By Michael Marley
Harold Lederman, the always enthusiastic and affable "Unofficial Judge" for HBO boxing, just radiates his love for all fighters and every aspect of the sport.
But Lederman, 71, has learned a new meaning for radiation, the literal meaning, as he has been getting regular treatments in his fight against prostate cancer.
Despite having the physically draining therapy five days a week, Lederman continues with his HBO duties in his usual fashion.
Lederman, who is also a licensed pharmacist, had such treatment on Wednesday and then came with wife Eileen to Joan Guzman's comeback fight press conference at the dazzling Washington Heights area Lucky Seven's Tapas Bar and Restaurant.
"I went for my regular checkup with my doctor on my 71st birthday," Lederman explained. "And I took a PSA test which flagged me for the prostate cancer. I'm not complaining and I'm not trying to hide it.
"I'm going to just keep fighting on, getting all my treatments. The doctor tells me my prognosis is good, that there is a high success rate."
Lederman is headed next to Cancun, Mexico, for Saturday night's Alfredo Angulo-James Kirkland sluggers matchup and he is typically pumped up for the telecast.
"That's got to be a real war," Lederman said. "It might be like Hearns against Hagler. I don't think anyone thinks it will go past three rounds."
Lederman is the father of excellent fight judge Julie Lederman.
Lederman spoke glowingly, no pun intended, about the skills of the 35 year old Dominican Guzman whose weigh in woes have been widely detailed.
"I think everyone knows about his skill set, about his talent, about how dazzling Joan can be. He makes weight and there's no limit to what he can do, even at this age.
"I remember when he fought a Thai guy, over in White Plains, and the opponent trapped himk in a corner. The guy threw about 100 punches and they all missed the target.
Guzman bobbed, Guzman weaved and finally did a duck squad in which he went underneath the guy's legs and came out on the other side.
"Now that's something I never saw any other fighter do. It was beautiful."
Guzman's amateur record was 310-10, including being a 1996 Atlanta Olympic representative for his country.
In compiling a 30-0-1, 17 KOs pro mark, Guzman has won eight title straps including being WBO super bantamweight ruler from 2002 to 2005 and WBO super featherweight king from 2006 to 2008.
"When Joan Guzman goes to the ring, he wins. Joan Guzman has only lost on the scales but no more. Now Joan Guzman will win on the scale and then go to win in the ring. I know this my final chance," Guzman said.
Veternan matchmaker Don Elbaum also praised Guzman.
"They all talk about Mayweather, about Pacquiao, well Guzman belongs on the same list. He is a great talent in an era when boxing doesn't have so many great fighters. I'm anxious to see hi coming back so refreshed and revived. He can beat anybody out there, really."
Special guests at the presser in the heavily Dominican neighborhood were IBF president Daryl Peoples and State Assemblyman Guillermo Linares.
Guzman said he is "just a few pounds" over the 147 pound limit for his next fight and credits his work with trainer Don Saxby and conditioning guru Anthony Terranova for slimming him down.
Guzman's return comes Nov. 18 on a big show in Dominican capital city Santo Domingo against 17-4-1, 13 KOs Colombian Florencio "Chombo" Castellano. Castellano has stopped six of his last eight opponents.
The card is being promoted by Steven Swank of Sosua Bay Grand Casino and by Jay Boxing in association with Ralph Paniagua.
Fellow Dominican Argenis Mendez, recent loser of a close IBF super freatherweight title bout to Mexico's Juan Carlos Salgado in Guadalajara, Mexico, will also be on the DR card. Mendez hopes to work his way back to a second chance at beating Salgado.
"We're keeping Mendez with a high ranking, he won't get an immediate rematch with the new champ but he can get there fairly soon. Mendez deserves another chance and the IBF will give him that.
"We're excited about opening up IBF competition in the Dominican Republic and about Guzman competing for our new IBF Carribean title belt," Peoples said.
Tags: James Kirkland , Alfredo Angulo , Angulo-Kirkland , Angulo vs Kirkland