ESPN Friday Night Fights is back again this week with a double-header from Hollywood, Fla., featuring former top super bantamweight and super featherweight Joan Guzman in a junior welterweight main event. The show starts at 9 p.m. EST on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com.
Guzman (31-0-1, 18 KO) has largely dropped off the map since coming in a ridiculous nine pounds overweight before a sham win over Ali Funeka in their March 2010 rematch, and at age 35, his future is very limited. Fighting as a junior welterweight now, he's well out of his most effective weight classes (and he struggled to make weight again), and time combined with a lack of discipline has taken its toll on him as a fighter. No longer is he one of the most truly skilled fighters out there. There are some parallels, I would say, between Guzman and James Toney, two great talents who did achieve some special things and were legit top fighters, but will probably be most remembered for wasting it all.
Guzman faces Jesus Pabon (17-2, 11 KO), whose record isn't as good as it looks. The Puerto Rican southpaw, 31 years old, has been knocked out twice, including in his last fight in June 2011, a TKO-2 loss to Javier Castro. His best wins are mediocre.
(Photo via Friday Night Fights on Facebook)
The co-feature will see welterweight fringe contender Ed Paredes (29-3-1, 19 KO) sticking at his familiar level of competition, facing Manuel Leyva (21-4, 12 KO). Paredes is a huge favorite here on the books, about 50-to-1 (same as Klitschko vs Mormeck, hilariously), and while he should by all rights get a win, if I were a betting man I might lay down some light coin on him. Paredes, 26, is nothing special, either.
Leyva has lost three of four, to shot Joel Casamayor (but Leyva had an argument there), lightweight prospect Dannie Williams (KO-1, but Williams can thump), and junior welterweight prospect Carlos Molina (not the "famous" guy at 154).
We'll be here with live results and round-by-round coverage of both fights. Friday Night Fights is off on March 9, so get your fix in this week, boxing junkies.