Joan Guzman has earned the knock of being less than professional. Peter Clarke of Tha Boxing Voice interviewed Guzman, and they addressed him working to shake that stigma and his desire to fight Amir Khan.
When asked if he was ready to put the weight issues behind him, the two-time Dominican champion said:
"Yes, that is why I moved to Miami, so I wouldn’t have any trouble making weight. I’m staying in shape and training, just in case any fighter calls me, I will be ready for the moment."
At 36 years old, he hopes to show the skills necessary to compete and excel at a high level of the sport. His opponent will be Russian Khabib Allakhverdiev on Saturday, November 30.
Per Fight News, Guzman is preparing for "World War III."
As a boxing fan, I'll settle for a spirited skirmish, but there's nothing like overstating a point to hype a fight. Guzman is 33-0 (20 KOs), which is further proof that his greatest opponent is himself.
He appears to be in great shape for this bout. It seems he is finally prepared to be serious about his career again.
He told Fight News:
"Before I didn’t train like a machine. Now, I’m training like a machine. I won’t lose any more time."
I remember watching him fight 10 years ago; He was leaner, and he employed more movement and better defense. From a talent standpoint, he still has the goods, but I wonder about some of the in-ring habits he's picked up.
When he steps into the ring on Saturday, he'll be facing a younger fighter that is also undefeated.
Allakhverdiev is 29 years old with a 17-0 record and eight KOs. If Guzman is on his game, it will be a difficult test for Allakhverdiev to pass.
Guzman's skill and experience is beyond that of any fighter Allakhverdiev has faced. He just recently elevated to 10-round fights, so he is definitely in uncharted territory.
The fight is for the vacant WBA light welterweight title. Here's how you can catch the action:
When: Saturday, November 30, 8 p.m. ET
Where: BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla.
TV: DirecTV (channel 604) and Dish Network (channel 240)
Live Stream: Pursuit TV
The Book on Guzman
Tale of the Tape (via BoxRec.com):
Birth Place: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Guzman has very fast hands and decent reflexes. He doesn't punch exceptionally hard, but he's accurate and throws with good leverage. There is a balance to his attack, as he targets the head and body equally.
You can see this in the video of his 2010 clash with Ali Funeka.
I'm not a fan of his defensive posture of late.
It is far different for the higher guard-based stance he employed earlier in his career. He did a lot of ducking and stooping that made it difficult to hit him then, but now he takes more shots.
Take a look at him dominating Fabio Oliva in 2002. This is when he was at his best:
He depends on his reflexes to slip punches now because he keeps his hands so low, but at 36, that may not be the best tactic.
Guzman can get a bit over-confident in the ring. He's a tough fighter, but he needs to be more aware of his opponent's attack at times.
The Book on Allakhverdiev
Tale of the Tape (via BoxRec.com):
Birth Place: Kaspiysk, Russia
Allakhverdiev doesn't fight like a man with only 17 professional fights. He has good poise and he goes to the body with power. He is dangerous during exchanges because he is quick on the inside. When he hurts an opponent, he has a finisher's instinct.
Take a look at him stopping Ignacio Mendoza in February and Kaizer Mabuza in June:
Though he possesses quickness on the inside, in space, a quicker fighter could take advantage of him with fast hands and head movement. He only throws a pawing jab; a fast and skilled boxer can time him and counter.
Who wins this fight?
An in-and-out attack is an excellent gameplan against him. He hasn't faced an opponent with the ability to do that.
Guzman's camp told Boxing News 24 that they knew Allakhverdiev would be a tough test. I can easily see why they say that. The Dominican will need to be on his game and especially aware of Allakhverdiev's counter-punching ability.
In the end, I think Guzman's speed will be too much for Allakhverdiev, and Little Tyson will win a unanimous decision.
Check out my predictions for Miguel Cotto vs. Austin Trout:
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