By: Sean Crose
“I love it,” trainer Jose Guzman says of his hectic – and so far very successful – 2021. “The busier I am the better.” Guzman has much to be pleased with at the moment. Last week, Guzman could appreciate the fact that a mixed martial artist he helped train had suddenly become the UFC’s newest star. Yet the explosive arrival of Michael Chandler onto the UFC 257 pay per view card was only the beginning. This past weekend in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, rising bantamweight and Guzman protégé Dominique Crowder earned the eighth win of his thus far undefeated career against fellow undefeated prospect Marvin Sims.
“He won by unanimous decision,” Guzman says, noting that Crowder “dropped him in the third round with a right hook.” Not that Guzman and Crowder are content to rest upon their laurels. “He’s going to take a week off, a week and a half,” Guzman notes, “and he’ll be right back in the gym.” Activity is important to the trainer. He’s got several fighters lined up for events, including “The Prodigy” himself, Josue Vargas. For the moment, Guzman says the junior middleweight is “staying busy in camp” before adding that “we haven’t turned up the heat yet.”
Guzman is well respected by his fighters. While talking to Boxing Insider back in 2019, Vargas stated of Guzman: “I call him my brother. I watched him growing up and training and going to his professional fights, to him now working my corner and being in my corner and doing the mitts with me. Giving me instructions and guiding me the right way. Every time before the weigh ins, he makes sure I don’t eat any candy or drink any soda.” The confidence Guzman instills is evident when speaking to Crowder. “I can take the risk,” says the Brelandesque bantamweight when the topic turns to major fights in the near future.
Guzman’s story is a classic tale of boxing. Growing up in the Bronx, he was a kid who admittedly didn’t mind getting into trouble. After his father took him to a gym, however, Guzman’s life permanently changed for the better. With a terrific amateur record under his belt, Guzman made the transition to pro. Notable success seems to be finding the man, however, as he embraces the role of trainer. In this, Guzman is certainly not alone. Fighters from Eddie Futch to Freddie Roach to Robert Garcia have transitioned from being fighters to training fighters, with spectacular results.