Guinn tops card at Tahoe
STATELINE — When heavyweight prospect Dominick Guinn steps in the ring tonight with Charles “Buddy” Hatcher at Caesar’s Tahoe, there won’t be a title on the line.
However, what is on the line for Guinn is a high exposure fight on June 7 with Michael Grant at Boardwalk Hall on the undercard of the rubber match between Arturo Gatti and Mickey Ward, which will be televised on HBO.
“I feel like this is a good coming-out fight. I’m on my way,” said Guinn who, along with Hatcher, will headline tonight’s seven-bout card. The event, presented by Cedric Kushner Promotions, is the latest edition of the “Everlast Heavyweight Explosion” series.
And while it is tempting to look ahead to the fight with Grant, who once unsuccessfully challenged Lennox Lewis for the heavyweight championship, the 27-year-old Guinn (20-0, with 15 knockouts) said he is taking no chances with the 30-year-old Hatcher (14-3, 10 KO’s).
“I’ve got to take care of business this fight,” said Guinn, who won the U.S. Championships in 1998 as well as the 1997 and 1999 National Golden Gloves, before eventually losing to Calvin Brock in the Olympic Trials. Guinn posted a 290-26 record as an amateur.
“I’ve trained hard. I have to do this in order to get the fight with Grant.”
Guinn, of Hot Springs, Ark., who arrived at Stateline on Sunday to get adjusted to the 6,500-foot altitude, said he doesn’t anticipate any problems if he’s forced to go the 10-round distance for the first time and has what he feels to be a good game plan against Hatcher.
“I’m going to come out and box and establish the jab,” said Guinn, who is trained by former junior welterweight contender Ronnie Shields and 1984 Olympic gold medalist and former WBA welterweight champion Mark Breland. “I’m going to pick (my jab) up and take (Hatcher’s) away.”
Shields said Guinn was ready to step up five or six fights ago, and that his extensive amateur background will be the difference in the fight with Hatcher.
“Dominick is the last of the great amateurs coming out,” Shields said. “(Guinn) is a good boxer. He can punch, too, which helps him out a lot. He knows how to clock you. He’s going top surprise a lot of people.”
One person who hopes to have a little surprise of his own is Hatcher, who is trained by 1984 Olympic light welterweight gold medalist Jerry Page.
“There’s no pressure on me,” Hatcher said. “I’m in shape. I feel good about the fight. We’re doing things in training I’ve never done before.”
Hatcher also knows a win against Guinn could possibly land him the shot against Grant.
“I’m excited about that,” Hatcher said with a smile. “I’m going to fight smart. I have a gameplan, but I’m not telling what it is. A win can get me in the picture. I could go on to bigger and better things.”
Another person ready to go on to bigger and better things is Anthony “The Messenger” Thompson, of Philadelphia, Pa. Thompson will face Brad Jensen (12-7-1, with five KO’s), of Estes Park, Colo., in an eight-round welterweight contest.
Thompson, who is handled by noted manager Cameron Dunkin, is undefeated as a pro, with a record of 10-0, seven by KO. The 21-year-old Thompson is fighting for the fourth time in 11 weeks, and was a highly-touted amateur, winning the U.S. Championships in 2000 and 2001, as well as the 2000 National Golden Gloves.
In addition to Guinn-Hatcher, there will be three other heavyweight bouts:
T.J. Wilson (9-0, with six knockouts), Tulsa, Okla., will face Brad Jensen (12-7-1, five KO’s), Estes Park, Colo., in a six-round bout.
Jimmy Lester, (6-12-1, three KO’s), San Francisco, tests Roosevelt Parker (1-1), Denver, in a four-rounder.
Vernon Woodward (1-5, one KO), Shawnee, Okla., takes on Andre Hobbs, of Denver, in a four-round contest. Hobbs will be making his pro debut.
In other action:
Dwayne Pope (0-4), of Carson City, will face Simon Ruvalcaba (0-4-1), South Lake Tahoe, in a four-round welterweight bout.
Stephanie Hobbs (5-7-1, four KO’s ), Moore, Okla., challenges Deidra Hamaguchi, (0-3-1), Brooklyn, N.Y., in a four-round women’s light flyweight contest.
Doors open at 6 p.m., with first bout to start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15, $25, $35 and $50, and can be purchased at the Activities Center in Caesar’s Tahoe from 8 a.m. on, at Guest Services at Caesar’s Tahoe. Tickets can also be purchased at all TicketMaster locations, through ticketmaster.com, or by calling (775) 586-2044 or (800) 648-3353.