Tucson Boxing

Old Pueblo’s own Manny Guajardo improves to 5-0 with Win in Top Rank/ESPN Undercard

Fighting out of Boxing Inc. East, Tucson own Manny “Fresh” Guajardo (5-0) was able to stay undefeated and keep his record unblemished early on in his career.

On Saturday night at the TCC, Guajardo was the second bout on a loaded Top Rank/ESPN card and the crowd would take another hour to start getting close to the announced 4,424 fight fans that eventually filled the Tucson Convention Center Arena. Still, with the sparse crowd on hand while Guajardo made his ring walk, the ovation he was given startled a few event organizers sitting ring side.

Guajardo took on Jonathan Espino (2-4,2 KOs) and looking at the two together, Guajardo towered over Espino and had the obvious reach advantage. It still never really seemed as if Guajardo could establish distance comfortably enough.

Speaking with Guajardo’s trainer Zac Aiken:

“I’d like him to sit on his punches a little bit more and to not back up quite as much. When he’d start letting his hands go, he’d back Jonathan up and that’s all he really needed to do was keep backing him up with punches. Manny would have been a little bit more successful if he went to the body.”

I asked Aiken and Guajardo about the reach advantage not being used:

“That guy was just non stop coming forward. {Guajardo} needs to be first. You know, be in position ready, and ready to throw those shots and not let fighters be in his chest.”

Guajardo acknowledge controlling distance was the plan, “Control distance, start putting hands on him and start letting the power go. Utilizing combinations and stepping off on angles.”

Guajardo’s take on why much of that wasn’t working:

“I felt off balance. When we worked inside, I’d pivot off and he’s so awkward in some ways that he’d stick me where a regular boxer probably wouldn’t. I don’t think it was much him as it was me and my balance. Like I said. I was standing too tall and when he would come in I couldn’t really control myself enough. If I would have dropped down. I would have had a little more power in my jab.”

At the end of the day, Guajardo’s record is still unblemished and he found a way to pull off another win. With plenty to learn from this experience and a great head on his shoulders, the future looks bright for the hometown middleweight.

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