Readers, how do you think Guerrero will fare at 147, after skipping 140?
Maybe Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero is making too big a leap when he faces Selcuk Aydin in a welterweight title match and skips over the junior welterweight division entirely.
If a fighter dares to be great, then it’s fitting.
After more than a year Guerrero (29-1-1, 18 KOs) returns to the boxing ring and faces undefeated Turkish fighter Aydin (23-0, 17 KOs) on Saturday, July 28. The welterweight encounter takes place at HP Pavilion in San Jose, California. Showtime will televise.
Injury to Guerrero’s left shoulder kept the former featherweight and junior welterweight world titleholder from boxing. But instead of carefully selected battles the Gilroy warrior is diving head first into a lake of war.
Aydin has promised to break Guerrero’s jaw. Obviously he was inspired by another welterweight, Josesito Lopez.
“You speak like a politician,” said Aydin. “You need to train harder and strengthen your jaw because I’m going to break it.”
Though Guerrero has been fighting professionally for 11 years, including a win overseas, the lanky Northern California prizefighter hasn’t received the accolades of his fellow Norcal brethren Nonito Donaire and Andre Ward. Only a few publications,
including this, one view Guerrero as a true top 12 pound for pound fighter.
Now the southpaw slugger opts to move into the more talented 147-pound division where the biggest names reside, like fat cats sitting at a high stakes poker table in Monte Carlo. Guerrero hungers for a crack at the who’s who of prizefighting.
“I have trouble getting fights at 140 so I’m moving up two weight classes. Not just talking the talk, but walking the walk,” says Guerrero.
Few have dared to make a jump like that but those who did are names all of the boxing world knows and respects. Think Roberto “Manos de Piedra” Duran, Sugar Shane Mosley, and Henry Armstrong. There are others, but not that many.
Leaps from lightweight to welterweight are for the risk takers that can punch and box on equal terms. That describes Guerrero to a tee.
Last year Guerrero suffered the rotator cuff injury and was forced to pull out of a super lightweight match within days of the scheduled encounter with Marcos Maidana. After the surgery the difference in strength has been surprising.
“My other muscles were compensating for the rotator,” said Guerrero. “It was great to get back in the gym and throw full force. Definitely there is a lot more pop in it.”
Guerrero is gunning for the bigger more recognizable game like Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, you know, the usual suspects that carry with them a trail full of golden bricks behind them.
It won’t be easy. The jump from lightweight to welterweight has never been easy, even for Duran, Mosley and Armstrong.
Golden Boy Promotion’s Richard Schaefer said that more than a few doubt Guerrero can slide into the welterweight division without severe turbulence.
“Floyd felt he couldn’t just jump from 135 to 147,” said CEO Schaefer. “Everyone in those weight classes wants to fight Mayweather and Pacquiao. The list is long. Assuming everything goes well do I think he deserves to fight one of those fighters. Absolutely.”
Those are big prizes.
Who wins the WBO Middleweight title fight Dec. 19th?