Dominick Guinn: He Could Have Been a Contender!

There have been few examples of a complete free-fall from prominence to obscurity quite like to Dominick Guinn has in his seven years as a practitioner of the sweet science. Exploding onto the scene with a three year undefeated streak highlighted by his seven round destruction of Michael Grant (Grant’s and Guinn’s career share some pretty cryptic parallels) in June of 2003.  Since that noted victory over Grant, The Southern Disaster’s career has been just a plain disaster.  The first indication that there may have been a crack in Guinn’s proverbial armor was his upset loss to Monte “Two Gunz” Barrett (another busted American heavy prospect) in March of 2004.  Not only was this a showcase fight for Guinn, on HBO no less, but it also marked Guinn’s first appearance in his hometown of Little Rock, AR.  While the stakes were clearly high for Guinn his handlers, Main Events and manager Shelly Finkle, were confident that their heavy would win impressively.  To anyone who viewed this dreadful outing, nothing seemed farther from that.  Guinn appeared to be clearly uninspired, letting Barrett control the pace of the whole fight and even buzzing Guinn in the seventh.  The fact that Barrett’s victory was by split decision speaks more to the ineptitude of the Arkansas judges than there have actually been a competitive fight.  It would be the start of a career free-fall that would see Guinn going 4-5-1, including the loss to Hawkins on Friday night, since his loss to Barrett.  While some of these losses where to legitimate good fighters, Toney being a great fighter, the fact remains that Guinn has not looked comfortable or even happy inside the ring and a draw to Friday Abhuanya is unacceptable for a fighter with the talent of Guinn. I had asked Guinn prior to his fight with Harrison what exactly has been the cause to his apparent mental breakdown in fights and he told me that the cause was due to his promotional situation and how he felt that he had never been compensated in a the manner in which a fighter of his caliber should have been.  Funny no? Still the fact remains that Guinn is the proverbial Ferrari with AMC Pacer motor, externally it looks awesome but wait to you take it for a drive.  With his most recent loss to Hawkins it can be safe to assume that Guinn’s career is done a viable contender and I doubt if he will ever be more than a gatekeeper for rising heavyweight prospects.  It’s a shame when you think about what could have been but this is why they fight the fights.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.