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Joan Guzman

Joan Guzman Fighter Biography, Record and History

Joan Guzman is a longtime standout in the lower weight classes, having made his presence felt from 122 to 135 pounds. The 33 year-old Dominican is undefeated in over 12 years as a pro. As of February 2010, his record is 29 (17) – 0 – 1.

Amateur Career

Guzman established himself as a blue-chip prospect with a sterling 310-10 amateur record. He won gold in the 1995 Pan-Am Games. He competed in the 1996 Olympics, but lost in the first round to future longtime and current flyweight titlist Omar Narvaez.

Early Career

He turned pro in the U.S. in 1997 and scored two quick victories. Then, in what would be the beginning of a troubling trend in Guzman’s career, he took two years off. He resurfaced in his homeland in 1999 and got back to the business of winning fights. By August of 2002, he had compiled a record of 17-0 (14 KOs) and was ready to fight for his first world title.

Taking it to the Next Level

Guzman beat Fabio Oliva for the WBO Junior Featherweight Title in August of 2002 by third-round TKO. It would be 18 months before his first defense, but it was his best win—a 7th-round TKO over tough Agapito Sanchez. Sanchez had fought to a draw with Manny Pacquiao not too long before and was a very underrated fighter in his own right.

After a 2005 defense over Fernando Beltran, Guzman moved up two weight classes to the junior lightweight division. Wins over Terdsak Jandaeng and tough Javier Juaregui followed before Guzman was matched for another title. His opponent would be Jorge Barrios, the tough veteran Argentine. A 12-round split decision win earned Guzman the WBO Junior Lightweight Championship.

Triumphs and Failures

Guzman has established himself as one of the best with his speed, cunning, and ruggedness. He added the name Humberto Soto to his resume, which is an excellent win over a good, peaking fighter.

But since a 2006 defense over Antonio Davis, he has fought a total of three times. For a high-profile bout with then-lightweight titlist Nate Campbell, Guzman could not make weight and had the bout cancelled. Then for a far less important bout against anonymous Ameth Diaz months later, he was able to make weight.

Talent seems not to be Guzman’s problem. He seems to lack professionalism toward his career. Almost 34, he has no time to waste, which is basically what he did with his early 30’s. Another series of long layoffs or additional problems making weight could spell the end for the gifted Dominican.


Following a bout against Ali Funeka where Guzman appeared fortunate to get a draw, he might want to clear up that matter before setting his sights on the rest of the lightweight division. Whether he still has the ability to thrive against the best at 135 remains to be seen.