There aren’t many fighters that have been blessed with as much natural talent as Joan Guzman of the Dominican Republic. Of that crop, few have squandered their talent away as badly as Guzman, a former titleholder at 122 and 130 pounds.
Thursday evening, Guzman added to his list of career woes as he missed the junior welterweight limit of 140 pounds for his WBA interim title bout against Vicente Mosquera (himself attempting to rebound from career demons).
Guzman didn’t just miss the 140 pound limit. If this were a welterweight bout, he would have tipped the scales heavy by 1.2 pounds, as he came in at 148.2.
A source close to the situation has advised RingTV.com that they are negotiating for the fight to continue with the title only at stake for Mosquera. If no deal is reached, veteran gatekeeper Cosme Rivera is ready to step in and reportedly fight whichever fighter of the two is willing.
In his last fight this past March, Guzman suffered his first defeat at the hands of WBA “regular” junior welterweight beltholder Khabib Allakhverdiev in a fight that was competitive until Guzman suffered an injury that forced the fight to the scorecards through eight rounds.
Prior to that, Guzman needed three tries to make 140 pounds in March of 2012 in an ESPN-televised mismatch against Jesus Pabon.
Guzman missed weight against Ali Funeka in their 135-pound return bout in March 2010 by an astonishing nine pounds, putting the vacant IBF 135-pound title on the line only for the South African. Guzman won a decision.
Talent-wise, Guzman is on par with some of boxing’s best. When it comes to maturity and dedication, Guzman has proven consistency only in possessing little of either of those traits.
The Guzman-Mosquera bout was to be an interesting crossroads matchup between two formerly very promising fighters whose career skidded off the rails. Mosquera gave the late Edwin Valero his toughest fight, putting the Venezuelan on the canvas before losing in the 10th round of a fringe Fight of the Year candidate in 2006. Mosquera lost his WBA 130-pound title in the process.
Just a few days after the loss to Valero, Mosquera was allegedly involved in a situation that resulted in the death of a man in Panama. Mosquera eventually served three-and-a-half years before being ruled innocent, and resumed his career in 2011. Mosquera is 8-0 in his comeback bid, and Guzman was to be a sizable jump up in level of competition.
At 33, hopefully Mosquera will get another opportunity, as he has proven professional enough to take the sport seriously. At 37, Guzman has likely squandered his last opportunity as it seems unclear whether or not a promoter would be willing to roll the dice on such a liability in the future.
UPDATE: On Friday it was confirmed that Guzman is off the card and that Mosquera will face Cosme Rivera.