If respect is what Selcuk Aydin in looking for, he may want to consider going about finding it a different way. A usually routine activity took an awkward turn Thursday when Aydin chose a bizarre method of defiance and refused to participate in a conference call with Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero.
Through an interpreter, “Mini Tyson” Aydin chastised media members and expressed feelings of disrespect, blowing off the scheduled teleconference nine days before squaring off with Guerrero in 12-round fight for the vacant WBC Interim Welterweight world title July 28 in San Jose.
“He said is really angry that there has been no attention on him,” owner of San Jose Boxing Club Joe Amato relayed. “He is very frustrated. He is upset that there has been no support given to him by the media in the United States.”
Aydin has been training at Amato’s San Jose gym for the past month.
A colorful exchange between Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer (Guerrero’s promoter) and Ahmet Oner of Arena Box Promotions (Aydin’s promoter) followed before Schaefer had had enough and turned things over to The Ghost.
“This would have been his opportunity to get his name out there with the media,” Schaefer said.
“I think it is a mistake that he is missing this opportunity to have exposure with the national media.”
Aydin’s tangled tirade continued 40 minutes into the interview when he finally felt like adding his two cents, breaking into the conversation with an abrasive and repetitive threat.
“You speak like a politician. You need to spend more time training and strengthening your jaw because I’m going to break it,” Aydin said, again through an interpreter.
Guerrero first laughed it off then later said that Aydin “better be ready.”
“In all do respect, we are done talking with Aydin now,” Schaefer said. “He had his chance. This is not the way we conduct conference calls here.”
While Aydin (23-0-0, 17 KOs) failed to make any new friends, Guerrero (29-1-1 18 KOs), not bothered by the hoopla, upheld his end of the deal.
“I know Selcuk Aydin is a tremendous fighter. He is a very strong fighter. He puts a lot of pressure,” he said. “I know I have to be very focused and very disciplined in this fight and come out and give my best performance. I’m 100-percent prepared, I left no stone unturned (in training camp) and I’m ready to go. There is no doubt in my mind that I’m going to come out with this victory.”
Guerrero is climbing the ranks of boxing’s pound-for-pound list, teetering on the brink of super stardom – one or two victories from what he calls a “mega fight.” Recent losses by Victor Ortiz and Amir Khan have too bolstered Guerrero’s chances to land that marquee matchup. The responsibility is his, however. And should Guerrero, who will return to the ring for the first time since April 2011, prevail in his debut at welterweight, he will become the mandatory challenger to Floyd Mayweather Jr. for the 147-pound belt – a position that Guerrero has said all along he has aimed to put himself.
“I’m about taking on the biggest challenges that are out there,” said Guerrero, who is making the jump from 135 pounds in search of a world championship in a fourth different weight class. “At 147, the biggest challenge out there right now is Selcuk Aydin. He’s the No. 1 contender in the WBC. So I’m going to take on the best to position myself. This is a fight that I need that’s going to catapult me.”
Guerrero is nearly a year removed from arthroscopic shoulder surgery to repair a torn left rotator cuff and reiterated the health status of that repaired shoulder, further burying any doubts in how it will hold up.
“I’m doing things with it that I’ve never done before,” Guerrero said. “It feels great. Everything is working together in a solid package.”
NOTES: Guerrero is back in San Jose after a seven-week training camp in Lake Tahoe. A news conference is slated for early next week at HP Pavilion. Weigh-ins are slated for next Friday.
The Showtime Championship Boxing telecast will air live at 10p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) with co-featured events to be announced and preliminary fights to air live on Showtime Extreme at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
Tickets, priced at $252, $127, $62 and $26, are available for purchase at the HP Pavilion box office, by calling 1-800-745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.