As 16 September draws near, former WBO 122 lb Champion Joan Guzman, 25-0 (17), patiently waits for his moment in the spotlight. A talented and undefeated fighter, Guzman vows to make the world know his name as he attempts to snatch the WBO Super Featherweight title from the waist of Jorge Barrios, 46-2-1 (33), on the undercard of Golden Boy Promotions' Marco Antonio Barrera - Rocky Juarez rematch at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Recently, Joan, co-promoted by Sycuan Ringside and Golden Boy, took a break from his hectic training regimen to answer a few questions for the readers of Saddoboxing.com.
SaddoBoxing: Hello Mr. Guzman, first off, for the fans who may not have been following your career too closely, please give them a little background information. How was it like for you growing up? How did you get into boxing?
Joan Guzman: "I grew up in a very small town in the Dominican Republic named Santo Domingo. We didn't have much money so I did odd jobs here and there to help provide for my family. Growing up, I was somewhat of a street fighter. Then at the age of 8, a trainer asked me to prove myself in the ring. I've been a boxer ever since."
SB: Looking at your record, you've beaten a lot of tough guys; up to this point, who was your hardest challenge?
JG: "I've never really had too much of a challenge in any of my fights. I've fought great fighters, strong fighters, but I take my training very seriously so when the match starts I'm ready. I come to fight."
SB: You're a skillful, exciting, and undefeated fighter, but you are not a huge name yet. Why do you think that is?
JG: "At the beginning of my career, my promotion was lackluster. I was winning fights, but not many were taking notice. Now that I have co-promoters Sycuan and Golden Boy handling my career, I feel that my name can finally reach the masses."
SB: Where do you see yourself among the top super featherweights such as Manny Pacquiao, Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales? Do you think you could beat those fighters?
JG: "I think I am just as good as they are. I do not want to predict anything, but I would like to fight them one day. Right now, I just want to make a name for myself. My fight with Barrios will do just that."
SB: Are you pleased with the way that Don House has guided your training? You made mention of House helping you focus more on your movement and your speed, not just your power. Are there any new things you and your team have been working on for this fight with Barrios?
JG: "I'm very pleased with how my training has gone under Don House’s tutelage. There’s nothing too new about what we are doing. We are just working on making Joan Guzman better. That’s what I like about House, he is not trying to change me, he is just trying to refine the skills I already have."
SB: Barrios is a powerful fighter; he won his last fight with a first round knockout over previously unbeaten Janos Nagy. How do you plan to take away his power?
JG: "I plan on letting him take away his own power. He will waste his own energy when he takes a swing and there is nothing there to hit."
SB: Barrios predicts to win via a fourth round knockout, what do you think about that? What do you think the outcome will be?
JG: "I think it will be the exact opposite of his prediction. It will be like when Ricardo Mayorga got shut up and embarrassed by Oscar De La Hoya. I will beat Barrios, then ask him, 'Who did you say you were knocking out?"
SB: I know you do not want to look past Barrios, but in the event that you do win the fight, who do you want to fight next? You are a super featherweight now and that division has some of the biggest names in the sport. Who is the biggest name on your list of possible opponents?
JG: "I would like to fight the winner of the Barrera-Juarez match. We're sharing the September 16 card, so we'll see what happens after that."
SB: Are there any fighters who you, yourself, are a fan of?
JG: "I'm not a fanatic of any one fighter, but I do like fighters who move a lot. I like watching fighters such as Floyd Mayweather Jr., Zab Judah, and Sugar Ray Leonard."
SB: Lastly, is there anything that you would like to say to all the boxing fans reading this?
JG: "Just take notice. You will see what I can do against Barrios. Joan Guzman is here."
SB: Mr. Guzman, thank you so much for your time. SaddoBoxing appreciates the interview and we wish you the best of luck in your upcoming fight.
JG: "Thank you very much."