By Jake Donovan
Pablo Cano and Joan Guzman both turned out to be at the right place at the right time Saturday evening, even if those respective places were on cards staged in two separate countries.
Wins posted by the pair of 140 lb. contenders – coupled by a string of surrounding events – have led to a head-on collision as the WBA has ordered a title fight between the two, Boxingscene.com was informed Monday morning.
Terms, date and location are still to be determined, though the bout will take place before year’s end.
Cano (25-1-1, 19KO) advanced to the title scene with a technical majority decision over previously unbeaten Johan Perez in a terrific slugfest in Cancun this past weekend. Their Fox Deportes-televised bout was cut short when a headbutt in the seventh round left Cano cut over the right eye.
The bout netted Cano an interim version of the title. An upgrade figures to be in his future, as former titlist Marcos Maidana will now campaign full time in the 147 lb. division.
Danny Garcia recently claimed ‘super champion’ status with his upset win over Amir Khan one week prior. Khan is angling for a rematch, although such a fight would most likely be his last at 140 lb as he has already announced his intentions to eventually move up to welterweight.
Khan essentially removing himself from the alphabet mix creates an opening for Guzman (33-0-1, 21KO). The former two-division champ has won three straight since returning to the ring last November in a comeback tour designed to restore faith in the boxing public. The latest win was followed by news delivered to the Guzman camp by the WBA that his next fight will be for a title.
“I am very thankful to the WBA to give me the opportunity to fight for the world championship. I have to prove to everyone that I am back,” Guzman acknowledged. “I have made weight for my past three fights and I will not let my fans down anymore.”
The unbeaten Dominican has struggled for years at the scales, missing weight four times in a 26-month stretch, including a canceled fight with Nate Campbell in Sept. ’08. The last straw came in late 2010 when he not only missed weight for a tune-up fight but also tested positive for a banned diuretic. The rest result changed a knockout win to a no-contest, also resulting in a modest fine, an eight-month suspension and destroying plans for a Khan showdown in early 2011.
Guzman has since resurfaced with rookie promotional group Acquinity Sport, headed by Henry Rivalta who has done his part to keep the 36-year old active. Three fights in the span of eight months is more in-ring activity than Guzman had seen since his 2006 campaign.
“I have a great team in Acquinity Sport and am very grateful,” Guzman stated. “I will show my appreciation by giving them their first world champion.”
Granted, the stretch has come against modest competition, including Saturday’s Telefutura-televised 33-second blitzing of Jorge Pimentel in Hollywood, Fl.
The win itself wasn’t designed as a next step towards a title shot, but the shakeup in the rankings led to the unexpected upgrade. However the opportunity came about, Guzman plans to fully capitalize.
“I am going to do my job and take over (the 140 lb.) division. I’m going to start with Pablo Cano. Either he’s going to lay down or get down. Either way I’m coming for that title.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox