Weekend Wrap-Up, Nov. 19, 2007: Guzman-Soto, Washed-Up Fighter-O-Rama and More

I have to say that I don't like picking against my brother and fellow BoxingWatchers.com staffer, Uatu. He's the one who got me into boxing, and aside from having seen a lot more fights than I have, he has a razor-sharp memory that serves him well when recalling how fighters have looked in their last few fights.

So when he picked Humberto Soto to beat Joan Guzman this past Saturday, I felt a little foolish. Even I remembered how unimpressive Guzman looked during his previous fight, and I was worried that the fact that Joan was one of my favorite fighters was clouding my prediction.

Having seen a replay of the fight, it appears I should have had a little more faith. Guzman boxed when he needed to, survived the times he stood and traded, and won fairly easily against a tough opponent. He's now 28-0 and seems to be ready for a big fight.

He also needs to do it soon. Despite his relatively small body of work, Guzman is already 31 years old, and fighters who rely on their speed and reflexes like Joan face a much sharper drop-off than sluggers - see Roy Jones Jr. Steve Kim of MaxBoxing.com doesn't think Bob Arum will put Guzman in against Manny Pacquiao, so it's hard to pick an obvious candidate to face him in a career-defining bout. Juan Manuel Marquez, maybe?

Speaking of Kim, his most recent article also talks about the upcoming Black Friday showdown between Fernando Vargas and Ricardo Mayorga, two fighters whose best days are behind them. The fascination with this fight reminds me of the proverbial train wreck in that while we don't really want to watch, we also can't look away. The early 2008 fight pitting Jones against Tito Trinidad falls into this category too.

Much as I'd like to ignore both of these fights, there's no denying they will sell some tickets and some PPV buys on name value alone. Perception really is more important than reality in the boxing world, and since the public sees them as big fights, that's exactly what they are. We've already agreed we'll be watching and covering them here, like it or not.

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