Joan Guzmán

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Not to be confused with Juan Guzman (boxer).
Joan Guzmán
Joan Guzmán.jpg
Nickname(s) El Pequeño Tyson
("The Little Tyson")
Rated at Junior welterweight
Super featherweight
Super bantamweight
Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Reach 170 cm (67 in)
Nationality Dominican
Born (1976-05-01) May 1, 1976 (age 40)
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 37
Wins 34
Wins by KO 20
Losses 1
Draws 1
No contests 1

Joan Guzmán (born May 1, 1976) is a Dominican former professional boxer. Nicknamed "The Little Tyson",[1] Guzmán's professional career spanned seventeen years, during which he won the WBO super bantamweight and super featherweight world titles.

The beginning[edit]

Having started boxing at nine, Guzman won 310 out of 320 bouts as an amateur boxer. Included in these victories was a gold medal winning bout at the 1995 Pan American Games. He also competed in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia where he lost to future record setting world champion Omar Andrés Narváez.[2]

Guzmán began his professional boxing career in the United States. His debut fight, on September 23, 1997, was held in Phoenix, Arizona. There, he knocked out Juan Miguel Rivera in two rounds. After another second round knockout win (this time at the Madison Square Garden in New York City), he returned to the Dominican Republic.

He took off two years from boxing, then he came back for his first fight in his homeland. On March 11, 1999, he outpointed Orlando Mateo over eight rounds at Santo Domingo. He fought six more times before being given a title try for the Dominican featherweight title.

During his two-year lay-off, he dropped off in weight, from the featherweight division to the super bantamweight division.

On October 25, 1999, he knocked out Francisco de Leon in round eleven to win the national title. He retained the title once, with a two round knockout of Santiago Matos. He later knocked out Hector Julio Avila in the second round on August 9, 2001, for the vacant NABO regional super bantamweight title.

Another win was especially significant, since it was for the WBO's Latino title, as well as for the WBO's vacant intercontinental title and for Guzman's NABO title. Guzman added those two new regional championships and retained the one he already owned, by beating Edel Ruiz by decision, in a fight held in Tacoma, Washington on September 29, 2001.

World championships[edit]

Guzmán became ranked number one in the super bantamweight division of the WBO. The WBO's world super bantamweight champion, Agapito Sanchez, travelled to Cardiff, Wales, to defend his title against Guzmán, but was diagnosed with a detached retina during a required medical check-up days before the fight and was then removed of the title. Sánchez temporarily retired from boxing and Guzmán found himself fighting Fabio Oliva for the vacant WBO's world super bantamweight title on August 17, 2002. Guzmán won the championship with a 3rd round knockout win. Sánchez returned to boxing and at last fought Guzmán on February 26, 2004 in San Diego, California. Guzmán retained the title, knocking out the former world champion in seven rounds. He later defended that title, defeating previously unbeaten Fernando Beltrán by unanimous decision on April 22, 2005. Following his impressive victory, Guzmán moved to the super featherweight division.

At the weigh-in before his scheduled fight for the WBO super featherweight title on September 16, 2006, the title holder, Jorge Rodrigo Barrios, was overweight was eventually stripped of the WBO super featherweight title. Guzman then won the fight and the title by split decision. Guzman then defended his new title with wins over contender Antonio Davis on December 18, 2006 and future two division championHumberto Soto on November 17, 2007 both by unanimous decision.

Move to lightweight[edit]

In May 2008, Guzman elected to vacate his WBO super featherweight title in order to continue his career in the lightweight division.[3] He was supposed to fight for Nate Campbell's unified WBA super, WBO and IBF titles, on September 13, 2008. Disappointingly, he came in 3½ pounds over the 135 lb. limit.[4] Thus, the fight was cancelled and Guzman was rushed to a hospital after experiencing dehydration and coughing blood.[5] A dismayed Campbell who went through such trouble to fight him, branded Guzman's pull-out as an unprofessional gesture.[6] With regards to his failure, Guzman issued an apology to his fans, people surrounding the scheduled bout, and to Campbell in particular.[7]

On December 20, 2008, Guzman took on Ameth Diaz for the WBA lightweight title eliminator. Unlike his bout with Campbell, Guzman successfully made the weight limit.[8] Guzman won his first-ever match as a lightweight by unanimous decision.

In an attempt to win a world title at a third weight division, Guzman challenged well regarded Ali Funeka on November 28, 2009 for the vacant IBF lightweight title. Unfortunately for both fighters, the bout resulted in a majority draw which most believed Funeka won by a wide margin.

Guzman and Funeka fought again on March 27, 2010 for the same championship. This time however, only Funeka had a chance to win the title as Guzman was 9 pounds above the lightweight limit. Nevertheless, the bout went on as scheduled. There, Guzman managed to score a knockdown as well as scoring enough points to win by split decision, leaving the belt vacant.

A new beginning at junior welterweight[edit]

Guzman's well documented struggles to make the 135 lb lightweight limit prompted him to move to junior welterweight. His first bout at 140 lbs against Jason Davis took place on the undercard of Amir Khan vs. Marcos Maidana on December 11 at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The bout was ended by TKO in just the second round in the favour of Guzman, although he notably failed to make the weight for the second consecutive bout, coming in at 144.5 lbs

Positive testing drug controversy[edit]

In the post-fight drug test after the bout against Davis, however, Guzman tested positive for Furosemide, a diuretic banned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, and the same kind used by Ali Funeka who was suspended for nine months after the rematch with Guzman.[9] As a penalty, Guzman was suspended from boxing for eight months and his latest victory was turned into a no-contest.[10] After complying with an eight-month suspension for, admittedly, having used a diuretic in an attempt to make weight for his fight against Jason Davis in December, 2010; Joan Guzman returned to the ring at 140 lbs. (Super lightweight) in his homeland, Dominican Republic, against Colombian Florencio Castellano in January 2012. Guzman knocked out Castellano in the first round, roughly 2:59 minutes into it. It was his first fight under the roster of Acquinity Sports (now Iron Mike Productions), a Florida-based promotion company, which has bet on the athlete's talent; and his first knock-out in at least ten fights(Excluding Davis's turned no-contest). On March 2, 2012, Guzman faced Puerto Rican Jesus Pabón. The fight was presented as the main event at ESPN2's Friday Night Fights. The event was named 'D-Day Dominican Domination' and featured several Dominican boxers, including Ed 'The Lion' Paredes and Juan Carlos Payano. Guzman came in for the first official weigh-in a quarter-pound heavier than the mandatory 140 lbs., needing two more attempts to finally make weight. However, Joan seemed pretty strong at 140. He knocked down Pabon in the very first round with a left hook; followed by consecutive knock-downs in the second and third rounds. Although Joan dominated all rounds, critics complained about his lack of 'killer instinct' and his showboating, which they say the ex-titlist might have used to hide the fact that he had grown physically tired. Pabon, even though he won no rounds, showed some guts in rounds five and six, landing a few good punches. In round eight, Joan came out strong again, and both boxers exchanged some punches. Pabon, the weaker of the two, was caught with a left hook that dropped him for good. Joan Guzman remains undefeated in 35 professional bouts. His record stands 33-0-1 and one No-contest (20 ko).

Unbeaten streak comes to an end[edit]

On November 30, 2012, Guzman challenged Khabib Allakhverdiev for the IBO and vacant WBA super lightweight championship. The bout ended in the 8th round as Guzman hurt his knee which resulted from an accidental foul. The verdict was a technical decision in favor of Allakhverdiev. Guzman was knocked down in the third round, the result of a left; and blood readily flowing from the boxer's nose in the fifth set the momentum for the loss. The Sycuan Warrior did not show his trademark elusive style until it was practically too late in the fight. Only in rounds 6 and 7 did Guzman employ the kind of fighting Technic that had kept him undefeated during his career. He circled, jabbed, and effectively counter-punched the Russian, evidently frustrating him. But, when in the 8th, he tripped and hurt his leg in the fall, Khabib responded with everything he had, settling the impression that he was the dominant fighter. Guzman could not go on due to the leg injury and the referee stopped the fight due to 'accidental foul', which led to the score cards deciding the winner. Two judges declared Khabib the better man on the ring. Talks of a rematch immediately ensued.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Guzman Outlasts Soto!
  2. ^ Boxing In Argentina: Narvaez Retains WBO Title, Passes Monzon's Record
  3. ^ ESPN - Guzman gives up junior lightweight belt - Boxing
  4. ^ "Campbell-Guzman: Joan is 3.5-Pounds Over, No Titles". September 12, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  5. ^ "CAMPBELL VS. GUZMAN OFF!". FIGHTHYPE. September 13, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  6. ^ "Statement from Nate Campbell". Retrieved 2008-09-22. 
  7. ^ "Joan Guzman personal statement regarding his canceled fight against Nate Campbell". Retrieved 2008-09-22. 
  8. ^ "Joan Guzman Makes Lightweight Limit". East Side Boxing. December 19, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-20. 
  9. ^ Ryan Burton (January 16, 2011). "Joan Guzman Fails Post Drug Test, Trouble is Ahead". Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  10. ^ Jhonny Gonzalez (January 28, 2011). "Joan Guzman Suspended For Eight Months, Won't Retire". Retrieved 2011-01-29. 
  11. ^ Jake Donovan (November 30, 2012). "Khabib Beats Up Joan Guzman, Unifies IBO/WBA Belts". Retrieved 2012-12-01. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Agapito Sanchez
WBO super bantamweight champion
August 17, 2002–July 4, 2005
Title next held by
Daniel Ponce De Leon
Preceded by
Jorge Rodrigo Barrios
WBO super featherweight champion
September 16, 2006–May 14, 2008
Succeeded by
Alex Arthur
Interim Champ Elavated