Trevor Bryan was never concerned with anything other than making his way to the ring on January 29.
On that note, the unbeaten secondary WBA heavyweight titlist couldn’t be more grateful that Jonathan Guidry rose to the occasion when an opponent was needed once plans fell through for a rescheduled fight with Mahmoud Charr. The other side of Bryan, however, was left to feel as if there remains unresolved business.
“Of course. I’m a fighter,” Bryan confessed of the letdown that came with Charr dropping out of a planned fight for the second straight year. “When my promoter and manager say this is my next fight and who I’m fighting, all I can do is prepare and get ready for that. All the other fighting outside the ring is what my promoter and manager does.
“I’m sorry that [Charr] can’t make it for the second time. I’m sorry for that but the show must go on.”
The show will go on, with Bryan (21-0, 15KOs) making the first defense of his title on a Don King-distributed Pay-Per-View event (iTube247.com, SRP $49.95) from Packard Music Hall in Warren, Ohio. For the second time in exactly one year, Bryan saw an ordered fight with Charr fall by the wayside over a visa issue preventing the Germany-based Turkish heavyweight from traveling to the U.S.
With that came the elevation of Louisiana’s Guidry (17-0-2, 10KOs) from the undercard, agreeing to take the fight on short notice to salvage the evening’s co-feature attraction.
“I have a strong opponent, a replacement who’s 17-0 with two draws,” notes Bryan, who won the vacant WBA “World” titlist following an eleventh-round stoppage of former WBC titlist Bermane Stiverne last January. “I have to continue what Trevor Bryan does best. Whoever else they put in there with me in the future, I can’t think about what should have happened. I’m thinking about who’s next and ready to go.”
Little footage is available on the relatively obscure Guidry, whose entire career has taken place within a four-hour radius of his Dulac, Louisiana hometown. Much like who is standing in the opposite corner on fight night, the absence of fight film is of little concern to the unbeaten Schenectady, New York native.
“I sat down and watched a few times with the couple of fights he had. We don’t really worry about what other opponents do,” insists Bryan. “We worry about what the dream team does best. I have my key (sparring partners) that I use for every fight and plan to capitalize on that, continue to work hard and get this win I need to get on the 29th.”
Headlining the January 29 PPV event, WBC cruiserweight titlist Ilunga ‘Junior’ Makabu (28-2, 25KOs) faces Thabiso Mchunu (23-5, 13KOs) in a mandatory title fight and rematch to their May 2015 clash, which Makabu won via eleventh-round stoppage in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox