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Trainer Jose Guzman: “I Have To Make These Sacrifices”

By: Sean Crose

“He was real real sharp,” says trainer Jose Guzman. “He had just come back from camp with Lomachenko,” Guzman is speaking of his fighter, Steven Galeano, who defeated Marquis Hawthorne last week in impressive fashion. “For him,” Guzman continues, “the sky’s the limit. I feel like in the next five years, Steven is going to be a world champion.” After watching Galeano’s slick, disciplined performance, it’s hard to shrug that assertion off. The young Bronx native is nothing if not a fighter on the rise. “His boxing IQ is very high,” Guzman says of Galeano. “The kid is hungry. The kid loves boxing.”

There’s no doubt Galeano is a colorful figure, a college educated writer (who pens articles for Boxing Insider) he is both engaging and determined to succeed in the ring. “He doesn’t have to depend on boxing,” Guzman says admiringly. “His story is something special.” So impressed is Guzman with his protégé that he feels that “through the next five years, people are going to hear his name a lot.” One thing about Galeano that earns Guzman’s nod of approval is the young New Yorker’s focus and drive to succeed. For Guzman himself has proven to be willing to do what it takes to move forward.

After realizing he couldn’t find the kind of success he wanted in the Big Apple, Guzman “eventually left New York” for Florida. “I had to make a decision for myself,” he says, “either I was going to stay in New York doing nothing or I was going to take the risk of going down here to Florida.” So far, the risk has paid off for the family man. “I’m going to give them a better life,” the trainer says of his children, “so I have to make these sacrifices.”

Fortunately for Guzman, he’s got a number of promising fighters aside from Galeano that he helps train, Dominique Crowder among them. “We all go training at the same time,” Guzman says of his stable, “all together.” While Guzman and his fighters train “basically six days a week,” he knows there are times where some fighters need more attention that others. “I just focus on those whose fights are near,” he says. This minimalist approach seems to be working quite well. “I have a helper who helps me out,” Guzman tells me, “and also the strength and conditioning coach.” Although he’s clearly hard working, Guzman gives the impression of being a man who loves what he does.

“It’s really not that hard,” he says, “because most of these guys are experienced.”

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