By Michael Marley
Joan Guzman, who has "lost" fights on the scales but never in the pro boxing ring, has just sent a weighty message to the entire junior welterweight division.
The 35-year-old, former two time world champion from the Dominican Republic officially weighed in at an amazing 139.3/4 pounds on Thursday at the Jaragua Hotel in the capital city of Santo Domingo.
The hotel is hosting Friday's main event for the newly-created IBF Caribbean welterweight title between the 30-0-1, 17 KOs Guzman and Colombian banger Florencio "Chombo" Castellano, who owns a formidable 17-4-1, 13KOs pro mark. Also on the show, which will be seen on ESPN Deportes, is another popular Dominican boxer, junior lightweight title contender Argenis Mendez. (Castellano weighs in separately on Friday morning.)
For Guzman, whose big failures have come in the form of not making weight, coming in not only below the 147 contract limit but a quarter-pound below the junior welterweight limit of 140 pounds was partial redemption for his past "sins."
In 2010 bouts against Jason Davis and Ali Funeka, Guzman weighed 143 and 144 pounds.
The last time he was below 140 was on Nov. 28, 2009, for a controversial majority draw against Funeka for the vacant IBF lightweight crown. Guzman was 134 1/2 pounds then.
"I wanted to shock the world and to show my fans that Guzman is back," Guzman said. "I will fight anybody in the world at 140, starting with Amir Khan and going down the list. I mean anybody because Guzman is back. This shows my dedication and my fire is burning again. I want to become a three time world champ and I want to stay undefeated."
No less elated at the weight was Guzman manager Jose Nunez.
"Give Joan all the credit for working so hard on this problem. He is one of the best in the world, pound for pound and no pun intended. Joan and I put faith and trust in trainer Don Saxby and conditioning guru Anthony Terranova and, as a team, we got the job done as far as the weight issue.
"Now," Nunez said, "it's Guzman fight time against a tough opponent. I think Guzman will dazzle people start marching through all the 140 pounders. He's rededicated, a man on a mission."
Guzman's biggest weigh in disaster was when he was to fight fellow lightweight champ Nate Campbell in Mississippi and there were three world title straps on the line.
"That's all bad, ancient history," Nunez said. "For Guzman, the future is now, the future begins Friday night."