Exclusive Interview: Scott Woodworth

By G. Leon


Exclusive Interview: Scott Woodworth

GL: Can you give us some final thoughts on the Guzman-Soto fight?  "Just watching Joan over working with Floyd at the P.A.L. Gym today, having worked with Joan for five years now, I think he's actually gotten faster if you can believe that. I think with the addition of Floyd, I feel like it's Christmas. I asked Floyd what we were going to see differently that we haven't seen yet and he said they've got quite a few things. He just looks phenomenal right now. We love and respect all of our fighters, but Guzman has always been our franchise guy. He was the first world champion signed to Sycuan and he has very special meaning to the tribe. I don't even think Soto is going to see his stuff coming."

GL: On paper this is one of the most intriguing match-ups of the fall, but with the more marquee names that have been fighting lately, do you feel this fight has been lost in the shuffle?

Scott Woodworth: "Definitely. I think the people at Golden Boy mentioned that today, but I think that's a good thing for boxing. All of the promoters and managers are realizing that hey, let's give the fans what they want, the best fighting the best. We feel it has been overshadowed and this certainly is a fight of the year candidate. We also realize that Israel Vazquez is already nominated with his two fights with Marquez for fight of the year, wouldn't it be something if Sycuan had another candidate for fight of the year."

GL: Do you think the fight goes the distance?

SW: "No. I'm going on the record with this. Some people say that Guzman hasn't brought his punch up since he left 122 pounds, but Floyd and I had a long talk today and that's not the case. Joan is going to stop Soto. I don't know if it will be early or late, but I expect the fight to end by KO or TKO."

GL: Are you hoping a victory over Soto lands Guzman the marquee fights that have eluded him thus far?

SW: "Absolutely. I applauded Guzman the other day that he accepted this fight with no question. He didn't argue about the money, he didn't even ask me what the money was, he wanted the fight. I wanted to let him know and I'm letting you know first, as soon as this fight is over Sycuan is going to make Joan Guzman one of the wealthiest guys in the 130 pound division. He hasn't fought in eleven months, and that's not his fault, Golden Boy's fault or our fault. It's just the way boxing is. There's injuries, fights fall through, opponents pull out. But I can tell you Sycuan is going to make him a very lucrative offer to extend the cotract."

GL: What can you tell us about the rubbermatch between Vazquez and Marquez?

SW: "We're close to getting it done. Gary and I have been in agreement months ago. I spoke to Ken Hershman. We're hoping to have that contract on his desk by tomorrow afternoon."

GL: Will the fight take place in Mexico?

SW: "Gary keeps saying that, but of course we have the champion. If it makes sense and it's the right deal we're not opposed to Mexico, but I believe this is a fight for Los Angeles. We did a tremendous gate the first time there, but we're all ears. Gary is over in the Philippines and I'm here. We haven't discussed the strategy or where we're going to place it, but it's not going to happen until March, so we're going to have plenty of time to promote this thing."

GL: Prior to Carlos Baldomir's fight with Vernon Forrest, I spoke with Javier Zapata and he refused to come on the record claiming he had a dispute with Sycuan. Has that dispute since been resolved, and is the relationship between Sycuan and Baldomir as strong as it always was?

SW: "Baldomir and Sycuan are as strong as they've ever been. We made a deal with Top Rank to put him on the November 23rd show that we were going to do originally at Sycuan, but then with the fires and Glenn Quiroga's daughter suddenly diagnosed with cancer so we had to move it on to Urango. But our relationship with Baldomir is as strong as ever. Javier Zapata filed a lawsuit and if he doesn't want to go on the record, I'll be more than happy to. He filed a frivolous lawsuit. It's ridiculous and Javier Zapata is going to deeply regret ever drawing swords with me. I'm a pretty fair guy Greg, but you tell me, his lawsuit says we stole Carlos Badlomir from him. How do you steal somebody I already have signed? Is there another manager? No. He's managing himself. The dispute is between Baldomir and Zapata and they're currently in arbitration over Zapata taking money that he wasn't entitled to. We're confident that they'll see it for Carlos. But as good as Sycuan has been to Zapata for him to act in such a manner just goes to show how dispicable a person he is. He's truly going to regret making me an enemy. I forgive I never forget."

GL: Is there anything you'd like to say in closing?

SW: "We're looking forward to big things in 2008 and we realize that we have to build our future on Joan Guzman and Israel Vazquez. They need all of our resources to help make that happen and that's just what we're going to do."


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