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Humberto Soto vs. David Diaz Fight Preview and Prediction

Humberto Soto vs. David Diaz Fight Preview and Prediction
Date: Saturday, March 13th, 2010
Location: Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas
TV: HBO at 9:00 EST

Weight Class: Vacant WBC Lightweight Championship-12 Rounds

By Scotty L of Predictem.com

Humberto Soto, 50-7-2 (32 KOís), Tijuana, Mexico vs. David Diaz, 35-2-1 (17 KOs), Chicago, Ill.

Betting Odds: Humberto Soto -625 David Diaz +425
Over/Under: Over 8.5 (-130) Under 8.5 (+100)

Analysis:† A nice undercard fight takes place on the night of Pacquiao-Clottey as veterans Humberto Soto and David Diaz will battle for the vacant WBC Lightweight Championship. Itís a crowd-pleasing type of fight between two honest and capable fighters.

The odds will be squarely in favor of Soto, 29, who has been considered a top fighter for several years, just one who hasnít gotten the breaks. He started his career way back in 1997 and his ascent to the top has been atypical. He was really a journeyman for a long time and seemed an unlikely candidate for a future world champion, especially after losing to the ancient Kevin Kelley in 2002.

Since that defeat, Soto has been a winning fighter, losing only twice in his last 30 fights. One was a decision loss to the peaking boxer-extraordinaire Joan Guzman, the other a scandalous disqualification loss to Francisco Lorenzoóone of the worst referee decisions of all time. This is his second fight at the lightweight limit, having beaten former champion Jesus Chavez in his last fight.

Ironically, Jesus Chavez was also David Diazí last opponent. That was his first fight in 15 months, but after being gutted and filleted by Manny Pacquiao, he deserved a layoff. Diaz is 33 and this is probably his last chance to be a world champion and make some more money before he calls it quits. He has lost only twice in a 14-year career, so he is a winning fighter. Heís aggressive, always gives his all, and fights with tremendous pride. He is a proís pro.

While his win over Chavez might look good on paper, the truth is that Chavez was well past his peak. The win shows he has something left, but one must also wonder out loud if the Pacquiao beating depleted him of some of his effectiveness. There are not a lot of fighters in their thirties who bounce back from those kind of beatings. I think itís safe to say Soto is the fresher fighter with more lying ahead in his future.

Joan Guzman showed that Soto is far from unbeatable, but Diaz bears no stylistic resemblance to Guzman. He is there to be hit. Soto will not have to try too hard to find him. Soto does very well against this type of style, as his best wins are against straight-ahead fighters.

Diaz has a lot of strength, but that hasnít seemed to make him a big puncher. He is more of a mauleróa fighter who relies on his aggressiveness, toughness, and hustle. Soto appears to be the sharper puncher, slightly cleverer with his feet, and just generally more dangerous at this point.

Fighting in front of a big PPV audience at Cowboys Stadium should give way to an action fight featuring a lot of heart on the part of both men. I just sense that Soto feels this is his time. After several years of being a diamond in the rough, he should be bursting at the seams with eagerness to crack into the top tier of boxing champions. A win here would go a long way toward putting him on that track.

Prediction:†Iím not counting out Diaz. I just think he has begun the irreversible slide down the mountain. He has already peaked and registered his best performances. I donít think heís washed up, but heís hardly as fresh as a daisy. I think he will attack Soto, but in doing so, will be caught by hurtful shots that will slowly eat away at his zest for battle. His best chance is to open strongly and batter Sotoís body, hoping for a late fade by Soto.

I donít see it happening. I think Soto will keep his poise in the face of the heat Diaz is able to bring at this stage in his career. As the fight wears on to the middle rounds, Soto will begin to nose ahead with his cleaner punches. I see Diaz slowing down over the second half of the fight. This will allow Soto to operate more comfortably in his style as the fear of reprisal decreases. Diaz is still gritty and durable, so maybe he can last the distance. I see Soto winning a clear decision, though a late stoppage would not surprise me.

Scotty's Pick: Take Humberto Soto to win.

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