BoxingScene.com has reported this morning that a fight between former lightweight champion Joel Casamayor and ex-122 and 130-pound titlist Joan Guzman will take place at 140 pounds (knock on wood) on the undercard of the July 31 PPV rematch between Juan Manuel Marquez and Juan Diaz.
I don't know how else to say this, so I'll just say it: I love this fight. It's like two movie or comic book villains fighting each other instead of fighting a hero or messing with the innocent. I'm a longtime fan of Casamayor, partially because I just find him amusing (and think he's one of the most overlooked of his era), and Guzman used to be someone whose skills I really admired.
It's Casamayor, who is one of the dirtiest players in the game and has been for years, against the loathsome Guzman, who sunk to a new low for fan respect when he weighed in a full nine pounds over the lightweight limit for his March rematch with Ali Funeka, which he won by split decision.
It's also a fight between two guys who I don't think are particularly good anymore, and a fight between two guys who really aren't junior welterweights.
Guzman (30-0-1, 17 KO) has wasted a lot of talent over his career, as this was a guy who really could have been a pound-for-pound contender. I remember when they were both at 130, and Manny Pacquiao was starting to really get his career on a major roll, and there were a lot of people in 2006-07 who thought the absolute worst fight in the world for Pacquiao was the slick, smart Guzman. I was one of them, too. But he's not that fighter anymore. He's slick enough for the overrated Funeka to have trouble against, but Guzman is slower and much easier to hit than he used to be. At 34, he hasn't really taken proper care of himself, and he doesn't seem like he trains all that hard. He had a window to really be one of the absolute best in the world, and he let it shut.
I don't know if anyone besides me saw Casamayor (37-4-1, 22 KO) in his last fight on that God awful Zab Judah PPV last November, but Joel's move to 140 was iffy to say the least. He looked terrible against Jason Davis, a pure club fighter who had way too many moments. I mean, I know Joel was rusty and working at a new weight, but he looked cooked in that fight. The 79-73 cards across the board were wide, in my opinion. I had Joel winning 77-75.
At 38, Casamayor really doesn't appear to have a lot left. After the semi-debacle against Davis, where the scorecards were filled out in advance and every judge threw the valiant bum a one-round bone ("Here ya go, Sparky, good try!"), his team said he could fight at 135 again, but that's apparently not in the cards. It has now been over two years since Casamayor scored a good win, when he knocked out Michael Katsidis in a barnburner back in March 2008. He fought well against Juan Manuel Marquez six months later, until he was stopped for the first time in his career by a better, hungrier fighter.
On paper, right now, I have to give the clear edge to Guzman. He's not who he used to be, but Casamayor really isn't who he used to be. But if ever I saw a fight that might get chippy, this is it. The combined faded skills could actually make for a hell of a good fight, and I think the main event all but guarantees another damn good fight.