Memories From The Park: When The Pacman Attacked Early And Often

In case you haven’t been paying attention, this weekend will mark the fifth-straight Saturday in which a highly-anticipated boxing match(es) will be contested. First came, Pavlik-Taylor II on 2/16, then Klitschko-Ibragimov on 2/23, followed by Marquez-Vazquez III on 3/1 and, finally, Haye-Maccarinelli/Maskaev-Peter on 3/8. We can also throw in Carlos Quintana’s shocking victory over Paul Williams on 2/9 which would then make this Saturday’s Manny Pacquaio vs. Juan Manuel Marquez fight the sixth entry in a most memorable 42 day span.

Nowadays, it isn’t common to see two fighters have a rematch several years after meeting for the first time but that will be the scenario when these two Super Featherweights clash four years after their infamous draw.

Today’s Memory takes us back to May 8, 2004 and, more specifically, the first round of Pacquaio-Marquez I. Watching this frenetic round, it’s a wonder how this even ended up a draw but you know how that goes.

Battle At The Borgata

The last time boxing fans saw WBO Junior Lightweight Champion Joan Guzman (27-0, 17 KO) he was winning a unanimous decision over Antonio Davis almost one full year ago. So, needless to say, the 31-year-old Dominican is counting down the days to his title defense against veteran Humberto Soto (43-5-2, 27 KO) in what can also be billed as “The Manny Pacquiao Invitational.”

You see, the winner of this probable slugfest (HBO Boxing After Dark, 9:45 ET/PT) will likely be in line to face the PacMan (45-3, 2 KO). And while the undefeated Guzman may be favored come Saturday night, Soto (aka “Little Tyson”) is one a five-year 20-fight winning streak and appears to have a little chip on his shoulder (not to mention incredible power – hence the nickname).

“This is my second opportunity against a undefeated fighter. A lot of people didn’t expect me to beat Rocky Juarez the first time. He had Olympic credentials and no one gave me a shot but I proved everyone wrong. Maybe Guzman is the favorite for this fight but that doesn’t mean much to me because I have been scratched off before and I’ve succeeded.”

Regardless of who wins both present an interesting storyline should they fight PacMan. Soto holds a victory of Manny’s brother, Bobby Pacquiao, and the retirements of fellow Mexican legends Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera following losses to Pacquiao will find him seeking to honor his homeland.

Meanwhile, Guzman is simply looking to finish the year as he did the last – undefeated:

“I know I am a dangerous fighter. No one wants to fight me either. I keep winning titles but nobody wanted to fight me at 126 (lbs) and now I move up in weight and won (the) title at 130 pounds. I won’t run away from anyone. I’ve said it time and time again that I will fight anyone, anywhere.”