Joan Guzman To Defend Title In The Dominican Republic!

15.11.06 - When the president of your country calls, you must answer. So it is with a punching patriot named Joan Guzman, the undefeated WBO junior lightweight champion and the fighter many see as Manny Pacquaio's worst nightmare. When Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernandez called Guzman, the champ replied affirmatively and enthusiastically. Would the lightning-quick Guzman headline an all-star fight card in Santo Domingo, the capital city of the baseball crazy nation? Yes. Would Guzman defend his world title and bring the sporting world's spotlight on a country which is already a tourist's dreamland? Yes again..

Would Guzman and his co-promoter, his manager and fellow Dominican Jose Nunez, put together a fantastic card featuring rising Dominican and other Latin ring prospects? That answer was also yes.

So it is that JG Promotions and Jay Boxing, in association with Guzman's regular co-promoters Sycuan Ringside and Golden Boy (Oscar de la Hoya) Promotions, will present Guzman's next defense of the 130-pound WBO championship on Monday, December 18, in Santo Domingo. The challenger in the title bout will be announced shortly.

Guzman, 30, a whirling dervish who can box and punch and has great defensive skills, owns a record of 26-0 with 17 KOs. On September 16, in Las Vegas, he scored a dazzling, 12-round decision over rugged Jorge Barrios to cop his second world title. Previously, the Dominican Dandy has been the 122-pound WBO titlist.

"This is a real dream come true for me,: Guzman said. "To have the complete backing of our great president and Sports Minister Felipe Payano and other government officials is one thing that is wonderful. But this allows me to give a Christmas gift to everyone in my beloved country. It's me, the poor kid from the Guachapita barrio, the kid who used milk cartons for boxing gloves, giving a little something back to kids who are coming up now.

"Not everyone can be a world boxing champion but every boy and girl in the Dominican Republic can rise above their initial circumstances. You do not have to train to be a boxer or a shortstop. You can also study hard and become a doctor, a lawyer, a nurse, a mechanic or many other things."

Nunez said he was wowed by President Fernandez's enthusiasm.

"He is a real leader and he has both Guzman and I all excited," Nunez said. "We want to have Sammy Sosa, Pedro Martinez, our friend David "Big Papi" Ortiz and all the other baseball superstars at ringside. But we will make sure that the people in the barrios can also attend this great event. The president is a people person and so is Joan Guzman. We will have music superstars performing on the boxing show also.

We are calling out to TV people and to sponsors immediately. This is going to be more than a boxing card. This is going to be a sensational night in Santo Domingo, one which we want to beam all around the world."



I am a Dominican who was born, like so many of our people, in the USA. So maybe I am Dominican-American or American-Dominican. But my roots run deep here in the DR, my parents come from Santiago and I feel 100 percent Dominican wherever I am. Except for today, I feel like I am ONE THOUSAND PERCENT Dominican. TODAY I FEEL DOMINICAN PRIDE LIKE NEVER BEFORE!

Usually, a boxing show, even with world title bouts, is just a sporting event. But this show on December 18 in Santo Domingo is a real Homecoming for Joan Guzman, the son of the Guachapita barrio, and for me. Guzman has been talking for years about giving back to his country, to his people, to the kids who live in all the barrios today, to his President Leonel Fernandez and to our great Secretary of Sports, Felipe Payano.

But Guzman knew the timing had to be right. This had to come when his boxing career is peaking. Now is the time and December 18 is when we, with the help of President Fernandez, Secretary Payano and the entire government, will show the world what the Dominican Republic is all about. Yes, our friend DAVID BIG PAPI ORTIZ and SAMMY SOSA and all our other homegrown baseball superstars will be there as our invited guests. But this fight, this showing by Guzman, will let the world know that, in the DR, we grow other great athletes in other sports also.

I know that Secretary Payano was a great basketball player. A short guy like me would have no chance on the court with him but, concerning this event, HE COULD NOT BLOCK MY SHOTS. I MADE A REAL PEST OF MYSELF AND SO DID JOAN GUZMAN AND I THINK SENOR PAYANO WAS GETTING TIRED OF finally he went to our great President LEONEL FERNANDEZ and they agreed to back this promotion.

So we thank them and we thank all the Dominican people. We won't let anyone down inside or outside of the ring. You will see other great fighters, including rising Dominican and other Latino stars, on the show. We plan to have big name musical entertainment to also delight our audience in the stadium and those around the world watching on TV. We will get our messages out--that this country is on the rise, in business, in tourism, in sports, in any field you can think of.

I am a young manager and promoter. I don't talk for two hours like DON KING. But I must also thank our usual promoters, Oscar de la Hoya from Golden Boy Promotions, and our original promoters, Willie Tucker Sr., Glenn Quiroga and Scott Woodworth from Sycuan Ringside Promotions which is owned by the Sycuan Indian Tribe near San Diego. We hope to have Oscar, his top executive Richard Schaefer and all the Sycuan guys with us first row ringside on Monday, December 18. We appreciate the courtesy and professionalism and respect both Sycuan and Golden Boy have shown and how they have guided Guzman's career.

Finally, let the word go out to every business person inside and outside of the Dominican Republic that we have some very attractive sponsorship packages for this great event which will attract worldwide attention. We need, especially, our home country businesses, PRESIDENTE CERVEZA FOR EXAMPLE, to get involved. We need all of you in the media, who have been so great to Guzman from the beginning, to get involved and support us.

This boxing show is for the people, by the people and of the people. It is a way for JOAN GUZMAN, the son of Guachapita who never forgets his humble bed, to say thanks, to give back and to give his own President, Senor Payano and all of our people a great Christmas present.

From my Dominican heart to Guzman's Dominican heart to all your hearts, I say sincerely and humbly MUCHAS GRACIAS A TODO. You have shown us much love and we can only return much love to you!

Article posted on 16.11.2006

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