The dazzling and disgraced Juan Guzman has been handed a world title shot against undefeated Timothy Bradley on August 1st. This would be Guzman's first foray into the realms of welterweight, although he was always drained at super-feather and lightweight - so that shouldn't be a factor.
Guzman is a beautiful mover in the ring and there is no doubting his abundant skill. But for me, he is simply a wasted talent. A fighter who should have been a pound-for-pound top ten, but will be remembered for his lack of dedication to the sport. He failed to make his end of the bargain in proposed fights with Nate Campbell and Alex Arthur. Only he will know why those fights did not happen. He didn't make weight for the Campbell fight and was apparently forced to duck the Edinburgh battle with Aruthur due to "visa issues". He has caused much disappointment to his fans and fans of boxing alike. I was going to go to the Edinburgh fight because I loved watching Guzman and thought it would be a privilege to have a fighter of his class on our deprived shores.
But a boxer is not strictly defined by his results, but his commitment to the sport and conduct in and out of the ring. While Guzman is undefeated, he fought three fights in three years and his appeal has plummeted like his name out of boxing's consciousness. So when this news broke, of a supposed world title fight against Bradley, I had mixed emotions. The over-riding feeling was: Joan, you lucky boy.
He has a chance to re-etch his name among the sports elite fighters, if he can take Bradley's 0 in impressive fashion. Bradley is in many ways the opposite of Guzman and this would, stylistically, make a great fight. No doubt. Guzman's quick-fire combinations and counter-punching off the ropes vs Bradley's intelligent pressure, relentless work ethic and superior strength. All things considered I think Bradley will be a narrow betting favourite, if the fight happens (big, big IF), but Guzman is a formidable opponent. If he shows up, Guzman will look to use his superior skill to make Bradley miss and counter him all night long. When all is said and told, he is more than capable of achieving this.