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Soto vs Lorenzo now a no-contest, Cotto vs Margarito, and September lightweight fights!

Yesterday, the WBC ruled that the 130lb elimination title bout between Humberto Soto and Francisco Lorenzo be ruled a no-contest. Originally, Lorenzo was declared a 4th round DQ winner by Joe Cortez in what was a highly controversial result. For the first three and a half rounds, Soto beat Lorenzo from pillar to post, dropped Lorenzo twice, and on the second knockdown, grazed the back of Lorenzo's head with one of his punches. The fact that the WBC decided to overrule the original decision is good news. It is nice to see that justice can be served in boxing as well as anywhere else. Cortez made a terrible call in that fight. There's a place for the likes of Francisco Lorenzo; it's called Hollywood. He did a great acting job and unfortunately Cortez was like a guest at the theater watching and justifying his performance.

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On Saturday July 26, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, undefeated WBA welterweight champion Miguel Cotto will defend his title against two time welterweight titlist Antonio Margarito. This is a match up that has fight of the year written all over it. I believe this fight will be very interesting and at times exciting. But when it comes down to who I believe is going to win this fight, I think Cotto has more tools, he's the better boxer, and he's fought the better level of opposition up to this point. Cotto has only fought at welterweight for a year and a half, and he's beaten Carlos Quintana, Zab Judah, and Shane Mosley in that time frame.

Margarito has been at welterweight forever, and he's only beaten the likes of Kermit Cintron and Joshua Clottey. Margarito did fight Paul Williams, just a year and a day ago, but got outhussled in that fight and ended up losing a unanimous decision, along with his WBO title belt, to Williams. Overall, the two levels of opposition just don't equate. Margarito knows one way. Come forward at a fast pace and throw a lot of punches. Cotto can box AND brawl. There will be moments when these guys are going to have to brawl toe to toe, but it's going to be Cotto's ability to box his way out of trouble that makes the difference in the fight.

Cotto was able to outbox Shane Mosley, a guy with fast hands who is rather elusive, in a lot of the rounds they fought. Margarito is not as fast as Mosley. Margarito is the strongest and possibly the hardest hitting welterweight Cotto has faced to date, but I'm not sure Margarito has faced anyone that hits as hard as Cotto either (and hits as hard with that hand speed). Good fight.

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In September, there are a set of significant lightweight fights happening on HBO and HBO PPV. On September 6 on HBO Boxing After Dark, Juan Diaz and Michael Katsidis are set to square off. Both fighters are coming off losses in world title bouts, with Diaz losing his titles to Nate Campbell via split decision this past March in Mexico and Katsidis losing in a bid for the linear championship to champion Joel Casamayor via 10th round KO. Both fighters, who happen to have come forward - seek and destroy styles, are looking to battle their ways back into another title shot. The road begins in the fight that they have against one another. This fight should be a crowd pleaser, and on paper, it resembles the type of match up that prompted the evolution and idea of Boxing After Dark.

One week later on September 13, Joel Casamayor and Juan Manuel Marquez will meet in a fight for the linear lightweight championship live on HBO PPV. Casamayor showed a lot of heart and grit in coming from behind to knock out Katisidis this past March. Marquez is coming off a split decision loss to Manny Pacquiao in a fight that was extremely close and hotly contested. Should a Casamayor vs Marquez fight be on PPV? No way. Neither Marquez or Casamayor are well known enough by the general public to face each other in a PPV headliner. They are the types of fighters who need a household name or a cash cow in the opposite corner to be able to headline a PPV card. Marquez has only headlined a PPV twice, against Barrera and Pacquiao.

Casamayor has never been in a PPV headliner. His biggest fights (Campbell, Freitas, Corrales I-III, Castillo, Katsidis, etc) were HBO World Championship Boxing undercards, main events on Showtime, or PPV undercards respectively. Outside of the Katsidis fight, his fights haven't exactly been crowd pleasers. Although the Campbell fight five years ago wasn't too shabby, but it wasn't the most exciting fight I have ever seen in my life. Nonetheless, it is a significant fight in the lightweight division and I want to see who wins it.

Even more to come tomorrow!

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