By Jake Donovan
On a day where all principles involved in a televised show made weight, drama still couldn't escape the podium in San Jose, California.
Selcuk Aydin and Robert Guerrero both successfully made weight for their SHOWTIME-televised headliner Saturday evening at the HP Pavilion in San Jose. However, tension ran high as their respective camps nearly came to blows while sharing the stage during Friday's weigh-in, which was open to the public.
Aydin weighed in at 146.5 lb, while Guerrero was well within the welterweight limit at 145.75 lb. The weight serves as a career-high for Guerrero, who moves up from lightweight while on the heels of a 15-month layoff.
The winner will presumably be first in line for the alphabet title currently in possession of the imprisoned Floyd Mayweather, who is due to be sprung on August 3. A win doesn't necessarily guarantee a shot at the pound-for-pound king, but does come with the distinction of an interim alphabet title at stake which could eventually be parlayed into full championship status.
Both fighters enter this weekend's headliner with a bit of a chip on their shoulder. Guerrero's publicity team was merciless in selling the Bay Area fighter as the ideal candidate for a May 5 showdown with Mayweather. The slot eventually went to Miguel Cotto, but at the very least created that much more interest in Guerrero's ring return.
That said, questions remain as to his effectiveness above lightweight. Once a top featherweight, Guerrero (29-1-1, 18KO) hasn't exactly carried his power as he climbed up the scale to 130 and beyond. The southpaw boxed his way to a points win over Malcolm Klassen for a 130 lb. belt in Aug. '09.
His past three bouts have gone to the scorecards, though against escalated opposition in scoring points wins over Joel Casamayor, Vicente Escobedo and Michael Katsidis. Guerrero scored two knockdowns against Escobedo in their Nov. '10 but was dropped himself against Casamayor in his previous fight.
A points win over Katsidis last April was well-received and looked to pave the way for an anticipated 140 lb. showdown with Marcos Maidana on HBO. However, an injury forced Guerrero to the sidelines. Between physical rehab and failure to secure big(ger) fights at 135 and 140 in the past couple of years, Guerrero comes in with something to prove on Saturday.
As far as Aydin (23-0, 17KO), this hasn't exactly been an American holiday to remember. The undefeated welterweight - born in Turkey but now fighting out of Germany - came to the United States earlier this month, but has felt neglected by the stateside media. Such frustrations were outlined by his team in his refusal to participate in a media conference call, though the move didn't make any sense as the session was designed to help promote his fight.
Whatever the case, Aydin has vowed physical harm on Guerrero, offering little to nothing nice to say about his upcoming challenger. That built-up tension between camps was felt on stage during Friday's weigh-in.
The obligatory staredown begged for an incident. Guerrero stared dead-eyed at Aydin, motioning back and forth as if he was going to move forward. Aydin responded by holding his fist in the air, at one point touching it to Guerrero's chin.
The incident quickly escalated but was also instantly defused. However, most of the "brave" men on stage from both camps stood back, yelling over each other's shoulders at the opposing side. Monica Sears - Director of Communication and Events for Golden Boy Promotions - came to the rescue, demanding Guerrero calm down while simultaneously ordering the Aydin camp off of the stage.
In the televised co-feature, unbeaten welterweight Shawn Porter (19-0, 14KO) takes a considerable step up in class in facing divisional trialhorse Alfonso Gomez (23-5-2, 12KO). Both fighters came within the welterweight limit as well - Porter weighing 146.25, Gomez at 146.5.
All reported weights are courtesy of Showtime.
As has become custom for Showtime Championship Boxing broadcasts this year, the flagship series will be preceded by an undercard broadcast on Showtime Extreme. Saturday's edition will feature George Groves (14-0, 11KO) in a dangerous stay-busy fight against Francisco Sierra (25-5-1, 22KO), as well as unbeaten 154 lb. prospect Hugo Centeno (14-0, 8KO) facing Ayi Bruce (22-7, 14KO).
Both bouts on the Showtime Extreme broadcast are scheduled for eight rounds.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox