By Michael Marley
SANTO DOMINGO--Joan Guzman had a "secret weapon" in his corner on Friday night at the Jaragua Hotel when he demolished Colombian tough guy Florencio "Chombo" Castellano with a textbook uppercut to the chin in the first round of a scheduled 12 round IBF Caribbean welterweight title bout.
Guzman, age 35 and making his last run at a third world title and some real paydays, had some added confidence in knowing that his fists were wrapped by nonpareil Rafael Garcia. Guzman staggered Castellano with a right hand shot and then put him out of his misery with a highlights reel quality right uppercut to the chin.
You may not know Garcia's name but you know the Puebla, Mexico, native's friendly face. He's the ubiquitous trainer who wears all those Olmypic and other sporting pins in his cap.
No one wraps the hands of undefeated Floyd Mayweather except for Senor Garcia.
"I was in camp for eight days with Guzman," Garcia said after the stirring KO 1 pleased a small but enthusiastic crowd in the fighter's hometown. "There was a time when Guzman trained at Floyd's gym in Las Vegas and I know that Floyd considers Guzman a very special talent."
Being a loyal liege of Mayweather, Garica maintains that: a) Pacquiao will never fight "Money" and b) if they do fight, Pacquiao cannot win it.
"I don't believe it's good for Marquez and Pacquiao to fight again. Pacquiao knows he lost the fight and the best he could get is a draw," Garcia said. "Here in the Dominican Republic, all the people who saw it say Marquez won this fight against Pacquiao.
"If they fight the next time, it will have to be in Mexico and that will be a big difference. Every time they fight, it is big problems for Manny because of their respective styles."
Garcia has been a valued member of the Mayweather camp going back to the Diego "Chico" Corrales fight.
"Nacho (Beristain, Marquez's savvy trainer) did a great job. You saw at the end of the fight in Manny's face, he knew he lost the fight. I can understand why Nacho told Juan Manuel to take it a bit easy because everyone thought they were winning the bout."