By Danny Winterbottom: Having seen his career blighted by severe weight making problems, a positive drugs test and the subsequent banishment from our television screens, it is a wonder that talented Joan Guzman 30-0-1 (17) is still around at 35 years old. Yet on Friday (Nov18) at the Hotel Jaragua, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, "Little Tyson" faces Columbian puncher Florencio Castellano 17-4 (13) in a 12 round light welterweight contest.
Despite holding an undefeated record, having talent to burn and being a two division world champion Guzman’s stock is at an all time low in the eye’s of fans and promoters who have grown tired of his inability to make the contractual weight for his most recent fights.
"It’s been tough dealing with the highs and lows of Guzman, dealing with weight issues" said Jose Nunez, Guzman’s manager. "It’s been a rollercoaster, but were trying to look past it"
In perhaps the final chapter of his career Guzman faces a powerful but limited Florencio Castellano who is coming off an absence from the ring of 18 months and boasts a record filled with opponents sporting losing records. Indeed, the only recognisable name on his resume is that of Lucas Mattheysse who knocked out the Columbian in four rounds.
Castellano then should hold no fear for a man whom in his prime in the early 2000’s was one of the most technically skilful pugilists in the sport with wins over some of the premier names in the lower weight classes such as Humberto Soto, Jorge Barrios and Agapito Sanchez but you can’t help feeling that sort of form is firmly in the Dominican born boxer’s past.
Under the guidance of head trainer Don Saxby and strength and conditioning coach Anthony Terranova, Guzman insists his almost constant battle with the scales is over. "I feel good; I’m in condition because I trained like three months, " he said.
"His dedication is way better than before, we’ve had time to train him and get the weight off properly" said Saxby. "He was 148lbs, only eight pounds over, two weeks ago"
If, as Guzman insists, he has trained and eaten correctly and feels strong at the weight, his combination punching, talent and willingness to engage alone should see him over whelm an over matched opponent on his way to a stoppage win inside the distance.
On a packed undercard highly ranked super featherweight Argenis Mendez 18-2 faces Jose Palma; Ramon Duran 21-4-1 squares off against Julio de Jesus and in two female bouts unbeaten 23-year-old Amanda Serrano faces Diana Ayala and Mikaela Lauren fights 36-year-old Gabriella Zapata at welterweight.
November 17, 2011