By Jake Donovan
Jonathan Guzman's stoppage win over Daniel Rosas came right on time, as plans are already in place to move towards his first carer title fight.
The unbeaten Dominican entered Friday's clash with Mexico's Rosas knowing that a win would put him on the right path towards contention. His 8th round knockout win at Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City - which aired live on Spike TV - managed to produce more than that. Rather than having to win a final eliminator, BoxingScene.com has been informed that Guzman (22-0, 22KOs) will now move directly towards a vacant title fight with Japan's Shingo Wake, the current mandatory challenger in the International Boxing Federation (IBF) super bantamweight rankings.
The process has been expedited thanks to exiting champion Carl Frampton, who severed all ties to the division as he will face featherweight titlist Leo Santa Cruz later this summer in Brooklyn, New York.
The IBF plans to order the fight in the coming days, as it was forced to wait out the results of Friday's show at Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Had Frampton stuck around and opted to face Wake, the plan would have been for Guzman to enter a final eliminator with Rey Vargas, an unbeaten contender from Mexico. Because the title is now vacant, Wake and Guzman are entitled to first dibs due to having won sanctioned elimination bouts.
Vargas will likely be steered towards a shot at World Boxing Council (WBC) titlist Hugo Ruiz, who claimed the belt in spectacular fashion with a revenge-fueled 1st round stoppage of Julio Ceja this past February in Anaheim, California. The win avenged a stoppage loss suffered by Ruiz, who traded knockdowns with Ceja before succumbing in five rounds last August in Los Angeles, Calif.
Ruiz and Vargas are both promoted by Promociones del Pueblo (as is Ceja), which should make such a fight fairly simple to make.
As for Wake and Guzman, negotations are expected to begin once the IBF formally orders the vacant title fight. The two camps will have 30 days to agree to terms before the fight will be subject to a purse bid hearing.
Wake (20-4-2, 12KOs) became the mandatory contender following a 12-round decision victory over Mike Tawatchai last June in Tokyo, Japan. The 28-year old southpaw - who has fought exclusively in Japan through eight-plus years as a pro - has since added a knockout win in a stay-busy fight this past February.
Guzman was born and raised in the Dominican Republic, with 16 of his first 17 fights taking place on home soil. He now trains out of the New England area, with each of his last five fights taking place on the U.S. East Coast.
Jake Donovan is the managing editor of BoxingScene.com. Follow him on his shiny new Twitter account: @JakeNDaBox_v2