Despite regrettable episodes that have plagued his career, Joan Guzman enjoys one luxury few fighters can match.
Guzman is in a select company of active fighters who are multi-division world champions and have not lost a professional bout. The exclusive group places Guzman among the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr., Adrien Broner and Timothy Bradley.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Guzman will pursue a third world title and attempt to remain unbeaten Friday night at the BB&T Center. Guzman, 36, will face Russia’s Khabib Allakhderviev for the vacant World Boxing Association super-lightweight championship.
“I have told my son I am going to retire as an unbeaten fighter,” Guzman said. “That’s a goal I’ve always had. Hopefully I am not sounding arrogant but that’s what I want.”
Guzman has won 33 fights without a loss and one draw. The peaks include world titles in the junior-featherweight and junior-lightweight divisions.
However, a 34th victory was reversed to a no-contest when a post-fight exam in Guzman’s second-round knockout over Jason Davis revealed Guzman had tested positive for a banned substance. The infraction cost Guzman an eight-month suspension.
Guzman also had two opportunities at winning a lightweight belt but twice failed to make the mandatory weight limit.
“I never turned down fights even when I wasn’t ready for them,” Guzman said. “My problems of the past are in the past. I want to prove that we can do it again.”
Since completing his suspension, Guzman is 3-0 with three knockouts. Late last year, Guzman signed a promotional deal with Deerfield Beach-based Acquinity Sports and will attempt to become the company’s first world champion.
“We are just waiting for [Friday] and getting it done,” Guzman said. “This is the best preparation I’ve had for a title fight in my career. I had good preparations when I fought Jorge Barrios and Humberto Soto. But none like this one.
“The concentration and dedication from the entire team has been phenomenal.”
Allakhderviev (17-0, 8 KOs) is no stranger to South Florida. He has fought three bouts at Seminole Hard Rock Live Arena and is under the tutelage of South Florida-based trainer and former middleweight champion John David Jackson.
“What I have seen of him is he’s a difficult boxer,” Guzman said. “I know he’s going to come after me, like they all do.
“My hunger is as if I’m fighting my debut. I want to do well. This fight all depends on me.”
Friday’s Guzman-Allakhderviev headlines a seven-bout show. The undercard will feature Juan Carlos Payano, who represented his native Dominican Republic in the 2004 Olympics. Payano will defend his regional bantamweight title against Jose Luis Araiza.
Also featured in Friday’s undercard is Hollywood resident Ed Paredes. Paredes will face Javier Castro in a scheduled 10-round welterweight bout.
The card will begin at 5 p.m. with the world title fight scheduled to start at approximately at 9. Following the boxing show, there will be a rap concert featuring Flo Rida and Fat Joe.