By Jake Donovan
Boxingscene.com has been informed that undefeated former two-division titlist Joan Guzman is set to return to the ring on December 20. The location, opponent and weight have all been named, though manager Jose Nunez is in the process of putting the final touches on a big show in Guzman’s hometown of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Plans call for Guzman (28-0, 17KO) to return to the ring against Ameth Diaz of Panama, in a WBA lightweight title elimination bout, in addition to Diaz’ regional title.
It has yet to be determined whether the winner will become the mandatory challenger, or if it’s an eliminator for the number two ranking.
Guzman’s proposed opponent is the latest – and least popular – in a long line of lightweights named Diaz. The Panamanian fell short last November in efforts to obtain a junior welterweight title shot, losing in a fourth round stoppage against former titlist Souleyman M’Baye.
He’s since won two straight and carries a record of 25-7 (19KO). At stak
The bout will be Guzman’s first since last November, when he outlasted Humberto Soto en route to a decision win in a junior lightweight bout on HBO. The Dominican has been inactive throughout 2008, despite having two scheduled bouts.
Injuries and lack of alternate television dates killed his plans to travel to Scotland for an alphabet title defense against Alex Arthur earlier this year. He would ultimately vacate the title in pursuit of lightweight glory, as he was able to land a title shot against multi-belted Nate Campbell, which was scheduled for last month on Showtime.
That bout hit the scrap heap after Guzman failed to make the lightweight limit, coming in more than three pounds over at the weigh-in, leaving Campbell without a fight or payday and the network without a viable main event.
Despite his inability to make weight for that fight, Team Guzman insist that are no plans in the works to move up beyond the 135 lb. division. They also ensure that the fighter will make weight, as they realize the generous opportunity being granted, having avoided suspension, major fines and legal action from last month’s debacle.
Though currently promoted by Sycuan Ringside Promotions, Guzman was given permission to fight in Dominican Republic on a show to be presented by Jay Boxing Promotions. It will be the same promotional arrangement as Guzman’s last fight in Dominican Republic, which will be almost two years to the date by the time he steps into the ring for this bout.
There is no word yet on whether the bout will air in the states, though attempts to work out a deal with TV Azteca America are in place.
Jay Boxing Promotions is still putting together the undercard, with assistance from noted matchmaker Sampson Lewkowicz. One fighter whose appearance has been confirmed is undefeated welterweight prospect Norberto Gonzalez of Mexico.