Monday, November 19, 2007

An All Over The Map Win And Fighting The Battle Of Who's Got Anything Left

A short holiday week means I'm going to say everything I have to now just in case I don't get a chance later; see below for my thoughts on Joan Guzman-Humberto Soto, the upcoming crane-your-neck-at-the-car-crash brawl between Fernando Vargas and Ricardo Mayorga, and more.

Still absent a permanent name for my random musings, I dub today's post Shoe-Shinings (see comment #4817 here for a definition):

  • Wrap-up: The reviews of Joan Guzman for his win over Humberto Soto in a highly anticipated 130 pound showdown are all over the map. Put me in the "mostly displeased" category. Round 2 was awesome, and there were some other great exchanges at times, but my guess is that Guzman at some point just decided he was more likely to win if he switched from slugger mode to hit and run mode. There were rounds where Guzman did some beautiful hit and run work -- where he was aggressive, took risks, but still looked mainly to score points then get out of harm's way. There were other rounds, alas, where he embodied the negative connotations of stick and move -- where he barely touched Soto and then plain old ran away. If Guzman hoped to get a big-money fight with Manny Pacquiao by merely scoring a victory, he failed. Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum, said
    nobody would want to see Guzman fight Pacquaio after the way he barely fought Soto late in the bout. It's too bad, because Guzman has unearthly natural athletic ability and clearly can stand and trade with big punchers if he so chooses. He clearly can be an entertaining fighter, as he was to about half the people who watched him Saturday night and as he was to me for about half of Saturday night. Now, in addition to being avoided because he is dangerous, he stands the risk of being avoided because he's polarizing. I think if he keeps fighting and beating good opponents, he deserves a big money fight no matter how much he bores the viewers. But he would've gotten it a lot faster, and would have had me calling for it this morning, if he had ended that fight with an exclamation point instead of a series of semi-colons. Overall, the fight wasn't what anyone hoped, but it was a good, solid battle, and as for Soto, despite some mistakes, I wouldn't mind seeing him again at all. The question, though, of "who's next" for both Soto and Guzman is just as murky and complex as it was beforehand. And, while I'm at it, here's my view on the dispute over the wide scoring margin issued by the judges: I had it eight rounds to four for Guzman.
  • Preview: This Friday's clash between faded star Fernando Vargas and faded super-villain
    Ricardo Mayorga is probably going to break the record for "most entertaining hype doled out before two severely diminished fighters find out who's the most shot." First there was the highlight reel brawl at a news conference, prompting some wags to quip that based on his victory in Vargas-Mayorga I, they like Vargas in the sequel. Then there is the mountain of trash talk these two have heaped up, with Mayorga, the master, probably getting the better of Vargas, who's fared pretty well, really. "He's got a face only a gorilla mother could love" is a decent line for Vargas, but it doesn't compare to Mayorga's numerous "fat pig" jabs. This fight is at 166 lbs., higher than either have ever gone, largely because Vargas has struggled making weight at 154 lbs., 160 lbs., even 162 lbs., the original contracted weight. Egads. I'm leaning toward a Mayorga win, since his savage knockout losses haven't seemed as frequent or debilitating as Vargas', but Vargas has shown more in his recent losses than Mayorga did versus Oscar De La Hoya. My call is Vargas by late round knockout, since I have my doubts either man will carry much power up to weights that high. My confidence is low. My allegiance is to neither man dying in the ring.
  • More Wrap-up: I liked the looks of bantamweight (118 lbs.) prospect Abner Mares in his very competitive and action-packed bout against unknown David Damian Marchiano. Marchiano lost decisively on the scorecards, but he gave a very talented young fighter all he could handle and more. Good show by both men.... If former heavyweight champ Hasim Rahman can't handle feather-fisted Zuri Lawrence, who has suffered back to back nasty KO losses, with ease, then he's far more diminished than even I had guessed, and I didn't have much faith in Rahman to begin with.... Jesus! That Jesus Soto Karass welterweight (147 lbs.) fight against Juan Buenida featured so much heavy fire it was like an early John Woo movie. I only caught a few rounds because I didn't know it was even on, but Soto Karass landed the CompuBox record for most punches landed, I learned, and I wasn't surprised. I now see why this Karass has a little bit of a following.
  • Random: Why in the world anyone would want to see Pacquiao, a 130-pounder who is stretching the limits of how high he can move up in weight as it is now, go up to 147 lbs. to fight Oscar De La Hoya is beyond me, but Arum's apparently really trying to make it happen... Allan Green is way, way, way, way too big a step up for super middleweight (168 lbs.) prospect Andre Ward, if that really is the discussion. Really, I want Ward to step up his competition, but let's not get ridiculous. The talk of fighting Edison Miranda made more sense. On the other hand, I really like the idea of welterweight prospect Victor Ortiz taking on junior welterweight (140 lbs.) titlist Ricardo Torres. One guy, Torres, is more of a veteran and can punch really, really hard, and Ortiz, the other guy, is younger and a more all around fighter. I think it'd be a fun one to see and a good test for both... What I don't care to see is a rematch between Joel Casamayor and Jose Armando Santa Cruz. No matter what the blind judges saw in their first meeting, I know and anyone else who can see knows Santa Cruz won an incredibly boring affair, not one I'd care to like to revisit and that I doubt anyone would pay to watch. Here's hoping some kind of justice can come Santa Cruz' way somehow... I already love HBO's Mayweather/Hatton 24/7 documentary series. The more I see of Ricky Hatton's personality, the more I like him. The more I see of Floyd Mayweather's personality, the less I like him. If Mayweather stinks out the joint in a boring decision victory again in their Dec. 8 fight, I'm officially no longer a fan.


Sean A. Malone said...

The Rahman-Lawrence fight was horrible. In fact I momentarily lost sight in both eyes due to it. Unfortunalty as long as Rahman is signed to Top Rank to threat of him reappearing on Vs. is great. I too love how Hatton comes off in the 24/7 series. I think deep down Floyd is not the pompous ass he portrays but he sure is not going to any lenghts to change our perception.

THE BRYGUY said...

I agree with you on the rumors about Anrde Ward. I like the kid, but if they put him in with Allen Green they could ruin him. Delahoya and Pacman should never fight, and I'm going with Mayorga by TKO but won't pay for the fight. I love 24/7 it's better than Friday Night Lights! I don't care if Mayweather is a jerk, he makes for the perfect yin to Hattons Yang!

THE BRYGUY said...

I agree with you on the rumors about Anrde Ward. I like the kid, but if they put him in with Allen Green they could ruin him. Delahoya and Pacman should never fight, and I'm going with Mayorga by TKO but won't pay for the fight. I love 24/7, it's even better than Friday Night Lights. I don't care if Mayweather's a jerk, he's the perfect yin to Hattons Yang.

Tim -- said...

Good call on Mayorga. I really regret going against my instincts.