Training Camp Notes: Joan Guzman
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - As Joan Guzman plows through another grueling sparring session, his body is soaked with sweat each time the bell sounds ending a round. But rather than use a towel to dry the undefeated former world champion, Guzman’s trainer uses an American Express card as a make-shift squeegee—and a motivational tool.
“We tried other credit cards, but American Express works the best,” said Guzman (25-0, 17 KOs), from the Dominican Republic, who challenges current World Boxing Organization junior lightweight champion Jorge Barrios Sept. 16 at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. “We use a Gold Card now; after I beat Barrios, we can change it to Platinum.”
Promoted by Sycuan Ringside Promotions, Guzman’s credit limit has skyrocketed with every lopsided victory he’s enjoyed.
“When it’s all said and done for Guzman, he’ll be using the American Express Black Card that the Bill Gates and Michael Jordans of the world have,” said Glenn Quiroga, President of Sycuan Ringside Promotions. “He’s that good. His future is that bright.”
With less than two weeks left until Guzman attempts to capture the second world title of his career, the “Sycuan Warrior” already is nearing 130 pounds. And with his weight not an issue, Guzman has but one focus:
“I wake up in the morning and I’m thinking about Barrios,” Guzman said. “I eat, run, lift weights, spar, go shopping—whatever I’m doing, I’m thinking about Barrios and that title of his. I’ve got a cardboard cutout of him where he’s holding his belt, and all I can think is that I can’t wait until it’s me holding that belt. I’m so geared up for this fight I wish it was Sept. 16 already.”
Guzman captured the WBO junior featherweight title Aug. 17, 2002, by stopping Fabio Oliva in the third round and successfully defended that title twice before vacating it to move up in weight.
“I’m almost as eager for this fight to happen as Joan is,” said Scott Woodworth, Vice President, Sycuan Ringside Promotions. “When I drop in on training, I see another new wrinkle in his game plan that will help blow away Barrios. Everything they’re doing, right down to using an American Express card to motivate Joan, is coming together perfectly.”