“Get This Guy a Stool!” Guzman KO’s Pabon

By John G. Thompson: Ed “The Lion” Paredes (30-3-1, 20 KO’s) looked good against short-notice opponent Manuel “Pirry” Leyva (21-5, 12 KO’s), however, Joan “Little Tyson” Guzman’s (32-0-1, 19 KO’s) knockout of Jesus Pabon (17-3, 11 KO’s) stole the show at the Westin Diplomat Resort in Hollywood, Florida on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights.

Paredes, a Hollywood, Florida resident, has now won eight straight (seven by stoppage) since fighting to a draw with then undefeated Joey Hernandez in 2009. In the rematch, Paredes stopped Hernandez in just two rounds. Paredes also dropped a decision in 2009 to the skilled Carlos Molina and Paredes has been stopped once in his career, back in 2007.

His opponent Leyva is originally from Ensenada in Baja California, Mexico but now resides in Downey, California. He won his last fight which took place on February 17th, but lost his previous three matches, one via first round knockout (the only KO loss in his career). It should be noted that those three losses came against respectable opposition in Carlos Molina, Dannie Williams (the KO), and former champion Joel Casamayor. Also worth noting, those three losses represent Leyva’s only three professional fights outside Baja.

Paredes maintained control throughout the fight. The only criticism one might mention is that he did not use the jab. He simply came forward looking for the big shot or occasional two punch combination. Nevertheless, this strategy worked well for him as he found a home for the straight right time after time. Leyva attempted to use his legs to get out of harm’s way, working behind a jab, the southpaw occasionally throwing the straight left.

Paredes staggered Leyva with a right to start the third and again with a left hook later in the round. Paredes did some damage with the right in the fourth and then with one minute left in the fifth Paredes threw a left hook which just missed the body, but followed up with a short-range right uppercut to the face. Leyva went down to a knee, getting up at the count of seven. Paredes nailed him with right after right to the head as the action continued. Paredes then landed the left hook to the body which he missed earlier and again followed it up with a right uppercut and Leyva went down on his ass. Leyva sat for a moment with his back against the ropes, and it looked like he was having a “No mas” moment. He got up at the count of eight, blood pouring from his left eye. With twenty seconds left in the round Paredes came in with haymakers, but Leyva bobbed and weaved his way to the bell.

The ringside doctor took a look at the cut between rounds and the two fighters touched gloves to start the sixth. Again Paredes worked the straight right. In the start of the seventh Paredes landed what looked like an unintentional low blow. Later, with 1:40 left in the round, after a series of punches cumulating in a left hook to the body and yet another right uppercut to the head, Leyva went down for a third time. He got up at the count of seven, but Referee Sam Burgos waved off the fight. Leyva complained about the stoppage, but I have no issues with it given the punishment Leyva absorbed in the last few rounds.

Thirty-five year old Guzman earned his moniker “Little Tyson” after knocking out seventeen of his first twenty-one opponents (including an eleven fight knockout streak with six first round KO’s). Guzman, the former WBO super bantamweight and WBO super featherweight champion (he vacated both belts), fought to a draw with Ali Funeka in 2009 with the vacant IBF lightweight title on the line and then defeated Funeka in a rematch, however, Guzman failed to make weight so he was not awarded the title. Guzman won his last bout in November via first round knockout. Originally from the Dominican Republic and now residing in Brooklyn, New York, Guzman was also an experienced amateur with over three hundred bouts and he was an Olympic boxer at the 1996 games.

Guzman’s less well known opponent Pabon is a southpaw from Puerto Rico and has fought most of his bouts in Florida. Both of Pabon’s two losses were second round knockouts, the first occurring in 2007 and the other in his last fight in June. Pabon, no slouch in the power department, has five first-round knockouts.

Sure enough, the first knockdown occurred less than thirty seconds into the match with Guzman catching his opponent with a left hook as Pabon attempted to throw his left. Pabon went down to a knee and got up quickly. Guzman controlled the second round and ESPN commentator Teddy Atlas said in the third, “Pabon [is] not trying to win, just trying to last – to survive.”

Guzman scored knockdowns in both the third and fourth rounds, though the one in the third may have been due to a low blow. The punch was very fast and it was hard to tell in the replay. The knockdown in the fourth also appeared suspect as Guzman pushed Pabon down after catching him with a fierce body shot.

Pabon attempted to pick up the pace in the fifth, letting his hands go. Guzman looked like he was taking the round off, hardly throwing back until the final seconds of the round. Guzman showboated in the sixth and Pabon attempted to hold as much as possible. With five seconds left in the round Referee Frank Gentile deducted a point from Pabon for holding. Guzman danced around in the seventh, bouncing on his feet and picking Pabon apart with his jab.

Pabon finally managed to get Guzman on the ropes in the eighth and actually landed a few shots. Moving off the ropes Guzman countered Pabon with a hard left hook to the jaw. Pabon waved Guzman on with his gloves and then tried to throw a right-left combination, but Guzman countered him again with the left hook, and this one was a monster. Pabon went down hard and could not beat the count by Referee Gentile. After waving off the fight Gentile actually tried to keep Pabon from getting up and as Pabon walked to his corner Gentile shouted, “Get this guy a stool!”

Article posted on 03.03.2012

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