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Guzman defeats Soto, but will he get a crack at Pacquiao?

Guzman wants Pacquiao, but he might have to wait in a line for that one. The whole world from 122lbs to 140lbs wants Pacquiao, but some challengers in that world command more money and attention than others!

Last night at the Borgota in Atlantic City, NJ, WBO Super Featherweight Champion Joan Guzman retained his title and kept his undefeated record in tact with a unanimous decision over Humberto Soto. Guzman utilized beautiful ring generalship at times to outbox and offset the powerful Mexican challenger. Soto had his moments when he would trap Guzman on the ropes and fire combinations and flurries to Guzman's body.

Guzman controlled the fight in the middle rounds for the most part, but seemed to coast down the stretch when Soto mounted a late round comeback out of desperation. In the eyes of the official ringside judges, it was simply too little too late for Soto. The judges awarded the fight to Guzman by scores of 117-111 (twice) and 118-110 (twice). I didn't score the fight round by round, but HBO's unofficial ringside scorer Harold Lederman scored the fighter closer at 115-113 for Guzman. The Associated Press scored the fight a draw, which may have been stretching it by just a little. Had I scored it round by round, I probably would've had it somewhere in the middle. Not as wide as the three judges, but maybe not as close as the unofficial scorers. The fight was probably 7-5, maybe 8-4 for Guzman.

In any case, this was a very good win for Guzman. Not only his best win at 130lbs, but also his career-best win to this date. Guzman would love to fight Manny Pacquiao, and he made a strong case with this win last night, but who doesn't want to fight Manny Pacquiao right now? The man brings money and a monster-sized fan base. He's helped to turn the public's attention from the heavyweights to the featherweights. Would I like to see Pacquiao/Guzman? Absolutely! I'd also like to see J.M.Marquez/Pacquiao II. In all fairness, Marquez should be Pacquiao's next fight, due to their unfinished business from three and a half years ago.

Marquez is the legitimate world champion at 130lbs, and being one of the two top pound for pound fighters in the world, that's a title that Pacquiao would probably love to take. The winner of Marquez/Pacquiao should face Guzman, who is respectably the number three guy at 130lbs right now. In all likelihood, Pacquiao will either face Marquez or move up to lightweight to face Juan Diaz in his next fight, or face Marquez and then face Juan Diaz. Those matches are where the money is at. Guzman, as good as he is, will probably have to play the waiting game - much like Winky Wright had to do for a number of years when he labored in obscurity.

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