'The Ghost,' Robert Guerrero makes his return to boxing

Jul 24, 2012 3:06 AM

Known as “The Ghost” in boxing circles, Robert Guerrero (29-1-1-2, 18 KO’s) makes his return to the ring this Saturday night after taking time off because of injury and to be with his wife who was diagnosed with leukemia.

Prior to being sidelined, Guerrero captured titles at super featherweight, featherweight, lightweight, and was scheduled to fight for the WBA junior welterweight strap before a torn tendon in his rotator cuff forced surgery. Coupled with his wife’s health issues, Guerrero was compelled to vacate the title held at super featherweight at the time and will now make the move up to welterweight for this bout.

The opponent for this Showtime main event at HP Pavilion in San Jose, is the relatively unknown Selcuk Aydin (23-0, 17 KO’s). The undefeated Aydin has an impressive amateur pedigree having won several medals for his native Turkey in the European Championships.

This bout will mark only the second time he’s fought in the U.S., with his first back in 2009 when he successfully defended his WBC international welterweight title at Buffalo Bill’s in Primm.

Currently I have yet to see a betting line on this fight but since it is the featured bout on Showtime, rest assured bookmakers will eventually offer one up. Based on Guerrero’s well recognized potential to be a star in the sport before matters beyond his control halted his career (plus Aydin being foreign to most boxing fans) it would be surprising to him at less than a 4-1 favorite.

And I would not be stunned to see the price be even higher.

For Guerrero, the move to welterweight reflects a jump of two weight classes and is more a monetary one than a case of outgrowing the lower weight classes. He’s made it known that he would like to be considered as a potential opponent for either Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Manny Pacquiao.

Who can blame him since it’s no secret that the big money in boxing is currently in the welterweight division.

The most Guerrero has weighed for a fight was 138 lbs when he fought Joel Casamayor back in 2010. Before that he primarily was listed around 130 and was actually a featherweight just eight fights ago. At the lower weights Guerrero had an obvious height and reach advantage, but that will not be the case at 147 where being 5-foot-8 doesn’t make one a big guy.

Against Aydin though, Guerrero will have a slight height and significant reach advantage. Aydin, a former Olympian, is much more compact and occupies a thick frame. He packs plenty of power and possesses a style that has proven to give efficient boxers a problem, which Guerrero undoubtedly is.

This bout will signify a big step up in competition for Aydin and put him outside his comfort zone by fighting outside of Europe. So he can definitely make a statement and elevate his status with a win over Guerrero.

We have not seen Guerrero carry his power up through the weight classes and with an even bigger jump for this bout, he’ll need to rely on his superior boxing skills. Guerrero has surely fought much better opposition and won’t be fazed by the attention that comes with being the main event.

Guerrero is also fighting in his home state of California where his promoter Golden Boy carries a lot of clout, which can’t hurt when you take into account the fact this fight should be decided by the judges scorecards.

I believe the “betting value” lies with Aydin because of the premium being attached to Guerrero. To make money wagering on sports, bettors need to get their dollars down when they’re being offered the best of it. The ability to do this makes one a mathematical certainty to turn a profit in the long-term.

The result of this fight is considered short-term. In that case, I think Guerrero gets it done. Bottom line: Watching replays of Aydin’s past fights made it unmistakably clear that his biggest problems have come against southpaws.

Guerrero is a very slick southpaw that far outclasses anyone Aydin’s faced to date.

Pick: Guerrero by decision.

However, as a bettor, I either have to take the value on the dog or pass. So I’ll simply pass.

RECORD: 66-39 (63%)

Vegas-Runner, a pro sports bettor in Las Vegas, has been featured on CNBC/ESPN. Follow him on Twitter @vegasrunner and at Pregame.com.