by Doug Fischer
Despite an extensive amateur career that included numerous European championship medals and a berth on Turkey’s 2004 Olympic squad, Aydin’s relies more on pressure, physical strength and power punching (hence his nickname “Mini-Tyson”) than technique or finesse. Guerrero is an experienced and well-rounded boxer-technician who possesses an educated jab, underrated defensive savvy and good footwork.
Guerrero has scored one more stoppage victory than Aydin but the bulk of his knockouts occurred at featherweight. In fact, he’s only stopped two opponents (both journeymen) who weighed over 130 pounds. Aydin hasn’t taken out any world beaters, but he knocked out the very capable Jackson Bonsu (KO 9), and is a proven puncher at welterweight.
SPEED AND ATHLETIC ABILITY
Guerrero isn’t known for his speed or agility but he is a far more coordinated athlete than Aydin. The naturally smaller fighter has quicker reflexes than Aydin (but fans won’t know how fighting at 147 pounds or his 15 months of inactivity will affect those reflexes until he steps into the ring on Saturday). Aydin is the stronger and probably more durable of the two.
When Guerrero is at his best – as he was when he knocked out Spend Abazi (TKO 9) and Jason Litzau (KO 8) – it’s easy to see why he was nicknamed “The Ghost” because he’s almost untouchable. His jab keeps his opponents at arm’s length and his head and upper-body movement enables him to avoid most punches aimed at his jaw. Aydin doesn’t bother getting out of the way of punches. His only method of protection (apart from his relentless offense) is to cover up behind a high guard, although it should be noted that he’s effective with his defensive posture.
Guerrero doesn’t just have more bouts (33 to 23), more rounds under his belt (185 to 105) and more years in the pro game (11 to 6) than Aydin, he’s been in with much better competition, including five former titleholders.
Guerrero’s whiskers are underrated. The rugged southpaw has never been dropped or even seriously rocked in 33 pro bouts. However, Aydin can make the same claim with his 23 bouts, all of which have taken place above 140 pounds. Aydin’s chin is more proven at welterweight.
Both fighters are dedicated athletes and diligent students of their craft. Guerrero’s training focuses more on endurance and technique, while Aydin works more strength and resistance training to compliment his aggressive style. Both fighters have proven their stamina by prevailing in hard 12-round bouts.
WEAR AND TEAR
Aydin had close to 400 amateur bouts and a relentless style that leads to burn out but he’s never taken a beating in a pro bout. Neither has Guerrero but he’s been a pro for 11 years and the 80 extra rounds he’s fought have been against mostly quality opposition, which has to take a toll as his recent shoulder injury could might suggest.
Guerrero’s father and trainer Ruben Guerrero guided his son through a successful amateur career and took over the pro reigns beginning with the Abazi fight in early 2007. Clearly, he knows his son and knows how to get the best out of him. The same can be said about Aydin’s trainer Conny Mittermeier, a 48-year-old former fighter who coaches out of Stuttgart, Germany. Aydin isn’t the most polished boxer but one can’t argue with his success. Neither Guerrero nor Mittermeier train any other world-class boxer.
Aydin will start fast, looking to test the chin and physical strength of Guerrero, but the undefeated contender will find the welterweight version of The Ghost ready to do battle. Guerrero will meet Aydin in the center of the ring where he establishes his jab and takes the first two rounds with accurate straight lefts. However, Aydin will gradually work his way in close where he will engage in grappling and lob wild haymakers that land to the back of Guerrero’s head. Guerrero will respond to Aydin’s roughhouse tactics by landing rabbit punches of his own and launching some borderline low blows. The referee will have his work cut out for him during these rough and tumble middle rounds, but he won’t have to worry about the ugly stuff down the stretch of the fight because Guerrero will reestablish distance with his jab in the late rounds and score with three-punch body-head combinations whenever Aydin enters his range. Aydin will land single power punches that bust up the face of the smaller man but Guerrero will fight through the blood and take the champion ship rounds with his superior punch output and footwork.
Prediction: Guerrero by close decision.