Boxing

Guzman – Soto Flies Under The Radar

joan guzman16.10.07 - Matthew Hurley: The last three months of the year are jam packed with terrific match ups of what has already been an exciting several months for boxing. But one match up has flown under the radar because its participants aren’t as well known as a Shane Mosley or a Miguel Cotto. However, when Joan “Little Tyson” Guzman 27-0 (17) defends his WBO junior lightweight championship against Humberto “Zorrito” Soto 42-5-2 (26) it could well outshine such recent big fights like the Marco Antonio Barrera – Manny Pacquiao rematch. It has the potential to be explosive.

Joan Guzman, from the Dominican Republic now fighting out of Brooklyn, New York, a former WBO super bantamweight titlist, won the WBO junior lightweight strap when he defeated Jorge Barrios by split decision in 2006. He successfully defended the title against Antonio Davis later that year and now looks for a win over Humberto Soto to put him in line to fight the prized cash cow of the division Manny Pacquiao.

Guzman is champing at the bit to get a big fight because he was clearly avoided at both junior featherweight and featherweight. He was scheduled on separate occasions to fight featherweight champion Scott Harrison but was the victim of multiple postponements. Frustrated that his number one ranking was doing him little justice he moved up and annexed the WBO junior lightweight belt.

“The top guys at 122, Oscar Larios and Israel Vazquez, showed no interest in fighting me,” he says. “It was easier for me to make 126 anyway but the big fights are here at super featherweight. I want the big fights, with guys like Pacquiao or Marquez or tough guys like In Jin Chi.”

The fight with the tough Soto should clear the way for a potential big money pay day against one of the elite in the division.

Soto, fighting out of Tijuana Mexico, because of his punching power and sturdy chin, has himself been a fighter often avoided – a high risk low reward type of fighter. He is coming off a spectacular performance in June when he knocked out Bobby Pacquiao in the seventh round. He then called out Manny who was sitting at ringside. He is a dangerous fighter who doesn’t mind getting in the trenches and swapping punches. He too is looking at this fight against Joan Guzman as an opportunity for bigger and better things down the road.

The fight will take place at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Top Rank’s Bob Arum who is co-promoting the bout with Golden Boy Promotions remarked, “This tremendous match up is somewhat unsung with all of the great fights this fall. But believe me, Humberto Soto against Joan Guzman is one of the top, most exciting championship fights of the year.”

Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De La Hoya reiterated that sentiment. “Joan Guzman vs. Humberto Soto promises to be one of the most explosive fights of the year.”

Tickets for the event are priced at $225, $175, $115, $95, $75 and $45 and are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 866-900-4TIX or online at www.theborgata.com. The bout will be broadcast on HBO’s Boxing After Dark.

Article posted on 16.10.2007



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