Humberto Soto-Francisco Lorenzo II - Who Wins?

by James Slater - Back in June of this year, on the under-card of the Manny Pacquiao-David Diaz WBC lightweight title fight, Mexico's Humberto Soto and the Dominican Republic's Francisco Lorenzo met in a fight that proved to be one of the year's most controversial. Boxing for the interim version of Pacquiao's WBC super-featherweight title, Soto had the upper hand in the early rounds, before seemingly emerging as a stoppage winner at 2 minutes and 43-seconds of the 4th round..

However, as we know, the result was later changed to a DQ win for Lorenzo due to an illegal blow to the back of the head that was thrown by "La Zorrita." Many people questioned referee Joe Cortez' handling of the fight, and the WBC, who had originally recognised Lorenzo as the new interim belt holder, changed their mind and chose not to award him the belt. Now, on December 20th in Mexico, the two meet again, and for the "real" WBC 130-pound championship, as opposed to the interim version only. Who wins?

Without a doubt, Soto, 45-7-2(29) must be made a big favourite. Many (this writer included) felt the confusion-led actions of "Fair But Firm" aside, the Mexican warrior would have been a clear KO or TKO winner. In knocking the older man down twice (Soto is 28, Lorenzo 37), Soto had gained control in a major way. Not only had Lorenzo been down, he was also badly busted up and appeared to want out. Cortez gave him a way.

Basically, Lorenzo, a decent enough fighter, had neither the heart needed or the passion required to keep Soto off him. Why is there any reason to think it will be any different this time around? Not only is Lorenzo even older now than he was when he climbed through the ropes inside The Mandalay Bay Arena in June, but he has also been inactive since then. Soto, on the other hand, has fought and won one fight since - picking up the once again vacant WBC interim belt with an 11th round TKO of Gamaliel Diaz in October. Sure to be much sharper than the ageing and six months inactive Lorenzo, "El Zorrita" will have an excellent shot at cleaning up the mess that was left in the ring last time out.

Also going against Lorenzo, 33-4(14) is the fact that he is both shorter and in possession of a shorter reach than the Mexican. Quite simply, though he has wins over quality guys like Nate Campbell and Cristobal Cruz (twice) to his name, Lorenzo hasn't much going for him in this fight. This was the case back in June, of course, but controversy took over and Soto was denied his win.

It hasn't been announced yet who the third man in the ring will be in December, but it won't matter. Look for Soto to do what he was on his way to doing on June 28th. "El Zorrita" by stoppage in 5 or 6 rounds.

Article posted on 19.11.2008

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