Originally written on The Queensbury Rules  |  Last updated 8/27/14

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 6: Joan Guzman, L, lands a left to the face of Joe Morales in a featherweight bout at the Glendale Arena on November 6, 2004 in Glendale, Arizona. Guzman defeated Morales in a unanimous decision. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

In the wake of Adrian Broner's blistering stoppage of Eloy Perez last week on HBO, plenty of speculation has been tossed about as to who will take over the role of boxing's next big star. Comparisons have been made, respected figures have offered their opinions, and round and round we go.

It seems a couple of times a year boxing fans get the "next best thing" hard sell by some network or promoter. We know the pitch: This guy has hand speed, punching power and skills, and his career is pointed in the right direction.

The reality is that, more often than not, these fighters simply cannot live up to the hype -- even if that's not necessarily a terrible thing.

At one point, Dominican on-again, off-again contender Joan Guzman was can't miss in terms of promotion and reputation.

"Little Tyson" Guzman, 31-0-1 (18 KO) and 1 no contest, is currently battling the clock in his latest bid to make a more significant dent in the space-time continuum of pugilism.

It's been almost 10 years since he snatched up the vacant WBO 122 lb. title with a 3rd round body shot stoppage of Fabio Oliva on the undercard of Joe Calzaghe vs. Miguel Jimenez in Wales, and one of his biggest issues is only having fought 15 times since.

Tonight on ESPN2's Friday Night Fights, the 35-year-old Guzman takes on Puerto Rican Jesus Pabon in the latest installment of what has amounted to a years-long comeback.

Between drawing comparisons to Mike Tyson in look and style and becoming a speedy stylist content with out-slicking opponents who don't present clear stoppage openings, Guzman has dipped his toe into just about every pool of boxing no-no short of quitting. From coming in 9 lbs. heavy in his rematch with Ali Funeka in 2010; to canceling his fight with Nate Campbell in 2008 at the 11th hour; to committing fairly blatant in-ring fouls regularly; and finally testing positive for a diuretic and being dropped by Golden Boy Promotions as a result a little over a year ago... Guzman seems to have created his own interesting times to live in.

A 2006 showdown with WBO featherweight beltholder Scott Harrison was called off close to fight time because of a dental issue on Harrison's part, so not every single layoff or lengthy wait between fights was his fault.

At the end of the day though, Guzman essentially rendered himself undependable to television networks with the generous helpings of drama. That Friday Night Fights even allowed him to headline one of their shows demonstrates borderline questionable logic on their part, and that idea seemed semi-confirmed when Joan took three tries to make the contracted weight of 140 lbs. yesterday.

Needless to say, tonight's show is the proverbial "do or die" for Guzman in terms of demonstrating he's worth a higher-paying TV spot. He's unlikely to win over any doubters (or which he has many) with a dull showing. And it's not to say that he needs to dispense with the defense and welcome oblivion or anything, but even at 35, Guzman's ability should be in a different dimension than Pabon's, and in order for him to prove relevant at 140-147 lbs, a statement is necessary.

The "opponent" Pabon, 17-2 (11 KO), while not a complete bum or anything, is coming off a 2nd round stoppage loss to the relatively plodding and unimpressive Javier Castro, who just overwhelmed the Puerto Rican southpaw with a steady barrage. Quite simply, Pabon isn't in the class of a fighter who was successful in over 300 reported amateur bouts, and that should be apparent in the ring tonight.

A win for Pabon would clearly be the biggest of his career, but he may need a Chuck Norris intervention to pull it off considering he didn't look to take a great shot against Castro. Even if Guzman's punching power hasn't carried up in weight with him as well as he'd have you believe, his hands will also be noticeably quicker than Pabon's.

For years it was as if Guzman's potential in the sport was just fuel that would inevitably ignite into something impressive, but momentum from big wins over Humberto Soto and Jorge Barrios was halted by inactivity and a more tedious style.

The clock ticks away slightly quicker for the little guys, it seems, with many lighter-weight fighters burning out by their mid-30s. Tonight, Guzman ultimately decides whether this is a legitimate surge, or just another comeback.

In the co-feature, Ed Paredes, 29-3-1 (19 KO), takes on late substitute Manuel Leyva, who sports a 21-4 (12 KO) record. Paredes will be attempting his seventh win in a row, while Leyva comes into the bout at 1-3 in his last four. One of Leyva's losses was a stoppage in less than a round to prospect Dannie Williams.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Lightning reach Stanley Cup Final with Game 7 win

Devon Still: Daughter has complications with transplant

Rivers denies report of problems with CP3 and Jordan

Orlando Magic hope Skiles can right sinking ship

Falcons waive Shembo over animal cruelty charges


Report: Tom Brady’s suspension appeal hearing set for June 23

Peterson is wrong (sorta): NFL players have great power

Scout: A-Rod 'looks like he doesn't give a (expletive)'

Belichick mum on Deflategate in first remarks since discipline

Dwight Howard suspended for first game of 2015-16 season

Bucs veterans missing Jameis while he's at rookie symposium

WATCH: Josh Hamilton hits first two homers of the season

Did Andrew Bogut take a shot at Mark Jackson?

$70 million Reebok deal is bad for UFC fighters

If the Warriors win the NBA title, the parade will be for Oakland

SEC no longer allows transfers with 'serious misconduct' issues

Klay Thompson officially diagnosed with concussion

Snoop Dogg hooks Texas A&M up with adidas cleats

WATCH: Stephen Curry rides a mini-horse

Metta World Peace gets ejected after five fouls in one minute

On satellite camps and the SEC crying over its self-protections

Four NFL quarterbacks set to take a step back in 2015

Spelling Bee co-champ wears LeBron jersey under shirt

Boxing News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Lightning reach Stanley Cup Final with Game 7 win

Devon Still's daughter has complications with transplant

$70M Reebok deal is bad for UFC fighters

If the Warriors win the title, the parade will be for Oakland

Peterson is wrong (sorta): NFL players have great power

Dwight Howard suspended for first game of 2015-16 season

Four QBs set to take step back in 2015

Spelling Bee co-champ wears LeBron jersey under shirt

Top 10 stories from 2015 NBA Playoffs

Rangers-Lightning Game 7 preview

The can't-miss Prince Fielder

Chip Kelly: Tebow is a quarterback

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.