My Guinn interview

In boxing, it only takes one loss for people to turn their back to you and act as if you just entered into a world where your skills are either diminished or you were just overrated or over-hyped. A perfect example of this came in the past few weeks when Monte Barrett defeated Dominick Guinn in Little Rock on HBO. Guinn, who is still a solid prospect in the heavyweight division, came into the fight as the favorite, but when the fight was over and Barrett walked out of the ring with the victory it seems that fans across the internet have labeled Guinn as the next big heavyweight bust. This came as a result of Guinn stepping up to face a legitimate top ten fighter, not some club fighter off the street. People act as if Guinn lost to Frankie Swindell or Terry Porter, and not by a guy that has only been soundly beaten once in his career, and two other disputed loses. Guinn has had time to reflect in the past few weeks since his first professional loss. In this exclusive interview, Dominick Guinn comes forward for the first time since losing to Barrett discussing the fight, his plans, his future, and boxing in general.

Dominick Guinn: Your phone was busy all last night, I tried to call you after Klitschko went down, but it was busy all night.

SOG: Yeah I was tied up with different things. I watched the fight and was happy since I picked Spinks and Brewster to win.

DG: I didn't pick Brewster, but I won't pick Klitschko anymore. Not seeing how tired he was in that fight. I had Cory Spinks to win, but he scared me there towards the end. 

SOG: I think Spinks is lucky there was not more time left in the round as he was seriously hurt.

DG: Yeah, if there would have been around two minutes left, I think he would have been knocked out.

SOG: So, how have you been doing since your fight with Barrett.

DG: I feel good. You know, I hate it that my zero is gone. I know that I did not have a good night. I put a lot of pressure on myself being at home and trying to look good for HBO because there was so much riding on that fight for me with HBO. I put too much on myself. I did not think the pressure was going to affect me the way it did, because I have been in there. I did not feel it until I came out. A lot of people told me that I looked different coming out of the dressing room, but I didn't think I looked different, but a lot of people have said that. I think I always had that look. I just put a lot of pressure on myself to look good for HBO and for the people in Arkansas. I wanted to look really good for HBO because there was a lot of things riding on that fight and I let myself down and I felt like I let the Arkansans out there down, but everyone says they are still with me. Everything happens for a reason and I am not going to complain about anything. I know that I will be back, and I know that I will be the heavyweight champion of the world. I think a lot of people know that and believe in me. A lot of people know I had a bad night, but I do not want to keep saying that because everyone has bad nights, it is how you come back that matters. How I come back is what everyone will be waiting to see.

SOG: One thing that I found irritating was that there were some people behind press row shouting towards you as you exited the ring that you sucked and that you were a bum.


DG: See I expected that, but you don't hear too much as you are in the ring or when you are leaving, but I expected that. I haven't even looked on the internet. They have told me that there were a lot of critics on there of me now, but that does not bother me. It will make me stronger, make me fight harder. You know they talked about Jesus, so it is expected.

SOG: That is one thing I wanted to bring up, is that you have always said that your critics made you focus more, and I have saw a lot of critics.

DG: No, I haven't been on the net, and that is one reason, but the critics make me stronger.

SOG: I haven't watched the fight on television, because I did not want to hear what the announcers were saying as I know they can be extremely hard on a fighter when things aren't going their way.

DG: You know they were not as hard on me as I thought they were going to be. I watched the fight and they did not tear me up the way I thought they were going to do. They have always been known for jumping ship, but they really did not tear me up. I figured that I was going to catch hell with them but I will prove them all wrong when I come back.

SOG: Harold Letterman made the statement to me after the fight that it had to be tough facing a guy like Barrett who liked to hold and moved a lot. Do you feel he is correct in that statement.

DG: I did not think so. We had a game plan for everything that Monte may do and when I got in there I did not do anything, and that is why I said after it was over that I felt that I had lost. I knew I had lost. I did not get beat the way he should have beat me, because like I said I did absolutely nothing, and it goes the same way, if he would have had as bad of a night as I had, I feel I would have knocked him out. If I would have just done half of the things that we worked on in camp, because everything he did in the fight was what we worked on in camp. Him throwing wide punches, him pulling straight back. All I had to do is throw my right hand and my left hook and my jab worked him. We really did not work on a boxing match, we worked on this thing going to be a brawl, I was going to have to take the fight to him, and that is what we worked on. I did not do one thing we worked on and that is what made me so sick after the fight. I did not do anything and I know I did not do anything.

SOG: Since you have watched the fight, have you seen some things that you are going to be working on in the future.

DG: Yeah, I know what I have to do. I have to get busy. Like my coach said, if I would have came out and got busy I truly believe I would have knocked him out in the fifth or sixth round.

SOG: I have been trying to tell people on the net that you lost to a good fighter and it is not like you got beat by a Frankie Swindell. You did not even get knocked down and you cannot take anything away from you, and if you want to see it from a different side, by bad mouthing you they are taking away from what Barrett accomplished on that night.

DG: Yeah, that is true, and I bet they do not want to listen to you anyway since you are from Arkansas.

SOG: Well, the one judge that scored the fight for you, Sonny Ingram of Arkansas, I can actually see that score as I had the same score when I added things up because I felt that some of the early rounds could have went either way, but then again I am friends with you and had a bit of biasness in the fight, but that is not to say that I think that Barrett lost the fight, I totally agree with the decision.

DG: Man, I said oh my goodness, but if you had the same score I do not feel so bad. Do you know Sonny?

SOG: No, I have never met him.

DG: I know Sonny, and I talked to him, and like I said that is what made me sick. You say the early rounds could have went either way, and that is what makes me sick because I did not do anything. I thought I won the first round, and that he won the second. I felt I won the third and the eighth round, but after that I thought Barrett won the last two so that gives Barrett a seven to three victory in rounds in my eyes. I did not think I was in it, I really thought that I needed a knock out to win the fight.

SOG: Now there was a round where Barrett did stun you.

DG: He did. He caught me good. I did not realize how stunned I was until I stepped back. I thought to myself that I was off balance, but when I stepped back I said to myself "Oh man. I'm hurt." I went back to the ropes and I kept my composure because I knew he was going to come in and throw those wide punches and all I needed to do was throw straight punches and beat him to the punch but by that time he had me hurt and all I was concerned about was keeping my hands up and not trading with him until I got my senses back completely, because I did not want to risk him catching me with another shot because that would have probably sent me down.

SOG: What it looked like to me was that you hit him with a left that sent him back a couple of steps and you attempted to come in and he caught you with one those sneaky punches that he can throw.

DG: When I looked at it on tape, he surprised me because I did not know how he had hurt me. I did not see the punch that hit me while we were in the ring. I messed up because I should have been leaning to the left, but when I threw my left hook I pulled myself over to his right side straight into his left hook. When he was throwing those punches earlier and was catching me he was not hurting me at all, but when I leaned to my right straight into the left hook and brought some of my force with it, I feel that is what hurt me. When I went back to the corner after the round I was alright.

SOG: That is one thing that people admired was that even though you were hurt in that round, you did not give up and you kept fighting.

DG: I wasn't going to lay down. Just like Brewster said last night, I will die in that ring if I have to. I feel that I still have things to accomplish, the only thing is that if I was to die in that ring I would want my family to be taken care of. I wish they had something for boxers that would guarantee that the fighters family was taken care of as I do not feel that if something was to happen to me in the ring my family would be taken care of at this point in my career.

SOG: Nate Campbell wrote two poems that were on Boxingtalk and at the end of the poems, he put at the bottom that he dedicated them to you and to Jerson Ravelo.

DG: I'll have to go read those. A couple of people went down with big loses in the past few weeks.

SOG: You can really feel where he is coming from in the poems as you know he recently lost as well by dropping his hands and getting knocked out.

DG: Yeah, that was something. I know Nate is still kicking himself for that. Nate had Peden hurt. He hit him with a body shot and you can tell. He did not go down but he was on his way out. It was not going to last much longer, and Nate just gave the guy a free punch. Now, I may get cocky, but I am not going to give someone a free punch.

SOG: Now this comes up when any fighter loses their first fight, or even a fight in general.

DG: About being in shape.

SOG: Well, a lot of people have asked about that as many thought you looked flat, stiff, or just plain sluggish.

DG: I was sluggish and I don't know why. I was in excellent shape. My coach is not going to let me go out there and not be in shape. I trained my ass off for the fight. I am not going to say I over trained, but I was ready for the fight. I told Ronnie after the fight that when we were hitting the pads warming up in the locker room I have never felt like that before. Normally when I am warming up, I am a little nervous, I am a little tense in my legs. This fight it was as if I felt too good and I said to myself then that I was probably going to go out there and looked bad and do nothing and that is what happened. I told Ronnie that after the fight.

SOG: Now I had read somewhere that you had been lifting weights.

DG: No, I had not lifted any weights since December. I did not lift any weights coming up for the fight. I was trying to bring my weight down so I could not have been lifting weights.

SOG: The big question is are you going to make any changes to your team.

DG: No. We can put that to rest now. I cannot blame them for me not executing the game plan that we have worked out. It was not their fault. They could not light a fire under me that night. I am the one that did not do anything. I am the one that was flat and sluggish. I will stay with them for quite a while.
SOG: One thing that I have noticed about your corner is that Mark Breland seems very quiet.

DG: Yes he is. He lets Ronnie do most of the talking. He says some stuff. With me and Mark it is like this. Ronnie says all the stuff in the corner, but me and Mark have been together so long that we have a bond and he does not have to say anything. I know most of the time what he is going to say to me and we talk about what I need to do before we go to the ring and the weeks leading up to the fight. Ronnie does a lot of yelling and screaming in the corner.

SOG: That is one reason why people have been asking about you making changes because when you see the telecast and they focus on your corner, all the public generally gets to see is Ronnie screaming.

DG: Yeah, but I am not going change. I just piss him off and he cares about me that's all. I make him mad and he goes off because he knows what I can do. People that have something to say just do not understand it. He knows how I can fight. See when you see him going off on me in the corner in the last few fights, it is because I am not doing anything. I am out there loafing or lollygagging around and that is the reason he goes off like that. I am not going to change coaches, because I know he means the best for me and he means a lot to me. He told me before the Dokiwari fight, he said "Dominick, you are not going to make go out there tonight and scream and shit and say all this stuff. You are not going to make me have a heart attack. I am telling you all this now." I think he still got to cussing a little in that fight.

SOG: All the great fighters have said that if you win a championship without a loss on your record then that means you have not proven anything, that you have not been tested. Are you looking at this in that way.

DG: Yes, definitely. You know I have told myself that everyone that won the championship, or had the championship has lost. The only person that made it through was Rocky Marciano. Now I hate that I lost, because I do believe I could have been the next one to go through without a loss, but I think again that is better for me to lose now then later. My wife says that it was better to lose now then to get to the top and lose. Now you know how to deal with that loss. I told her I did not have to know how it feels to lose as I have lost before in the amateurs, I know what is like to lose. I know how it feels. I always have God on my side and I know things happen for a reason. I always have God with me in the ring, and I always give him thanks and ask him to protect me in and out of the ring. Bring me out safely win or lose and this last time I came out a loser.

SOG: Lou Dibella stated that he would bring you back to Arkansas with Jermain Taylor if the option was available and Jermain stated Friday morning on the radio that he would love to have you on the same card as himself anytime.

DG: Well, I do not know about coming back. I told my people that I did not want to come back home and fight again. Jermain does really well at home, but I just do not know at this time. I am going to try a different approach.

SOG: How has Main Events been since the fight.

DG: They have been great. They wanted to make sure I was OK, but they know I did not do anything. They know that I take credit for what did not happen in the ring.

SOG: Do you feel that you will be back on HBO.

DG: Yes. They were talking about having me back around late August or September with a big guy.

SOG: That sounds like a date for Joe Mesi.

DG: That would be nice, but that will not be who it is.
SOG: Looking toward the year, what do you think could play out now.

DG: I think that with this one loss, I am going to get to the championship faster then by being undefeated. I think now that I may get a shot at something.

SOG: Do you think that way because one of the champions could look at you as not such a threat now that you lost and use you as a voluntary defense.

DG: I think someone is getting ready to do that right now. And when that happens they will get shocked.

SOG: So are you planning to fight before August.

DG: Yeah, I told them the other day that I wanted another fight because I did lose. I am not expecting a television fight or anything like that, but I would like to fight.

SOG: One thing that I said is that now you will know who your true fans and who your true fans are. Have you already seen signs of that.

DG: Yeah I have, but you know that is something that I have already learned before I lost. I learned that from Vernon Forrest. You know I am close to Vernon and now he has two loses and people say he isn't shit, but that was things I was reading on the internet and I was like man these people can be really hard on someone.

SOG: I admit that I have never been a big fan of Vernon, I enjoy his fights, but I have never cared much for his style. He does have a very tough fight coming up however with Teddy Reid.

DG: Oh hell yeah! I talked to him and he said he was fighting on the 24th but I did not know then who he was fighting then I saw it was Teddy and I was like man that is a good fight because Teddy can punch.

SOG: Well a lot of people do not feel that Vernon can punch, but I think he can.

DG: Teddy can punch, but I think Vernon sees something, and don't be fooled Vernon can punch too. Someone is going to get knocked out in this fight.

SOG: I know that just as on Saturday when I felt that Spinks v. Judah should have been the main event, I feel that Vernon should be the main event as well. I also remember you saying that every time you fight, you say you have to take the fight just as you are the main event.

DG: Yeah. You have to look at it that way and not get caught up in everything that is going on with the card. I felt that I was the main event last time, I just did not do anything to justify it.

SOG: Is there anything that you would like to say to your fans out there or to the ones that are doubting you now.

DG: Yeah, that is one of the reasons of why I called you. I want everyone out there to know that I will be back. I will be better and I will learn from the loss. If you are on the team now then just wait until I get back because I definitely have something to prove now. I am going to be the heavyweight champion.

SOG: As always Dominick I appreciate your time and I hope you have a happy Easter.

DG: Thank you, I'll talk to you again soon.

Nice job Jeff. Your work is always welcome here.