Pacquiao Vs. Soto - Will Manny Fall To Humberto Too?

manny pacquiao11.06.07 - By James Slater: We all saw what the excellent Humberto "La Zorrita" Soto did to Manny Pacquiao's brother, Bobby, at the weekend. The question is, will the Mexican tough guy be able to do the same thing to the pound-4-pound great? In fact, the bigger question is, will "Pac-Man" and "La Zorrita" even fight? Some more cynical boxing fans believe the plan of Bob Arum was to put Manny's lesser known brother in with Soto, knowing he'd more than likely lose, therefore prompting the reigning super featherweight king to attempt to avenge his kid brother. Was this Arum's plan all along?

Maybe. If so, it appears to have worked, for Manny has already gone on record saying he'd like to get Soto in the ring so as to "See what stuff he's made of." And Manny has a fight scheduled for October 6th in Canada. Will Humberto Soto's name replace the question mark that's currently next to "Pac-Man's," as he becomes his next opponent?

There are many questions surrounding a potential Pacquiao-Soto fight, not the least of which is, will the fight even happen? Let's face it, Manny has plenty of other options. But it just may be that, like fellow Saturday night under-card fighter, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, Pacquaio will get the urge to restore pride to his family name. Young Julio avenged his father's loss to Grover Wiley, of course, and Manny may not be able to resist the chance to do likewise, in his case against Soto, for his kid brother. But could Soto wreck such plans by defeating the more formidable Pacquiao also?

Soto is one fine fighter. He hasn't lost a fight since 2002, when being closely out pointed over twelve rounds by Kevin Kelly. And he's only ever been stopped once, when he retired in the eleventh round against countryman Hector Javier Marquez, in a fight that contested the Mexican featherweight title. Soto can punch, too. From his 42 wins ( five losses and two draws) Humberto has 26 KO's - twenty of them coming in less than eight rounds. His destruction of the brave Bobby Pacquaio aside, these stats prove how hard he can crack. He is at his very peak now as well. Aged just twenty-seven, he is even younger than "Pac-Man." And as he proved on Saturday, fighting a southpaw is no problem. Well, that's not strictly true. Soto was badly and visibly shaken by the badly cut Bobby Pacquiao in round four of their seven round fight. A hook caught him by surprise and definitely hurt him. Would Manny, had he hurt him as his brother did, have finished him off?

It's interesting, to say the least. If such a fight does come off Soto will have a few physical advantages over the Filipino star. Humberto has a longer reach than does Manny ( 72 inches to 67 inches) is over an inch taller at five foot, seven and-a-half and is a year younger. Okay, these are not huge advantages, but everything counts in the ring. Soto is hungry too, damn hungry. Is there the possibility, however slight, that Manny may have too many other interests as well as boxing to occupy him these days? He's a super star in his home country and has allowed himself to enjoy some of the fruits of this fame. Could Humberto have an edge in terms of "wanting it more?" Again, the prospect of the two meeting is a most intriguing one.

Soto has beaten some good fighters in his day. Rocky Suarez, the man who gave Marco Antonio Barrera hell in their first fight, was handily out pointed over twelve rounds. Oscar Leon, who had previously lost split decisions to Derrick Gainer and Chris John, was TKO'd in nine. And Humberto Toledo, who was riding a twenty-eight fight win streak, was done away with
in a mere three rounds. There is no question, Soto can fight. But so can Manny Pacquiao.

I think the two will meet. It's too good an opportunity not to happen. There is a promotional opportunity for Bob Arum, who will milk the "revenge" bit all he can. There is a pride restoring opportunity for Manny, who will try his best to extract the very revenge the hype will tell us all about. And the fight will present the fans with the opportunity to go and see a great, all-action fight. To be sure, such a clash cannot be anything other than a superb bout- the styles of the two men involved all but guarantee it. "Pac-Man" is at the very top of his game, fears no-one, always enters the ring in immaculate condition and hits with ruthless efficiency. What's not to like about him? On the other hand, it could be argued that these very attributes are applicable to Humberto Soto. As such, along with all the other reasons mentioned, this makes the fight a must-see brawl in the making. Let's hope Mr. Arum can make it then.

He has shown his supremacy in brutal fashion many times, some of them against Mexico's best. But could it be that Humberto Soto is one man from Mexico that Manny Pacquiao cannot defeat? They can't sign this one up fast enough!

Article posted on 11.06.2007

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