By Jake Donovan
Former two-division titlist Joan Guzman made a vow towards the end of 2011 to employ better training habits and to remain more active in the ring.
So far, the unbeaten Dominican is staying true to that promise. On the heels of his 1st round knockout of Florencio Castellano last November, Guzman is now penciled in to headline the March 2nd edition of ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights.
The only thing confirmed for now is the date. The location and opponent are all to be decided, though the hope for all involved is an all-Dominican clash with fellow 140 lb. contender Victor Cayo.
ESPN2 is interested in the fight, though specifically interested in showcasing Guzman (31-0, 18KO) on the condition that it comes against an opponent worthy of television coverage.
“We proposed a fight with Victor Cayo and ESPN2 was cool with that,” Jose Nunez, Guzman’s longtime manager, informed Boxingscene.com of the process behind securing the TV date. “Right now, we’re negotiating that fight with Cayo’s people. Guzman wants a fight with anyone in the Top 10; people are talking about a Cayo, so we want to make that fight happen.”
The winner would be in position to challenge unified titlist Lamont Peterson by the end of the year, a fight Guzman knows he has to earn by what he accomplishes in the future. His past accolades were enough to secure title fights and TV appearances, but that credit ran out after one too many issues beyond the ropes, namely his inability to make weight.
The final straw for the few remaining believers came in Dec. ’10, when he not only missed weight for his tune-up fight with Jason Davis, but also tested positive afterward for a banned diuretic.
Guzman sat out most of 2011 before returning in a homecoming fight against Castellano, which aired live on ESPN Deportes. The network and Guzman’s team developed a firm relationship from there, and had already begun discussing his next fight, which led to the March 2 slot.
However, there is a catch.
“Both guys definitely want the fight, but the problem is putting the fight where it makes the most sense,” Nunez points out. “We’re still negotiating that part, but if a location that best works for ESPN2 can’t be agreed upon, we’ll look for another fighter ranked in the Top 10.
“We have the TV date and want the exposure for Guzman in his quest for a third world title. This fight will be one that leads him to that goal, not just a fight against an easy opponent. We want the fight to be an eliminator, whether it’s Cayo, or against someone on that level if he can’t take the fight.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to JakeNDaBox@gmail.com