By Rick Reeno
On Saturday night at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California, former three division champion Robert Guerrero (30-1-1 18KOs), moving up by two weight divisions, won a twelve round unanimous decision over previously undefeated Selcuk Aydin (23-1, 17KOs) to capture the WBC interim-welterweight title. The scores were 117-111, 116-112 and 116-112.
Following the fight, Guerrero sat down with BoxingScene.com to discuss his pursuit of a showdown with full WBC champion Floyd Mayweather Jr., dealing with his first real test at 147, potentially moving up to 154-pounds in the future, and more.
BoxingScene.com: If you weren't coming off such a long layoff, would this have been an easier fight for you?
Guerrero: It would have been a lot easier. You seen me boxing. The more you fight, the more you're sharp. When they ask if you feel ring rust, you always answer "no" because you don't want to give the other fighter an edge. You can see the signs of ring rust in there. Halfway through the fight I was standing in there, slugging, and fighting Aydin's fight. The more I'll stay busy, the better I'll be.
BoxingScene.com: You've moved up quite a few weight divisions over the years. How do you feel with this move, as compared to your others.
Guerrero: I felt great, I felt strong. It was just the ring rust, controlling my breathing. I was getting tensed up in there. I was slugging because I was too tensed up in there and wanted to exchange. Other than that, I felt great at the weight.
BoxingScene.com: You hit him with a few punches that would have knocked guys out in the lower weight classes. Once he took those punches and kept coming, were you expecting a long, hard night?
Guerrero: I knew it was going to be a long night. I didn't expect to just go in there and blast him and take him out. A guy like Aydin is an undefeated fighter, he's hungry. This was his shot. He fought with heart and passion. He wanted it bad. He was going to take shots and pull through. Being at that world championship level, any time someone gets a title shot - they are going to step their game up.
BoxingScene.com: Outside of a Floyd Mayweather fight, you could have the possibility of a big fight with Josesito Lopez, who is the WBC silver welterweight champion....the Bay Area vs. Southern Cali. Golden Boy has Malignaggi, Alexander, Maidana, Victor Ortiz, Amir Khan might be heading to 147, and maybe Danny Garcia.
Guerrero: That's a big rivalry [Bay Area vs. Southern Cali]. Definitely we're going to push for the Mayweather fight, that's a given. We're going to push hard for that fight. Like I said, I'm going for the best fights that are out there. I want the best fighters who are out there, the toughest guys. As you seen with Aydin, one of the hardest punching guys in the division and very tough. A lot of people were side-stepping him and I said let's do it. This was the fight to position myself to fight Floyd, hopefully when he gets out [of jail] when can do it.
Right now I'm in a great position. We're in an awesome position. Now it's about making the fights, whoever it is. Whether it's Malignaggi, or whether it's Lopez. Whoever it is, Ortiz. I'm looking for the best fights out there. We're looking for that Mayweather fight. If we can't get it, we're looking for the next best fight out there.
BoxingScene.com: When you were fighting at 122, did you ever imagine yourself at 147?
Guerrero: No, I knew that I would be able to move up a few weight classes. Being as tall as I am, I've got a God given great body, where I can put on the right muscle and stay fast. I don't have to bulk up and get too yoked up like Ortiz did. Or get too yoked up like Berto, where you're tearing muscles. They are slowing down [because of the muscle]. I've got a God given great body where I can move up in weight and do it safe. It also comes down to taking care of yourself. I want to be there for my kids. I don't want to be one of those fighters where at the end of your career you can't even talk. I want to be a good example. I don't party, I don't drink. As you see, I'm not even celebrating. I'm going to go home and go to church in the morning. I'll do my celebrating in church.
BoxingScene.com: Can you see yourself going up to 154?
Guerrero: I can see myself going up to 154. I think I'll max out at 154. I started my career at 122 [laughing]....not welterweight. I've moved up a lot. I moved up in weight and fought Aydin to get Floyd, and I think I should get some credit. It's about time that credit is due. It's way overdue, especially winning championships not only in weight classes...this is my fourth weight class.
Like I said at the press conference, they say I've never fought anyone - how can you fight when nobody wants to fight you? If I could have got the [Juan Manuel] Marquez fight, I would have jumped on it quick. Guys like Marquez don't want to fight me. Guys like Amir Khan don't want to get in the ring with me. I really think that fighters doing that is a real disservice to boxing.
Robert Guerrero wants everyone to check out www.bethematch.org , to get more information about saving a life by donating bone marrow.