Joan Guzman looked disinterested for the majority of his bout against Jesus Pabon in the main event of this week’s ESPN Friday Night Fights offering.
It’s likely that the audience was just as disinterested until the emphatic ending.
The former three-division titleholder flattened Pabon with a hard left hook after toying with him for almost 24 minutes. The official time of the knockout was 1:23 of the eighth round.
Pablon (17-3, 11 knockouts), a 31-year-old southpaw, was hopelessly overmatched right from the opening bell. In fact, less than a minute into the fight, he had already touched the canvas after a glancing blow behind the ear. But despite the blatant skill and power discrepancy, Guzman danced, smirked, laughed and potshotted for the majority of the evening at the Westin Diplomat Resort in Hollywood, Fl.
Guzman scored another knockdown in the third round on a right hand to the body (which appeared to have been low on the television replay), and one in the fourth round as well.
Finally, in the eighth, he decided to close the show, dropping his hands looking for a home run counter left hook. He got the pitch he wanted, and Guzman knocked it out of the park.
In dominating a club-level fighter, Guzman (32-0-1, 19 KOs) hardly proved that he is back at world title level. The fact that he needed two attempts to make the contracted weight of 140 also didn’t make the ghosts of on-scale issues past disappear either.
It seems that he’ll have to battle weight, better competition, and harsher critics before he’s suitable for conversations pertaining to bigger fights and more profitable dates.
Ed Paredes promised a knockout in the broadcast’s opener too, suggesting he’d score one in the second or third round. He got the knockout, but had to wait just a little bit longer than he expected.
The 26-year old puncher dominated journeyman Manuel Leyva over seven rounds, before doubling him over with a left hook-right uppercut combination, resulting in referee Samuel Burgos stopping the fight.
Paredes, of Hollywood, Fl., saw his punches take their effect early on, buckling his opponent’s legs twice in the third round with a pair of straight right hands. Leyva, 29, tried to keep the fight on the move, but unfortunately appeared soft and out of shape at 147 pounds, and the mobile strategy quickly caught up to him, forcing him to fight on the inside.
Leyva (21-5, 12 KOs) moved to closer quarters, and promptly suffered two knockdowns in the fifth round, one courtesy of a hard left hook to the body, and the other by way of a short right uppercut.
With the victory, Paredes improves to 30-3-1, with 20 knockouts.
Corey Erdman is also the host of RingTV Radio. Follow him on Twitter @corey_erdman