Guzman Defeats Soto, Mares Stays Unbeaten With Decision Over Marchiano

guzman18.11.07 - By Mathhew Hurley, photo by Sumio Yamada/Sycuan Ringside Promotions: Joan Guzman, 28-0 with 17 KOs successfully defended his WBO super featherweight title over Humberto Soto, 43-6-2 with 27 KOs with a unanimous decision at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The scores were 117-111 (twice) and 118-110.

Guzman used his superior speed of hand and foot to keep Soto slightly off balance throughout the fight. In the early going Soto was able to score points with constant pressure while Guzman would sling quick shots from the outside and then back up to the ropes in an apparent desire to incorporate new trainer Floyd Mayweather Senior’s patented shoulder roll, chin tuck behind the left shoulder defensive maneuverings..

As the fight progressed it became apparent that neither fighter had the power to hurt the other. What it came down to was Guzman’s speed and Soto’s pressure tactics, but in this instance speed won out. Guzman’s quick fists and boxing ability began to discourage Sotto as the fight progressed. In the later rounds Soto’s attack slowed noticeably while Guzman continued to slip and slide, walk away and throw punches off the back foot. Guzman’s tactics were not aesthetically pleasing in the final rounds, in fact they revealed his high level of arrogance, but they also proved just how dangerous a fighter he is for anyone when he is focused on a difficult opponent. Soto kept trying to land big punches, particularly to the body, but just couldn’t land anything cleanly. Ultimately, that was the story of the fight. Soto tried to close the final round with a flourish in the face of Guzman’s showboating and took the round but on the official scorecards it wasn’t nearly enough.

In the undercard bout Abner Mares, 15-0 with 9 KOs won a unanimous decision over a very game Damian Marchiano, 14-3-1 with 5 KOs. The judges’ scorecards were 118-109 (twice) and 117-109. Marchiano was able to test the young Mares’ resolve, bloodying his nose and taking everything the young prospect could dish out. In the sixth round Mares landed a punch on the belt line that dropped Marchiano to his knees but the punch was ruled low. Marchiano took a minute reprieve and then engaged Mares in one of the best rounds of the fight. A point was eventually deducted from Mares in the eleventh round for another borderline belt shot.

Although Abner Mares won nearly every round clearly, Marchiano provided a very good test for Golden Boy Promotions’ most promising young fighter. It is young talent that needs to be cultivated in the sport and particularly in what has become the “Old Man Cigar Smoking Room” that Golden Boy Promotions is rapidly becoming. The company’s signature fighters are all either now retired, Marco Antonio Barrera, contemplating retirement, Sugar Shane Mosely, or teetering on eventual retirement, Bernard Hopkins and Oscar De La Hoya. On top of that the company’s most recent signing, Joel Casamayor was just involved in a hotly disputed decision victory over Jose Armando Santa Cruz. That result has come under scrutiny by the New York State Athletic Commission and the WBC, under which the fight was contested, has ordered an immediate rematch.

Mares represents one of the young guns for the future of the company and it is to Golden Boy Promotions’ credit that they are finally beginning to realize that what boxing desperately needs now is new blood and that these young fighters need exposure. And Mares fits the bill. Despite a constantly bleeding nose he never became distracted or frustrated at his inability to stop the iron chinned Marchiano. He went twelve workmanlike rounds for the first time and his maturation process continues.

Article posted on 18.11.2007

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