Robert Guerrero thinks there's been a double standard against him, but is that really the case? (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
In an interview with Ryan Maquiñana at BoxingScene.com, Robert Guerrero discussed his upcoming July 28 fight with Selcuk Aydin, his jump up in weight for that fight, his return from shoulder surgery, and more.
Personally, I'm coming to two key thoughts on Guerrero: I do admire his desire to test himself against the best out there, and I have a lot of respect for him jumping up two weight classes to fight Aydin, a credible opponent who, of course, is being sold as if he's the Turkish Marvin Hagler or the like. In addition, I do believe he's turning off some fans with what is being more and more often perceived as whining.
Most interesting to me was the part here about double standards, and that's what I wanted to address from the interview, which is a good read and should be taken in full, too, so make sure you do that.
Robert Guerrero: It’s definitely a double standard. Everybody was giving [Gamboa] props for moving up two weight classes, and he didn’t even show up to the press conference. To go right into a title fight without a tune-up fight, I think I’m showing that I’m not afraid of any challenges, but I don’t think I’m getting credit for that.
I think that maybe I can explain the differences here, even though I believe he's right about some things.
When Gamboa was going from 126 to 135 to face Rios -- which of course did not happen, but let's pretend it did -- it was seen as risky but truly respectable. One thing worth noting is that yes, the general reaction was one of elation about the great fight we were going to see, but there were some people skeptical of the matchup. They were the minority, they weren't very loud, but they did exist. I wasn't one of them, so that's not my angle here, it's just worth noting.
Gamboa had been active, had been beating good featherweights, and was, frankly, regarded as a better fighter in the "pound-for-pound" sense than Guerrero has ever been. Gamboa is a phenom talent. Guerrero's "just" a good fighter, maybe a very good fighter.
With Guerrero, I do agree with him and his manager Bob Santos (and have said this before) that he deserves credit for this jump in weight against Aydin. It's a nice first fight at 147, a good test for him physically and mentally, because what Aydin lacks in talent and arm length he makes up for in raw determination, and he can punch a little bit. If Guerrero really isn't a welterweight, Aydin is dangerous enough to show that to the world.
But not Floyd Mayweather. That idea of that fight was grossly rejected by many (most?) for a lot of reasons. I don't blame Guerrero for chasing it. Everyone wants the money and the fame and the time in the spotlight. It wasn't really about Guerrero. It was about Mayweather.
For those who care that Mayweather fights at all -- and everyone does, really, even those who say they don't (for the most part) -- the reality is we get a Mayweather fight once a year, sometimes once every two years. No one wanted to see the May 5 date go to a guy who had mild success at lightweight and hadn't fought in a year due to injury. That's the reality of this situation, I think. Guerrero really hasn't earned the shot at Floyd. Not only hadn't he fought at welterweight, but he hadn't fought at junior welter (not really, anyway), and his time at lightweight was limited to a win over Michael Katsidis and a catchweight win over old, washed-up Joel Casamayor.
What would be next? Ricky Burns fighting Mayweather?
If Guerrero wants to use all of that as fuel to silence critics and prove everyone wrong, then that's great, good for him. But it's not that anyone's out to get him. There were some legitimate differences.
Mayweather and Brandon Rios are...how should I put this? Not in the same ballpark. Yes, they're both top fighters, but one of them is Floyd Mayweather and the other is Brandon Rios. One of them is the guy who makes the $40 million paydays and the other is Brandon Rios. One of them is a world-recognized sports star and the other is Brandon Rios. One of them fights two or three times a year and the other is Floyd Mayweather.
And on a similar note, Selcuk Aydin isn't Brandon Rios, either.
As for Guerrero himself -- since most of this really isn't even about Guerrero -- I just hope he gets in there, can stay healthy, and can get on a real run for the first time in his career. He's been successful, but he's never had that sustained momentum. So many things have come up, so many things have gone wrong, and he's dealt with it all and is still there, but it's not a stretch to say he's no bigger a name now than he was five years ago. We all know he wants to be. Aydin is a good start.