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GUZMAN, SOTO READY TO RUMBLE


PhilBoxing.com




After almost a year of dormancy, WBO junior lightweight champion Joan Guzman makes his highly awaited ring comeback when he faces the veteran Humberto Soto in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He hasn?t fought since December 2006 when he scored a 12-round unanimous decision win against Antonio Davis in his hometown in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

"I can?t wait to get back in the ring and throw some punches," said Guzman, whose new trainer is Floyd Mayweather, Sr. "I am ready to get in there and show off my skills."

Guzman is also a former WBO world superbantamweight champion and the current WBO superfeatherweight champion. Nicknamed "Little Tyson", he started boxing at a tender age of eight and won 310 fights with only 10 losses. He won the gold medal at the 1995 Pan American Games. He also competed in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

With Guzman?s exciting fighting skills, he was labeled by HBO Boxing as "one fighter you want to avoid at all costs."

Now 30, Guzman who sold bread and sweets in the hazardous streets of Santo Domingo and alternately looking after his brothers and working out in the gym as a teenager, still has an immaculate record of 27 wins and no losses, with 17 wins by knockout. He fought Fabio Oliva for the vacant WBO world superbantamweight title on August 2002 and won via a third round knockout.

But fighting the 27-year-old Soto will be an extremely difficult task. Soto, 43-5-2 with 27 KOs from Tijuana, Mexico, has terrific punches and a robust chin. He got the ire of Manny Pacquiao when he knocked out Bobby in the seventh round last June. He then challenged Manny who was sitting at ringside.

Soto admits that Guzman is the better boxer because of his speed and that constant pressure will tire out the champion as the fight progresses. Guzman, Soto, Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, make up the cream of the crop of the 130-pounders.

In the latest authoritative Ring Magazine rankings, Pacquiao is ranked number one in the junior lightweight division, followed by Marquez at number two, Guzman at number three, Edwin Valero at number four, and Soto at number five.

Guzman has declared that Soto is the best fighter he will face yet. Two years ago Soto fought then undefeated Rocky Juarez in a last-minute schedule and Soto came out the winner of the fierce encounter.

Soto admitted Guzman is the favorite in this fight, but is not disturbed as he has been an underdog several times before but came out victorious.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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