On Sunday, ThaBoxingVoice.com had Joan Guzman on the line and asked him a few questions about his past weight issues, his status for his next upcoming fight, his thoughts on boxing in Dominican Republic, and what his country needs to do to compete with the Filipino, Puerto Rican, and Mexican fighters of the world. Joan was a man who once had the world at his feet, signed with Golden Boy, knocking everyone out. Family issues, weight issues, and suspensions due to failed drug tests took him down. Now he plans to show people that the old Guzman is back and better than ever.
Even with Joan Guzman’s boxing record being 33-0-1 with 20 KOs, the biggest issue in Guzman’s career has been consistently missing weight the night before the fight, sometimes by as much as 9 lbs. With the weight issue being an obvious topic that he had to address, we jumped right in and with our 1st question, asked him about the weight issues and if it’s behind him. Guzman said, “Yes, that is why I moved to Miami, so I wouldn’t have any trouble making weight. I’m staying in shape and training, just in case any fighter calls me, I will be ready for the moment.”
We then tried to find out what were the problems that caused him to miss his weight so many times and why didn’t he just move to Welterweight. He replied, “At the time I was going through personal problems. My mom was sick and I wasn’t able to stay focused on boxing. I’m a family man and I had to take care of my family first. I would say yes to fights just because I wanted to fight, but I was dealing with the family issues and couldn’t concentrate on my training.” Before we moved on from the weight issues, we asked how will he try to shake that stigma of being a fighter that always misses weight. He said, “I know every time I fight, I will hear, he’s talented but never makes weight. Only thing I can do is continue to fight, make the weight, and walk away. I have to earn the confidence of the fans back. My goal here in Miami is to get away from that stigma.”
Joan Guzman was suspended for 9 months after failing a drug test against Jason Davis in December of 2010. So we asked how much the layoff hurt him. Guzman said, “I don’t feel the time off has affected me for the worse. I haven’t taken a lot of shots and I don’t see any these youngsters in the division beating me.” Then we questioned how active he has been and the level of competition in all of those fights, Guzman responded, “That was a problem in the past so I want to stay active. Unfortunately, you don’t always get the best competition when you stay active, so until I get a big fight, I’m going to just keep knocking people out to show people Joan Guzman is back.”
Guzman is currently signed with Acquinity Sport Promotions and he was told us how happy he is with them and how active they are keeping him. During out conversation, he dropped a comment about speaking with Manny Pacquiao’s and Amir Khan’s camps. So we inquired more about these talks to find out what he has planned. “I have a couple things I’m working on. I’m scheduled and in negotiations with Amir Khan and in talk with Khabib Allakhverdiev in what would be for the vacant interim WBA belt that was vacated by Maidana,” stated Guzman. He also stated that a fight with Khan would be in December at 140 lbs, while he acknowledged Pacquiao’s greatness and said if he fought against him, it would be at 147. Guzman has 1 more comment about Khan, as he said, “I always thought Khan was an amateur and fought with an amateur style. I knew Garcia was fully capable of knocking him out. He commits too many mistakes and he couldn’t last with me.”
We then moved the conversation to his life in the Dominican Republic. How did he train? Does poverty hold the country back? And can Dominicans compete in boxing, country-wise with the Puerto Rican, Mexican, and Filipino fighters of the sport. Guzman than painted the picture of the state of the poverty there as he said, “Poverty is unimaginable. When I started my career, I trained barefoot.* Baseball is #1 over there so boxing has no backing, so we fight anyone for anything, to get a visa, and to better take care of our family. Philippines has Pacquiao, Panama has Duran, Puerto Rico has Trinidad, we need a champion to back so we aren’t pushed towards baseball.”
We finished off the interview by asking him how much longer he can do this. At age 36 right now, when does he plan to retire and what else does he want to accomplish before he retires. Guzman said, “I’ve been boxing since I was 8 years old, so I’m going to box until when my body tells me I can’t do it anymore, but I want to make history. I want to have my name remembered. I want to show that Dominican fighters aren’t just here to fluff up other fighter’s records. I want to be the 1st 3 time champion for Dominicans. I want to be that stepping stone to demonstrate to the world that there are talented fighters in the Dominican Republic.” Joan Guzman may not accomplish all the goals he is setting for himself, but 1 thing is for sure, as far as showing the world that there are talented fighters in the Dominican Republic, that, he has already done.