Junior lightweight titlist Humberto Soto has been rumored recently to be facing lightweight titleholder Edwin Valero in what would be a dynamite fight on the Cotto-Pacquiao undercard in November, but his team is keeping it close to the vest, saying only that they are in negotiations but are planning a September return to the ring unless the deal can be made.
A September fight would be against a lesser opponent like Aristedes Perez (15-0-1, 8 KO), so clearly the hope is that they can get the Valero fight on the November 14 card. It'd be way bigger money and way more eyes seeing the fight.
He also reiterates his desire to fight Jorge Linares, and mentions Juan Manuel Marquez as another fighter he'd like to face. He says that now that Manny Pacquiao has moved so far up in weight, that would be difficult for him. I remember back in 2007 one of my most desired fights was Pacquiao-Soto at 130 pounds, and we almost got that one before Pacquiao-Barrera II was signed instead.
Soto (48-7-2, 31 KO) signed off on a fight with Joan Guzman after the Pacquiao deal fell through, and lost a wide decision to the crafty Dominican. Since then he's gone 5-1, with the lone loss a highly-debated DQ against Francisco Lorenzo which Soto avenged in December 2008. He was last seen on the Hatton-Pacquiao undercard, stopping Benoit Gaudet in the ninth round of a stop-and-go sort of fight.
As for the potential opponents, which are all just hypothetical (especially Marquez):
- Soto v. Edwin Valero: I actually quite like Soto's chances in this fight, but Valero's a nasty puncher and Soto would be moving up in weight to take on a stronger guy. I'd pick Valero, but it would be sensational while it lasted.
- Soto v. Jorge Linares: If Linares is healthy and fit, he's too good for Soto.
- Soto v. Juan Manuel Marquez: JMM is too good for Soto.
This might seem like I'm dumping on Humberto, but I think all three of those are good fights, really good fights, even. I just don't think he's got quite the talent level to beat any of them. He's a gritty, rugged, strong-willed fighter. He's a damn good fighter. But we're talking about arguably the best puncher in the sport (Valero), a P4P contender and future HoFer (Marquez), and a phenom of sorts (Linares).