By Jake Donovan
It didn't take long for fans and media pundits to mull the countless number of future potential opponents for Adrien Broner following his 12-round points win over Paul Malignaggi. The unbeaten Cincinnati native leapfrogged two divisions to claim alphabet hardware in the welterweight division Saturday evening, but chose to leave his future in the hands of his viewers when asked of his next step.
"Since everyone says I'm picking my opponents, I'm gonna let y'all pick (the next fight)," Broner said to Showtime's Jim Grey shortly after running his record to 27-0 (22KO).
Plenty of fighters in and around the welterweight division are chomping at the bit to secure a showdown with Broner as a result, and more specifically the payday that comes with it.
Count former two-division champ Joan Guzman among the interested candidates for several reasons, none of which have to do with money.
"I know I have a lot to prove before landing a fight like that, but I'd love to have the chance to get Adrien Broner and a win for my old hometown," insists Guzman, who still calls Brooklyn home despite currently residing in Florida.
The Dominican Republic-born boxer is well aware that his present standing doesn't create the necessary demand for high profile opponents to stand up and take notice. However, he is more than willing to put in the work in order to entice Broner's interest.
Guzman returns to the ring this weekend, facing fellow former champ Vicente Mosquera in a scheduled 12-round clash in the super lightweight division. The bout headlines this week's edition of Boxeo Telemundo at the Kissimmee Civic Center in Kissimmee, Florida.
With a win, Guzman would claim a vacant interim title at 140, a division which Broner bypassed in order to pursue a title at welterweight. A drop back down in weight would give the unbeaten rising star a chance to claim alphabet hardware in four weight classes.
"First, I have to get past Mosquera," states Guzman, who is fully healed from the assortment of injuries suffered in his last fight.
More important is his conditioning, considering his frequent follies at the scales. Guzman has holed himself up in camp and is on track to make weight for this weekend's bout, which hopes Broner will attend. Getting him down south shouldn't be too hard, considering the fighter's claim as an integral part of 'The Money Team', which of course is headed by unbeaten pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather.
The next fight on Mayweather's menu is a highly anticipated September 14 showdown with unbeaten unified super welterweight champ Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez. The pair of undefeated box office stars are prepared to embark on an 11-city tour to promote their forthcoming Showtime pay-per-view event. Included among the press tour is a stop in Miami, which just so happens to take place on Friday, hours before Guzman's headliner on Telemundo.
"If Broner is with his "big brother" (Mayweather) on the tour, he can come up from Miami to (Kissimmee) to check me out. After I win, we can discuss plans for a future showdown in Brooklyn," Guzman states. "Broner seemed to enjoy himself up there, and Barclays is becoming that spot for big time boxing. I can win a belt and give him a chance to make history, and give myself a chance to redeem Brooklyn after my boys Paulie (Malignaggi) and Zab (Judah, who lost to Danny Garcia in the same building in April) did their best but came up short.
"People think I'm done, so I'm here to prove them wrong," Guzman continues. "Broner's already talking about coming down to 140. Garcia and (Lucas) Matthysse are supposed to fight, so my belt - once I win it - will be his best opportunity to chase history. He ain't worried 'bout nothing, right? Let's do this."
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the official records keeper for Transnational Boxing Ratings Board. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox