By: William Holmes
It often gets overlooked by casual boxing fans that there are other talented professional boxers out there besides Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the welterweight division that are worthy of their attention.
Selcuk Aydin is one of those boxers, and Robert Guerrero jumped two weight classes to also become a contender in the lucrative welterweight division.
Showtime will be broadcasting an interesting matchup on Saturday night between Selcuck Aydin and Robert Guerrero, as well as a bout between upcoming prospect Shawn Porter and the rugged veteran Alfonso Gomez.
A preview of both fights follows below.
Shawn Porter (19-0) vs. Alfonso Gomez (23-5-2); Welterweight Division
Shawn Porter is a young and exciting prospect in the welterweight division who is taking a step up in competition to fight the dangerous Alfonso Gomez. Porter has an extensive amateur career. He won the 2007 World Golden Gloves Championships and nearly qualified for the 2008 U.S. Olympic team.
Porter also has heavy hands with 14 of his wins coming by way of KO or TKO. The Ohio native has also fought most of his career in the junior middleweight and middleweight divisions. He came down to the welterweight division in July of 2010 with a decision victory over Ray Robinson.
Porter is a large welterweight with power, but he has not faced tough competition at this point in his career. The little known Anges Adjaho had the best record of his last five opponents, and it was an unimpressive record of 25-4.
Alfonso Gomez has always been willing to fight anybody anywhere, but when he has been matched up with a well-known opponent in his prime he seems to come up short.
His last fight was nearly a year ago against Canelo Alvarez in the junior middleweight division, a fight he lost by 6th round TKO. It’s a long time in-between fights for Gomez, who may be suffering from ring rust.
Gomez beat an over-the-hill Jose Luis Castillo in 2010, a tough Jesus Soto Karass in 2009, and sent Arturo Gatti into retirement in 2007.
Gomez, however, is 31, and after taking punishment from the likes of Miguel Cotto, Canelo Alvarez, and Peter Manfredo Jr., it is quite clear that he is past his prime.
Saturday will be a good test for Porter, but it’s a test that he is expected to pass with flying colors.
Robert Guerrero (29-1) vs. Selcuk Aydin (23-0); WBC Interim Welterweight Title
Robert Guerrero last fought in April of last year in the lightweight division to claim the interim WBA and WBO lightweight world titles.
He’s now jumping not one, but two weight classes, to take on the little known but very tough Selcuk Aydin. This is a very bold and risky move on the part of Guerrero.
Guerrero started his professional boxing career at the age of 18 in the featherweight division. His first and only loss was to Gamaliel Diaz in the featherweight division in 2005.
Guerrero has 18 KO or TKOs out of his 29 victories, and he does not shy away from tough competition. He has defeated the likes of Michael Katsidis, Vicente Escobedo, Joel Casamayor, and Jason Litzau. He’s a technically sound boxer, but will likely be giving up some of the power he had in the lighter weight classes now that he is fighting in the welterweight division.
Guerrero is from California, so most of the crowd in attendance will be supporting him, a significant advantage if the fight goes to the scorecards.
Aydin has a deep amateur background and competed in the 2004 Summer Olympics, but did not win a medal. He has 17 wins by KO out of his 23 victories, and has spent most of his career in the welterweight division. Aydin will have the power advantage on Saturday.
It should be noted that Aydin has spent most of his career fighting in his native country of Turkey or in Germany, and Saturday will be his first fight in the United States. He has not defeated any opponents that are well-known to the American boxing audience, but his last five opponents have had records of 29-1, 10-2, 18-0, 26-0, and 30-2.
It would not be fair to say Aydin has been protected most of his career when his last five opponents had good records but were not household names.
This is a risky match for both fighters: the winner will have a good opportunity for bigger paydays in the near future against more well-known opponents. But Guerrero may have bitten off more than he can chew. He’s jumping two weight classes to go up against a tough European fighter after not having fought in over a year.
Sometimes a fighter has an impressive record in Europe that comes stateside to be exposed. Aydin will likely not be one of them.
Aydin’s significant size advantage and more recent activity will be major factors on Saturday. Guerrero has stated that he wants to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr., but it is unlikely that he’ll get past the rugged Selcuk Aydin.