By Keith Idec
Andre Berto sat ringside the night Robert Guerrero made his welterweight debut against Selcuk Aydin.
Berto left HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., on July 28 impressed with Guerrero’s unanimous-decision victory over the rugged, heavy-handed Aydin. The former IBF and WBC welterweight title-holder assured Guerrero on a conference call, however, that their 12-round fight Saturday night in Ontario, Calif., will be quite different.
“Me and Aydin, we’re two completely different fighters,” Berto said, before adding Aydin was a “punching bag” throughout his loss to Guerrero. “But like I said, Robert did what he had to do. He came in there, and I think he looked good at the weight, and he did what he had to do. He stayed busy and kept turning him all night. And fighting a guy like Aydin, that’s what you have do.”
Guerrero took exception to Berto’s punching bag assessment of the previously unbeaten boxer from Turkey.
“Aydin did come and take some punches, but he wasn’t a punching bag,” Guerrero said. “He’s a tough guy, comes in strong, and he was determined to win. And the one thing that’s hard to stop is a determined man. But Andre Berto, like [Berto] said, is obviously a different fighter. He knows how to make fights. I’m happy with the style that I bring to the ring because I can bring a bunch of different stuff to the ring.”
The 29-year-old Guerrero (30-1-1, 18 KOs, 2 NC), of Gilroy, Calif., defeated Aydin by sizeable margins on all three scorecards (117-111, 116-112, 116-112) to win the interim WBC welterweight title. Aydin entered their fight 23-0, including 17 knockouts, but was out-boxed by the left-handed Guerrero for much of their 12-round bout, despite his obvious punching power.
Berto (28-1, 22 KOs), who is also a bigger puncher than Guerrero, is certain that cannot happen to him in their HBO “World Championship Boxing” main event from Citizens Business Bank Arena. He hasn’t fought in 14 months due to a biceps injury and a positive test for androlone, yet the Winter Haven, Fla., native believes his speed and strength advantages will help him halt Guerrero’s seven-fight winning streak.
“Aydin is flat-footed,” Berto, 29, said. “Aydin puts his block up, and just like Robert said, he is a strong wall. He just walks to you and tried to bang you out, and I’ve seen that in that fight with him and Aydin. But to turn somebody like [Aydin] is easy to do. Like I said, different styles make different fights. But I don’t fight too much like Aydin, so it’s going to be a different situation.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.