By Jake Donovan
The 140 lb. title was just not meant to be claimed by Joan Guzman.
The weigh-in for Friday’s Telemundo-televised main event between former champs Guzman and Vicente Mosquera – set to take place shortly at the Civic Center in Kissimmee, FL, from where Friday’s fight will air live – will result in the vacant interim title only being at stake for one fighter. That fighter will not be Guzman.
“We were on track to hit weight, but just hit a wall,” admits a disappointed Guzman. “I know what fans are going to say, but I want to assure everyone that I trained my (butt) off for this fight.”
Monetary amounts were not discussed, though Guzman will have to forfeit a percentage of his purse. Mosquera’s camp was allegedly informed of the weight dilemma earlier in the week, and have accepted terms to proceed with the fight.
The belt will still be at stake for Mosquera only, should he choose to accept the fight.
Win, lose or draw, Guzman plans to campaign in the 147 lb. division following Friday’s fight. A win will secure the Dominican boxer a ranking within the Top 15 of one of the sanctioning bodies (presumably the WBA, whose vacant 140 lb. title is on the line for Friday’s fight).
The scene is an all-too familiar tale in Guzman’s career, having missed weight far too many times for many fans to offer forgiveness. A rebirth was hoped upon signing with Florida-based promotional company Acquinity Sports. The dedication has been evident, but he has hit a couple of potholes along the way.
A brief winning streak under his new promoter came to a halt last November, suffering an injury-shortened split decision loss to Khabib Allakhverdiev in their 140 lb. title fight. An interim version of that belt is at stake for this fight, with the hope that a win by Guzman would pave the way for a shot at redemption.
He will instead now set his sights on anyone at welterweight willing to take their chances.
“It’s not an ideal situation, but I know it didn’t come from a lack of trying,” insists Nunez. “We found out about it a couple of days ago, when his body just wouldn’t respond. We’re grateful for Mosquera and his team understanding the situation, and look forward to Friday’s fight and campaigning at welterweight. He’s definitely done with 140, it’s welterweight probably for the rest of his career."
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as the Records Keeper for the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a member of Boxing Writers Association of America.