Juan Dominguez was born in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic. It’s where he first took up boxing at age 14 under the tutelage of his father. But when it came time to make his pro debut, Dominguez had already relocated to New York. It would be three years before he would fight in his native country.
That win over Alejandro Brito was the first of five fights Dominguez has had in the Dominican, the last coming in 2013 when he earned a second-round stoppage of Geyci Lorenzo. This long drought of fighting in his homeland against other Dominicans isn’t by accident.
“My last fight in the DR, I made a promise I’d never fight against another Dominican, just so I don’t give a bad image of my country,” Juan Dominguez says.
Except on Tuesday, Dominguez (19-0, 13 KOs) will be breaking that promise when he puts his undefeated record on the line against Yenifel Vicente (27-3-2, 19 KOs) in Trenton, New Jersey (FS1, 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT). Like Dominguez, Vicente is a Dominican-born fighter living in America.
So is that going to be a problem for Dominguez, in light of his earlier vow?
“It is a little difficult, but what I see from him, it seems like he really wants to fight,” he says. “But this is a business, and I’ve got to do my job. Let the best man win.”
As much as Dominguez may not enjoy fighting his countrymen, it seemed inevitable that he'd eventually have to, what with the glut of quality Dominican boxers that are in the game. In addition to Vicente, guys like Argenis Mendez, Javier Fortuna and Delvin Rodriguez also haiil from the island nation.
In the 118-, 122- and 126-pound ranks, which is the range in which Dominguez has or is likely to campaign in the future, you have Juan Carlos Payano, Jonathan Guzman and Marlyn Cabrera.
As much as Dominguez might be reticent to face those fighters, he is very happy to see Dominican boxers getting the opportunity to make a name for themselves in the sport.
“Thank God the doors are opening for Dominican boxing,” Dominguez says. “There’s a lot of talent in the Dominican Republic. Argenis Mendez, Fortuna, Delvin Rodriguez, Payano—all these champions helped open the door and helped Dominican fighters move up the ladder.
"[And then there's] the champion who gave the opportunity to everybody, Joan Guzmán. Him and Elio Rojas are the ones who put Dominican boxing in the position it’s in now.”
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