by James Slater - As fans may know, the excellent Humberto Soto will clash with the teak-tough David Diaz on the under-card of the upcoming March 13th Pacquiao-Clottey card, and the two will fight to decide the vacant WBC lightweight crown. On paper, a definite win for the far more polished Soto, the fight could well be lively and exciting for as long as it lasts.
Article posted on 24.02.2010
Former featherweight and super-featherweight titlist Soto, 50-7-1(32) and now aged 29, will be having his second fight up at lightweight, having won a commanding ten-round UD over Jesus Chavez last time out.. Having won his last six, since his unfair DQ loss to Francisco Lorenzo in June of 2008 (on the under-card of Pacquiao's crushing win over Diaz) - including a "revenge" win over Lorenzo - Soto is on a roll. Stopped just once in his long career - by Hector Javier Marquez, way back in 2000 (a retirement loss) - Soto has to be seen as a fighter with a great chance of keeping his unbeaten streak going against Chicago's Diaz.
Having fought just once since his brutal 9th -round KO loss to "Pac-Man," against common opponent Jesus Chavez (Diaz winning a majority verdict over Chavez, back in September of last year), it's tough to gauge how much the 33-year-old former WBC 135-pound champ has left. Diaz sure took quite a beating from Pacquiao, having a good long rest of well over a year after the fight that saw his record go to 34-2-1(17).
Diaz may be the more proven lightweight, having fought his entire career at either 135 or higher, whereas Soto has had just the one bout at the weight, but Diaz will be giving away height and reach, as well as age, against "La Zorrita." And Diaz' southpaw stance is unlikely to overly trouble Soto, as the Mexican has been in with left handers before and won.
Adding everything up, the March 13th fight looks like a very, very hard night's work for the older man. However, Diaz will almost certainly come in ready to fight and fight hard in giving it his best shot. And Diaz can bang, we must not forget that. Soto, while a good boxer, has also shown how he can be dragged into a real fight, where his chin is tested. Diaz' only hope, surely, is to make the fight a dogfight next month; but even if this is how the match turns out to be fought, Soto will still prevail in my opinion.
Though he has only been stopped once at lightweight (Diaz' other inside distance defeat coming up at 140, against Kendall Holt), the former champ looks headed for either a KO or a TKO against Soto. I go for the man from Tijuana to get the job done, in an exciting, if largely one-sided fight, in around eight or nine rounds. Diaz, who may well get busted up along the way, will go out on his shield though.