Guzman to defend against Davis

27.11.o6 - Undefeated WBO junior lightweight champion Joan Guzman, who heads a spectacular, pre-Christmas boxing show in his native Dominican Republic on December 18, isn't getting a holiday cream puff as an opponent. Instead of taking on a lightly-regarded challenger in the "Fight Before Christmas" card in Santo Domingo, Guzman and his manager, Jose Nunez, have elected to bring in slick and smooth Antonio "T Rex" Davis from Atlanta. Trained by Evander Holyfield's trainer Ronnie Shields, Davis owns a sparkling pro record of 22-2 with 11 knockouts..

Davis is ranked No. 5 in the new WBO ratings.

"I know this guy is no joke," Guzman said. "I want someone who will try to take my world title. I plan to dazzle the crowd. This show is my holiday gift to my country and to our great President, Hon. Leonel Fernandez. So let Davis bring it on. It's going to take more than one T Rex dinosaur to dethrone me."

The big card at the Sports Palace in the nation's capital is co-promoted by Sedifir and Jay Boxing Promotions, in association with Golden Boy Promotions and Sycuan Ringside Promotions. More than 6,000 of the available 18,000 tickets were sold even before Guzman's opponent was officially announced. Tickets are available at TicketMaster locations.

Guzman's unimpeachable record is 26-0 with 17 KOs. He is the former WBO 122-pound champ and he won that group's 130-pound title with an impressive decision victory over rugged Argentinean Jorge Barrios on Sept. 16. Guzman's title victory took place on an Oscar de la Hoya-promoted show in Las Vegas and was televised by HBO.

There is surmise and speculation that Guzman looms as a future opponent for such other 130-pound superstars as Manny Pacquaio and Marco Antonio Barrera.

Guzman, though, is letting nothing distract him from the task at hand.

"I am not sleeping on Davis," Guzman said. "He is a threat to me and I will handle the threat. This guy will be coming to ruin my big night but I won't let him do that."

Davis, 34, outpointed veteran Marty Robbins in his last bout on August 26. Three weeks earlier, Davis stopped Jorge Alberto Reyes in one round. Before that, Davis smoked Cornell Jackson for a three round KO.
Prior to that, Davis battled Koba Gogoladze for the NABO super featherweight championship in Detroit. That see-saw battle went the 12-round limit and Davis came out on the short end of a majority decision. Gogoladze had a 17-1 record going into the bout against Davis.

Trainer Shields says Davis is up to the task even in Guzman's home ring.
"Guzman makes mistakes," Shields said. "He has been impressing people, yes, but we see some things he does than Antonio will capitalize on. I know one thing. T Rex isn't going to the Dominican for any vacation. He is going there to snatch that title belt and bring it back to Atlanta. If Guzman starts that showboat nonsense of his, T Rex will make him pay. Mark my words."

Television plans are being made for the show, Nunez said. He also said other Dominican ring stars and other Latino boxers will fill out the all-star card.

Nunez cited one unique ringside seating area for the big night.
"We've got many of the Dominican baseball superstars coming," Nunez said. "You name them... Sammy Sosa, David Ortiz, Pedro Martinez, Julio Franco and more. We're going to call that side of the ringside, the 'Golden Diamond Ringside' area. It will be a historic night that puts on a worldwide, positive spotlight on our great country."

Article posted on 27.11.2006

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