometown of Gilroy.
Although Guerrero (29-1-1, 18 knockouts) insisted that he was focused on the Turkish-born Aydin (23-0, 17 KOs) of Hamburg, Germany, questions were asked regarding his prospects of facing WBC titleholder Floyd Mayweather Jr., for whom the winner of Aydin-Guerrero would become the mandatory challenger.
“For Aydin to say that I’m talking like a politician and he’s going to break my jaw? He had better be ready, because he doesn’t know what I’ve been through,” said Guerrero.
“The man’s talking a lot, like he’s going to break this and that? Well, he had better be ready, because he doesn’t know what I’ve been through in my life.”
A former two-time featherweight titleholder who also held a major belt at 130 pounds and two interim crowns at lightweight, Guerrero is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Michael Katsidis for the WBO and WBA’s interim lightweight belts in April of last year.
In September, Guerrero had arthroscopic surgery which repaired a torn tendon in the rotator cuff of his shoulder. The injury forced him to cancel an August bout with junior welterweight Marcos Maidana.
Guerrero last suffered defeat by a split-decision to Gamaliel Diaz in December 2005, but won their rematch with a sixth-round knockout in June 2006.
In March of 2010, Guerrero chose to pull out of a scheduled clash with Katsidis in order to be with wife Casey during her recovery from a bone marrow transplant.
Guerrero’s devotion to his wife and family were recognized when he received The Bill Crawford Award for Courage In The Face of Adversity from the Boxing Writers Association of America last year.
“I slept in the hospitals, I had to take care of my two children. So I would have to squeeze in the training for these championship fights. So a lot of people don’t realize what I’ve had to go through. But as my wife’s health got better and better, the better I got,” said Guerrero.
“Because I could focus on being in the gym and getting better and focusing on my skills. So a lot of people don’t really understand. That’s why I say with Selcuk thinking that I’m overlooking him, he has no idea what I’ve been through, so he had better be ready, and that’s all I’ve got to say.”
Against Aydin, Guerrero will be fighting in his sixth weight class, having started out as a junior featherweight. In victory over Aydin, Guerrero would place himself in an elite class of multi-belt, multi-division titlewinners such as Manny Pacquiao, Mayweather, Shane Mosley and Oscar De La Hoya.
“Of course everyone in those weight classes wants to fight either Mayweather or Pacquiao. These are the two big names and the two best fighters, pound-for-pound. So the list is long for those guys,” said Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer.
“But assuming that everything goes well and Robert looks great, do I think I think he deserves an opportunity to fight a Floyd Mayweather? Absolutely, before there were talks about that, but Team Mayweather felt that Robert first has to make an impact in the 147-pound weight class.”
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com