By Robert Hough
Serious entertainment awaits on Saturday night if Selcuk “Mini-Tyson” Aydin performs in the ring against Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero with the same nastiness and aggression he unleashed in a recent teleconference. Aydin initially said he was both focused on training and angry at the lack of U.S. media attention so he wouldn’t say anything. It seems he was listening, though, as he leapt in about 30 minutes after the conversation started. “You speak like a politician,” the Turkish welterweight told Guerrero through a translator, long after his promoter, Ahmet Oner, related something of an obvious observation: this was the perfect opportunity to get U.S. media exposure. “You need to spend more time training and strengthening your jaw because I’m going to break it.”
Guerrero (29-1-1, 18 KOs) who moves up two weight classes to face Aydin (23-0, 17 KOs) at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., for the WBC interim welterweight championship, gave it right back. “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,” he said. “The man’s talking a lot, like he’s going to break this and that? Well, he’d better be ready, because he doesn’t know what I’ve been through in my life.”
Guerrero, who returns to the ring after almost 18 months due to a rotator-cuff tear in his left shoulder, also made mammoth sacrifices and endured clearly visible anguish as his wife had a bone-marrow transplant and successfully battled leukemia in recent years.
“I slept on hospital floors and I had to take care of my two children so I would have to squeeze in the training for these championship fights,” recalled the 29-year-old who is openly pursuing fights with Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao. “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 because I could focus on being in the gym and getting better and focusing on my skills.”
“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.”
The Gilroy, Calif., resident who’s coming off a unanimous decision win over Michael Katsidis in April 2011 for the WBO and WBA interim lightweight titles, said the layoff would have no bearing on the first round or so much as the first minute of the first round.
“I’ll be 100-percent ready and do what I normally do from the first second, just like any fight,” said Guerrero who continues to openly pursue fights against Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. “I know this guy’s strong; I’ve seen tape of him so I know he has good power in both hands and he carries his strength all the way through the fights, but we have our game-plan and I’ll execute it from the first bell.”
The shoulder surgery and subsequent physical therapy have been a huge boost, he pointed out.
“My whole career, my other muscle were compensating for the rotator cuff,” said Guerrero, who related after the medical procedure that his shoulder had been bothering him for years. “After the surgery I worked on all my muscles working together and I feel 10 times stronger. I have a lot more pop in my left and I can do things never done before. I’ve got everything working together.”
Aydin, who’s based in Germany and earned a split-decision over Said Ouali in his only fight in the USA, reiterated his threat via a statement in conjunction with the announcement that he made his seven-day weight check.
“I can’t wait for the fight to finally begin”, said Aydin, who weighed 154 pounds. “Hey Robert, look at me – and stop looking past me. This is the guy who will break your jaw. I know that you haven’t been in the ring for more than a year now. So you know how it feels to take a long break. You will have to take another year off when I’m done with you!”