By Jake Donovan
A trip to his native Dominican Republic on Monday proved futile for Joan Guzman and his handlers, though all was not completely lost.
Contrary to previous reports, including that of Spanish daily newspaper Hoy, a deal has not been secured for an all-Dominican showdown between Guzman and former title challenger Victor Cayo.
“Negotiations went sour,” Jose Nunez, Guzman’s manager, told Boxingscene.com upon arriving home from his long day spent in the Dominican Republic. The sole purpose of the trip was to secure a deal for what would’ve been among the biggest fights in the nation’s history.
Instead, Guzman (31-0-1, 18KO) remains on the hunt for an opponent to be approved for an ESPN2 headliner on March 2 at a location to be determined, though most likely in Florida given the location of his new promoter, Acquinity Sports.
An opponent and possible location are both in mind, but Guzman’s team declined to comment until a deal is reached and the ink has dried on the final contract.
Guzman is coming off a first-round knockout of Florencio Castellano last November in his native Dominican Republic. The bout was his first since his win-turned-no-contest against Jason Davis in Dec. ’10, where a 2nd-round stoppage was nullified by the Dominican testing positive for a banned diuretic, resulting in a suspension and a lost opportunity to face Amir Khan.
His win over Castellano was his first since beating Ali Funeka in their March ’10 rematch, though in a fight where Guzman showed up nine pounds over the contracted lightweight limit. The dilemma at the scales – an ongoing theme throughout his career – denied Guzman the opportunity to become a titlist in three separate weight classes.
The mission for 2012 is to reach that goal, as the hopes for Guzman and his team to have his March 2 bout sanctioned as an eliminator for the #2 spot in the IBF rankings. Current titlist Lamont Peterson is being groomed for potential superfights with Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, while Zab Judah and Vernon Paris are slated to fight for the #1 slot on March 24 in Brooklyn.
A showdown with Cayo, had terms been agreed upon, would’ve most likely been a sanctioned eliminator, thus leaving hope for the matchup to materialize somewhere down the road.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]