Dominick Guinn reflects on his career
By Bill Tibbs
In this edition of Chatting with the Champ, we catch up with former heavyweight contender, recently retired, Dominick Guinn.
He called himself the “Southern Disaster” but his career was anything but that.
Almost 2 decades after first turning pro long time contender Dominick Guinn has decided it is time to step away from the game and fought his last bout, a split decision win, on November 23 in Houston, Texas. Guinn walks away with an excellent 38-13-1 (26 KO’s) after turning professional in 2000.
The native of Hot Springs, Arkansas would go undefeated in his first 24 bouts and would eventually build a resume of opponents that included champions and contenders like James Toney, Michael Grant, Siahei Liakovich, Audley Harrison, Tony Thompson, Monte Barrett, Eddie Chambers, Tomas Adamek, Hughie Fury and Artur Szpilka, among others.
While Guinn would never challenge for one of the (big 4) world titles, he did challenge and complete with some of the best of his era. Maxboxing recently caught up with him in his home in Houston, Texas to get his thoughts as he looked back over an impressive career.
Bill Tibbs: Hi Dominick. Thanks for taking a minute to chat.
Dominick Guinn: No problem, happy to do it.
BT: Tell me a bit about your amateur career, and, was it always your plan to fight professionally?
DG: Well, my first goal was to win an Olympic medal. I had, let me see, about 340 amateur
fights and I won just about every tournament there was in the United States. My goal was always to bring a heavyweight Olympic medal back to Hot Springs, Arkansas. But, I lost to Calvin Brock in the trials and it was then I decided my new goal was to win the WBC title as a heavyweight professional.
BT: You fought some great fighters over your career. Who was your toughest fight?
DG: To be honest. Me! I always said that my toughest opponent was myself. If I could have been right and kept myself together in the way that I should have heading into a fight I felt I could have beat anyone. But, yeah, I always say that my toughest opponent was myself. But, I will say that James Toney was by far the best fighter I ever fought. He was a guy that I fought and I can honestly say I learned something when I fought him. I wasn’t really expected to win that fight. He was s such a great fighter. Every fight I went into I felt I could have won, and every fight I lost, afterwards, I felt like I should have or could have won. But, not against James Toney.
BT: You’ve stayed in the game until age 44 and competing with some undefeated prospects right until the end. Had you always planned to box that long?
DG: No, not really. I really didn’t, but don’t get me wrong, I love boxing. I don’t always love the politics of it but I do love the game, the gym, training and all that. But, I would be training guys and I’d get a call for a bout and then I’d start training again for a fight.
BT: What fighter surprised you the most, win or lose, when you fought them?
DG: Hmm, let me think. That’s a tough question as each fighter brought something different but it’s hard to say if any fighter really surprised me in a way of something I wasn’t really expecting. Sometimes fighters really can have something that they aren’t known for and it would surprise you if you fought them. I always tell people that Deontay Wilder is known for his right hand, and if he hits you with it, you’re probably going down, or out. But, what people don’t know is that he has a great left hook. I think it‘s as hard as his right hand. I’ve worked with him a lot and I feel he has a left hook that is as hard as his right hand. Fighters can surprise you for sure.
BT: A lot of fighters retire and they get the itch to return. Do you think you are done for good?
DG: Yes, I do, I think so. As I said before, I love training and boxing, but it is just time. I’m getting too old and I have to start listening to my mind and my mind is telling me that it is time to step away and focus on training. I really just don’t want to do it anymore.
BT: How is your family?
DG: My family is great. I have been married for 16 wonderful years. I have 5 kids, ages 26, 25, 18, 16 and 13.
BT: As you reflect on your career are you happy with what you were able to accomplish?
DG: No. I can’t say that I am. I feel there was a lot more I could have accomplished. I would have liked to win a world title as a professional. I’m not sure why I didn’t get the shot. I’m not sure? Maybe the people handling me had me in a different direction, maybe better, at times? But, I would have definitely liked to win a world title as a professional and before that, like I said, my goal was to bring an Olympic medal home to Hot Springs, Arkansas.
BT: What does the next chapter of your life look like?
DG: It looks great. I am happy and I am blessed. I am listening to the word of God. I am praying and I am very happy. I didn’t always listen to God because I am hard headed but I really asked God to simplify my life for me and he has. I love life.
BT: Are you going to stay in boxing?
DG: Yes. Yes I am. I am going to be training fighters. I think I have knowledge and gifts I can pass along to them. I have a passion for training and I think I can help some of the young heavyweights, and other fighters, coming up. Boxing has been great in my life. I have been to 25 countries around the world and it is all from boxing. Boxing took me from nothing and made me something. I love what boxing has brought to my life.
BT: You had a great run, congratulations on a very good career. Thanks for chatting.
DG: Hey Bill, it was my pleasure, good talking with you. Thank you.