Robert Guerrero has officially signed to face Selcuk Aydin on July 28 in San Jose, live on Showtime, and the WBC has put an interim welterweight title on the line for the fight.
"I'm very delighted to be making my comeback and there's no other place than the Bay Area to bring home my sixth world title in four different weight classes," Guerrero said about the fight. "I'm dedicating this fight to the whole Bay Area and I promise to put on a great show.
"Words can't describe how hungry I am to get that WBC belt. This fight will be explosive without a doubt. Aydin is a very good fighter and I respect everything he has accomplished but that 0's got to go in San Jose!"
Guerrero (29-1-1, 18 KO) has never fought at welterweight, which leads to easy criticism of the WBC's decision to sanction this as, more or less, their vacant world title fight. Floyd Mayweather Jr holds the WBC welterweight title right now, but he's moving to 154 pounds to face Miguel Cotto on May 5, and after that he has to report for a jail sentence, which leaves the title kind of up in the air. This is a case where an interim title fight actually makes sense, but one of the participants doesn't, if the boxing world made sense, but it doesn't, so whatever, I guess.
Still, there's a flip side to that. Aydin (23-0, 17 KO) holds the WBC Silver title at welterweight, and has been consistently pushed aside for title shots that he was promised. Aydin has been waiting for the WBC to actually get him the title fight he was supposed to have since Andre Berto held the belt. But then you might disagree with Aydin really deserving it, too, since he got into that position with a very questionable win over Jo Jo Dan.
Guerrero's manager Bob Santos is spinning it in a brighter light.
"This guy is no joke," said Santos. "Aydin will be the biggest and strongest guy Robert has ever fought. The fact that he's been the WBC No. 1 contender to fight both Victor Ortiz and Floyd Mayweather for the last two years speaks volumes on this credibility. Maybe that's why they never wanted to step in the ring with him for obvious reasons.
"Guerrero must get credit for the jump up in weight. Not only is Guerrero jumping up two weight classes, he's also fighting a top ten contender for a title. He's a true warrior and he's hungry to get back in the ring."
The idea that Mayweather or Ortiz (or Berto) were ducking Aydin is preposterous, of course, but then so is Guerrero's claim to six world titles, when two of them were interim belts at lightweight that he never defended or anything. Boxing quotes are fun.
I do like this fight, though, apart from all of that. It's a solid test for Guerrero at welterweight, and Santos is right that he deserves credit for going up and taking on a credible opponent right away. This is a two division jump with a year of inactivity added on. There is a chance that Guerrero finds the going a lot tougher than expected. Aydin isn't a world-beater by any means, but he's tough, confident, and always willing to fight.