Jonathan Guzman (22-0, 22 KOs) will defend his IBF World super bantamweight title against 5th ranked IBF contender Yukinori Oguni (18-1-1, 7 KOs) in Japan on December 31, according to Guzman’s promoter Sampson Lewkowicz.
The fight will take place in Japan, where the unbeaten champion acquired the belt against hometown favorite, Shingo Wake, in July of this year.
“Guzman will fight in Japan on December 31st,” said Lewkowicz to Boxing News. “After that we will be in the New Year and, in the first or second quarter, we will most likely have his mandatory in the United States.”
No one should ever be ruled out in a sport in which one punch can change the course of a fight. Yukinori, however, doesn’t seem to pose much of a threat to the hard-hitting Guzman – at least on paper. Perhaps this is why Lewkowicz is already, confidently, thinking ahead.
All of the victories earned by the Dominican slugger have come by way of knockout, including contests fought as high as junior lightweight. His power, for his weight, is real, and Guzman seeks to earn another victory in Japan, where the lower weight classes pack the house as well as the big guys do out west.
With America’s growing interest in the lower divisions, thanks in part to rise of Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, Lewkowicz hopes to bring his fighter back to the states for a big fight in 2017. However, he acknowledges that it won’t be an easy task. It never is when your fighters reside south of 126.
“You can bring the horse to the well but you can not make him drink,” said Lewkowicz of the network executives. “I believe, always, that the lower weight divisions are much more exciting than the heavier weights. But, traditionally, the heavyweights are the biggest thing and they get overpaid. You will never see any fight, in the heavyweight division, with as much action as those in the lower divisions.”