NEW YORK (July 18, 2012) - Hard-hitting, undefeated Selcuk "Mini Tyson" Aydin has two goals when he faces former Three-Division World Champion Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero for the vacant WBC Interim Welterweight World Championship on Saturday, July 28 at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. - walk out of the ring a world champion and earn the respect of the American boxing fans.
"It's important to get the respect of the people in the United States because it's the capital of boxing," Aydin said. "This is the pinnacle of boxing."
The offensive-minded Turk will have his hands full against Guerrero (29-1-1, 18 KO's), of Gilroy, Calif., a once-beaten southpaw determined to prove he's a member of boxing's elite, when they square off in a 12-round battle in the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING main event, live at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
The 28-year-old Aydin (23-0, 17 Kos'), of Trabzon, Turkey, has done the majority of his damage abroad, having fought in the U.S. just once, registering a 12-round split decision victory over Said Ouali in 2009 on ShoBox: The New Generation.
The WBC Silver Welterweight Champion knocked out 13 of his first 16 opponents - 12 of them within the first three rounds - earning him the nickname "Mini Tyson." Using that power, Aydin is hoping to earn a new nickname on July 28: "The Ghostbuster."
Aydin recently answered six questions:
This title shot has been a long time in the making - how does it feel to finally know your opportunity is near?
"I wasn't happy waiting such a long time, but I couldn't be happier that I have this opportunity now. I earned a shot at this a while ago. I had some issues with my management and a few other things. Those were some tough times not getting a chance to fight for the title. I'm happy that it's less than two weeks away. I know I'll be successful."
What do you know about Guerrero and how do you feel about fighting in his backyard?
"I never heard of him before I got this fight. I never knew he existed. After I heard he wanted to fight me I researched him and saw that he was a good fighter, but before that I had never heard of him. I'm excited to fight on his turf and away from my home. It's no problem. All my friends and family who support me come with me to train. They'll be with me on fight night. In Trabzon, we always say that it doesn't matter where we are. We're happy to fight anywhere. Everywhere we go is Trabzon, doesn't matter if it's New York, LA or San Jose, everything is Trabzon."
Advantage-wise, who do you think has the edge in this fight?
"When you come from a lower weight class you are faster, but it could be a negative because he won't be as strong at this weight. There is no advantage because we are both successful and have won many tough fights. He might have an advantage because he won't have to lose as much weight, but there won't be any advantage or disadvantage when we're both in the ring."
Are you looking forward to fighting in the U.S. again on SHOWTIME and how important is it for you to make a name for yourself in the U.S.
"The United States is the capital of boxing. Every fight we win in the States is more important than anywhere else. This is the pinnacle of boxing. This is what I've been waiting for. To win the fight in U.S. is important because I'll gain the love of the people here. I've been boxing for 20 years as an amateur and a professional and I've been waiting for the respect in the States. That's why I need to win this fight. The money is important, but it also gives me a chance to earn the respect and become known in the capital of boxing."
If you were Guerrero, what would you be concerned about in fighting you?
"I don't want to say what he should be concerned about. After the first punch he will see who he is facing. In the beginning of the first round everyone will see what happens. I'm going to knock him out. I won't be running away, but I'll be fast. It will be a good fight and I'll win. I'm like a tank. I go back and I go forward. I'll destroy like a tank."
How mad were you to hit that referee in the amateurs? What, if anything,did you learn from that?
"I'm disappointed when anyone mentions that, but the referee that night was not fair. The fight was not fair. I was disappointed and I reacted against the referee. I feel bad about it, but every fighter wants to react when something isn't being done right in a fight."
Guerrero vs. Aydin, a 12-round fight for the WBC Interim Welterweight World Championship, is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Arena-Box Promotion and sponsored by Corona, DeWalt Tools and AT&T. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast will air live at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) with co-featured events to be announced and preliminary fights to air live on SHOWTIME EXTREME® at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT