By: Sergio L. Martinez
Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero moved up two weight classes and took on the Turkish powerhouse Selcuk “Mini Tyson” Aydin on Showtime recently in an effort to obtain the big payday that will secure the Gilroy, California native’s future.
Guerrero’s story about how his wife fought and appears to have defeated cancer has become such a part of his boxing persona that Steve Farhood desperately attempted to link Guerrero’s win and his wife’s victory over cancer during the Guerrero-Aydin post-fight interview. This reality has made the quiet and affable father of two more marketable as one of boxing’s genuine good guys: a courageous hero. It is hard not to root for the Ghost as a fighter and for the Guerreros as a family.
Guerrero, like any other hero cast into the theater, needs an antihero in order for his quest to come to fruition. For as much as the Ghost has made his case to fight boxing’s elite, it is difficult to match him with just anyone without requiring the bad-guy element which the hero must face and destroy.
Would anyone care about Superman if there was no Lex Luthor?
Fighters like Manny Pacquiao, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., and Sergio Martinez need no such contrast, as they have a built-in audience of Nationalist supporters and boxing fanatics, regardless of who they are fighting.
As amazing as Floyd Mayweather Jr. is, a good portion of people tuning into his fights do so hoping that the flamboyant and often arrogantly annoying superstar gets handed his first defeat. Mayweather, has himself cultivated this with his “Money” persona, which has led to major cash for the Las Vegas boxing marvel. This bad-guy persona has seen Mayweather become disdained by many members of the boxing community. Mayweather has said himself that love him or hate him, people still pay to watch him fight. In the end, that is just smart business.
Speaking of Mayweather, Guerrero again called out boxing’s pound-for-pound king, imploring him to attempt to reclaim the 147 pound WBC title Guerrero picked up by defeating Aydin. With Mayweather fresh out of a stint in the joint for beating women, it would stand to reason that a fight against Guerrero would be easily seen as boxing’s version of good versus evil. With so many bigger money fights for the aging luminary to consider, Guerrero may not be on the shortlist; however, “Money” will be looking for a comeback fight, so it is not out of the question that the Ghost might get his shot.
Should Mayweather decide not to allow Guerrero an opportunity at boxing’s financial throne, Gilroy’s own may be well-suited to return to his natural weight division of 135 pounds as a new villain has emerged: Adrien “The Problem” Broner. Although nowhere near the kind of money a fight against Mayweather would bring, Guerrero would still earn a solid payday against Broner and it is a fight he can win.
Because of Broner’s recent actions before the Escobedo fight, his subsequent behavior during the post-fight interview and continued display of arrogance via Twitter, this fight could easily be marketed as a showdown between purity and corruption.
This is not suggesting that Broner is corrupted or evil in the literal sense of the words. This is merely pointing out how his current boxing persona would lend itself as a perfect counterbalance to Guerrero’s feel-good story and good guy image.
The Aydin fight showed that although Guerrero has the skillset to compete at higher weights, his lack of natural strength as a welterweight could really end up hurting him against a schooled 147 pounder; Aydin has power, but not much more. The Ghost was able to outmaneuver the Turkish strongman, but if he faces a fast, skilled, combination-punching welter, mobility will not be enough down the stretch.
In a comparison of the boxers, there is not much that physically separates the Californian from Cincinnati’s own. Both have solid height and reach for lightweights and are separated by one inch total in each category.
Broner has a clear advantage in speed but Guerrero is quick himself and is a southpaw. Both appear to have a sturdy set of whiskers. The power advantage belongs to Broner, but Guerrero is not feather-fisted by any means, as he was able to keep Aydin–a natural welterweight–honest throughout their 12 round contest. Broner’s quality of competition has steadily increased, but Guerrero has more experience in championship fights and has faced tougher opposition.
Both fighters have conquered a common foe: Broner stopped a weight-weakened Vicente Escobedo in five rounds, but the controversially did not bother to make the contracted weight, giving him an unfair advantage. Guerrero, on the other hand, completely dominated the former Olympian, sending him to the canvas twice en route to a lopsided 10 rounds decision. Guerrero’s fight was at Escobedo’s natural weight and the Ghost played by the rules.
In the end, this is a fight that would be good for boxing, as both pugs are action fighters with the element of pride that leads them to engage in serious contact.
The clash could easily be made as both Guerrero and Broner are promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and there isn’t a network out there that would not pick this up.
Add in the self-installed good versus evil promotional angle and this fight has the potential to become a huge event.