Rick Reeno of BoxingScene.com reports that the IBF has taken Joan Guzman out of a prospective bout with Yuri Romanov, which was set to decide their vacant lightweight title.
Reeno says the trouble came from Guzman's suspension in Mississippi, which he says to his knowledge no other commission is eager to uphold. Guzman failed to make weight for a title bout against Nate Campbell last September, then pulled out of the fight altogether when he complained of feeling ill.
I'm not the world's biggest Guzman fan, though I think he's a superb boxer. And missing weight is unprofessional, and pulling out of the fight cost a lot of people a lot of money, and directly led to Nate Campbell declaring bankruptcy. But while Guzman has never become a fan favorite for a variety of reasons, Campbell himself failed to make weight last month against Ali Funeka. Nate went on anyway and won a tough battle, but there's not a huge difference. At 135, Guzman is one of the best, even if he has just the one official fight since moving up from 130, a win in December in the Dominican Republic.
Guzman-Romanov was not the best fight possible, but an acceptable vacant title scrap. The IBF's ruling may be perfectly legitimate, but it also seems a bit strange. Were they going to put Guzman-Romanov in Mississippi?
There's no word on what the IBF will do now.