By Jake Donovan
Joan Guzman was hoping for a shot at redemption to avenge the lone loss of his career. That opportunity is still very much in play; all he has to do is win his next fight.
The former two-division champion eyes a ring return in late May, where he will most likely face former 130 lb. titlist Vicente Mosquera. The winner of the bout will be declared an interim 140 lb. titlist and the mandatory challenger to Khabib Allakhverdiev, who dealt Guzman his lone career loss to date with a technical split decision win last November in Florida.
Guzman (33-1-1, 20KO) was one win away from becoming a three-division champ, but ran into a determined Allakhverdiev, who proved too tough for the Dominican star. The final outcome came as a bit of a surprise, given that Allakhverdiev seemed to dominate the fight.
Troubling to Guzman and his handlers was the manner in which the fight ended. A legitimate third round knockdown proved the difference on the cards, though the fight was cut short when Guzman was left limping around the ring on an injured knee.
Guzman’s team sought an immediate rematch, but the request wasn’t granted by the WBA, whose title was at stake in the bout. Allakhverdiev has since signed with Top Rank and is rumored to potentially next face Breidis Prescott.
The news forces Guzman to play a bit of a waiting game, but is rewarded with a consolation prize – or at least a shot at one.
“We were really hoping for the rematch,” stated Jose Nunez, Guzman’s longtime manager. “Instead, the WBA agreed to let us fight for the interim title. We will fight Mosquera near the end of May, and then – when we win – look for that rematch with Khabib.”
New York, Florida and Nevada are mentioned as the likely candidates to land the fight once it is settled by both sides.
Neither fighter has fought since their head-on collision last November.
Mosquera (32-2-1, 17KO) is currently riding an eight-fight win streak, most of which has taken place in his native Panama. The active stretch has all taken place during his Feb. 2011 ring return following a stay in a Panama prison that contributed to his near-five year separation from the sport.
A brief stay atop the 130 lb. division was met with a savage knockout loss to the late Edwin Valero back in Aug. 2006.
Guzman has previously won titles at 122 lb. and 130 lb. but had spent recent years trying to clean up his image rather than focus solely on the sport. The reputation of being lazy and unwilling to make weight has haunted him for years, though he appeared on the right track last year before running into Allakhverdiev.
Jake Donovan is the Boxingscene.com Managing Editor, Records Keeper for Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a voting member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox