The King is still undefeated.
His latest win put a title around his waist — a belt he hopes will be the first of many in his steadily growing boxing career.
Jonathan Guidry knocked out Cory Phelps in the second round of Saturday night’s main event bout at Evangeline Downs in Opelousas. With the win, Guidry, a Dulac native, is now 15-0-2 with 9 wins by knockout.
Saturday’s fight was for the Southern Heavyweight Title — a small prize, but one which Guidry said motivates him to keep pushing in the sport he loves.
“It felt pretty good to get a small little title,” Guidry said. “But that belt isn’t much. In no way are we satisfied with that. We still have a long way to go. We’re still really far from where we need to be for me to be satisfied.”
For Guidry, Saturday night’s fight was supposed to be a step up in rank — a chance to take on a seasoned opponent with a 16-11-1 record, a guy who has been in the ring with world champions, including a fight in 2014 with Shannon Briggs.
But that never materialized.
Guidry was on the offensive from the opening bell, jumping all over Phelps and dominating from the start.
In the opening round, Guidry dropped Phelps with a vicious left hook.
Phelps survived the round, but then got stopped in the second round after Guidry attacked and landed multiple body blows.
Guidry said he was happy with the win, but upset with Phelps. He said he was hoping to be pushed in the fight, but instead of rising up and fighting, he said Phelps wilted and quit.
“It was easier than I thought it would be,” Guidry said. “I thought it would be a harder fight. Once I hit that left hook, he didn’t have any more fight left in him. I wish he would have fought a little more. He didn’t go out with a bang. He kind of just gave up.”
But for Guidry, the win serves as added motivation that he can maybe someday fight for a living.
Guidry isn’t a 24/7 boxer.
He’s a Cajun.
He works in Commercial Fishing as a shrimper and crabber.
For him, boxing is just a passion — although, it’s a passion that’s becoming more and more serious by the day.
Fans request Guidry to promoters because of his high-octane style.
Some fighters shy away from contact, but he loves it.
His fights routinely win Fight of the Night honors any time he’s on a card.
Guidry said that love for competition is deep-rooted from birth. He said he’s born to a big family and in his house, the kids played and competed against one another outside in different sports.
Guidry’s older brother, Martin Verdin, is his trainer.
Martin, too, had a professional boxing career, logging a 21-20-2 record over a 15-year career.
“We didn’t have video games. We didn’t have no Xbox — no nothing. We grew up outside and we always played sports. And everything was competition amongst the brothers. We were always competing with each other. … And I think that’s where I get my style from. I’m in there competing. I’m in there to fight. I’m going to go forward and I love when someone else is going to go forward back at me. I show up to fight. And I always want to fight until I can’t fight anymore or until the referee tells us to stop.”
In the future, Guidry said he’s motivated to take boxing more seriously.
He recently hired a new promoter who is pitching him to bigger, higher profile fights — including some that will be televised.
“We’re just waiting for the right offer,” Guidry said.
Guidry also has upped his training.
He said he thinks his biggest opponent in the sport is himself, adding that he sometimes gets lazy in his training, which causes him to get out of shape.
Guidry said if he can trim a couple pounds of fat off his belly and add some muscle mass to his arms, legs and shoulders, he thinks the sky is the limit.
“I’m never in shape,” Guidry said. “I’m always working, so it’s kind of hard. But once I get in tip top shape, I think I will be hard to beat. I just have to push myself, because I’m lazy sometimes, man. But right now, after this last fight, I’m motivated and I’m ready to push myself hard to see exactly how good I can be.”
OTHER LOCALS SCORE WINS AT OPELOUSAS CARD
It was a clean sweep for locals on Saturday night.
Guidry’s cousin Shawn Verdin improved to 3-0 in his professional career with a 6-round decision victory over Aaron Valentine in an action-packed fight.
Also victorious was Houma native Rance Ward, who beat Lamar Bolden. Ward dropped Bolden several times in the bout with Bolden often more interested in complaining to the official than fighting back.
Bolden claimed he was head-butted early in the fight, which gave Ward an advantage. But the Houma native never relented, applying constant pressure throughout the win.
Ward is now 1-0 in his professional career.