Boxing Fights to Look Forward to this year.
|Juan Manuel Marquez is lifted by his cornermen after KO’ing Manny Pacquiao Dec. 8.|
At the start of each year, sports writers and bloggers come up with lists of fights they wish would happen. More often than not, these fights don’t materialise because boxing, unlike most sports, does not have a set calendar.
Despite the many inaccuracies of these lists, they provide those remotely interested in boxing knowledge of which fighters they should watch and avid sports fans topics to debate.
Here is our “wish-list” of fights to look forward to this year:
Marquez – Pacquiao V:
Pacquiao and Marquez’s four fights have produced what is arguably the greatest boxing rivalry since the turn of the century. After each of their fights I thought their performances against each other couldn’t get any better, I was proven wrong each time. The two go at each other with one intention, to end the fight with a knockout and this desire to win has kept both fighters getting back on their feet when knocked down except on one occasion.
The first bout ended in a draw with Marquez, seemingly on the brink of defeat, recovering from three first round knockdowns to finish strongly. The second and third, which had some people thinking Marquez won or at the very least drew, were scored in favour of Pacquiao.
The fourth fight was meant to settle the inconclusiveness of the rivalry. Many expected Pacquiao to prove once and for all that he was the better of the two. Despite been knocked down once, going into the sixth round it appeared that Pacquiao was winning convincingly, outpunching Marquez and bloodying his face.
And then it happened. Marquez connected a thunderous right that left Pacquiao unconscious for over a minute. The punch so beautifully executed is possibly the reason the bout was voted fight of the year by Ring Magazine.
Both fighters have stated that they want a fifth fight in September and their promoters, considering public demand for a fifth fight, feel it makes economic sense to make Marquez Vs Pacquiao V happen.
Floyd Mayweather Vs Eddie Guerrero:
Last year Robert Guerrero (31-1-1, 18 KOs) joined the upper echelon of boxing when he defeated all his opponents in empathic fashion.
Now Guerrero is going to face his biggest challenge yet against Floyd Mayweather. The fight has been tentatively set to take place on the 4th of May.
Many pundits feel this will merely be a tune up bout for Mayweather, who intends to fight Saul “Canelo” Alvarez later on in the year. And that Mayweather will make mincemeat of Guerrero.
They have a point: Mayweather (43-0-0 26KOs) is undefeated, has unparalleled technical skills, is more experienced and has a history of adapting to styles of all the fighters he has faced. But I have a feeling Mayweather could suffer his first defeat.
Consider this: As Guerrero rose to the Welterweight division from Lightweight he showed that he was more than just a good technical fighter, he can a brawl and take punches. He showed this when he faced hard-hitting pugilists Kastidas and Andre Berto. Both fights were ferocious with Guerrero out-brawling his rivals to win by a unanimous decision.
For me what Guerrero brings is the belief he can defeat anybody and this self-confidence could propel him to victory come May 4th.
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez Vs Austin Trout:
At only 22, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’s record of 42 fights, 41 victories and one draw have made him a superstar in Mexico despite Canelo not having faced any proven opponents.
2013 is a year he has stated he intends to face world class fighters with Floyd Maywether top on his list.
Mayweather is most definitely fighting Guerrero on May 4th, so Canelo’s only credible opponent in the 154 (Jr. Middleweight) weight class is Austin Trout (26-0-0 14KOs).
Trout just came off a victory over highly rated Miguel Cotto. If the fight happens, it will not only act as a unifier of the WBA (regular) and WBC belts but act as an eliminator for a Maywether showdown in September.
With the kind of money and credibility that follows a Maywether fight, both fighters will try and win in style via a knockout or unanimous decision. This is a fight with high stakes and one not to miss.
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez Vs Floyd Mayweather:
If the two aren't upset in their first bouts of the year they will meet in September.
Since both fighters are represented by Golden Boy promotions the fight will be easy to arrange. And considering the fan base they both have, this could be one of, if not, the highest grossing bouts in history of the sport.
Mayweather will be out to maintain his unbeaten run while Canelo will know victory over Mayweather will make him the biggest boxer in the sport.
Tommy “Tommy Gun” Oosthuizen Vs Carl Froch:
Tommy Gun (22-0-1 13 Kos), South Africa’s undefeated IBO super Middleweight champion has always made it eminent he aims to win the more superior IBF title held by Carl Froch. However, when IBF provided the opportunity for Tommy to face Froch in November of last year Tommy turned it down to face “more suitable opponents” that would build his profile in the USA.
This decision seems to have back fired, Carl Froch appears to be uninterested in fighting Tommy and plans on facing Kessler in a WBO and IBF unification bout.
The winner of the fight will be expected to face IBF’s mandatory challenger, Adonis Stevenson. This reduces Tommy’s chances of winning a major title.
However, with Froch fighting Kessler Tommy may face Stevenson during the first quarter of the year increasing, a Tommy win will make him IBF’s mandatory challenger and set up a bout with either Kessler of Froch.
Donaire Vs Rigondeaux :
Nonito Donaire (32-1-0 20KOs) was the most talked about fighter of 2012 for two reasons:
Donaire, Ring Magazines’ fighter of the year, rose to fistic summits by convincingly winning all his four fights. His best performance was in his last fight when he knocked out veteran Jorge Arce while virtually fighting the whole fight with one hand after injuring his left arm.
Secondly, Donaire became the first and only professional boxer to agree to random blood and urine testing with Voluntary Anti-Doping Association. In a year filled with Performance Enhancing scandals, most notably the Lance Armstrong Saga, Doniare said he made the move to prove to his fans that his achievements are a result of skill and not chemical enhancement.
Who can beat this guy? Is the question bloggers and sports writers’ asked and the most common answer is no one. I disagree.
Enter Guillermo of Cuba. At first glance, Rigondeaux professional record looks unimpressive with only eleven fights to his name. Don’t be fooled. Rigondeaux is arguably the greatest amateur boxer; he is a double Olympic gold medallist and fought about 400 bouts losing only 12.
Having watched both fighters’ matches last year, I am sure Rigondeaux will emerge victorious when they meet.
I may be wrong as to who is the better fighter between the two but I am positive it will be a match not to miss.
Donaire Vs Abner Mares
If Donaire aims at dominating the Super Bantamweight division before moving up to featherweight he has to face WBC titlist, Abner Mares (25-0-1 13 KOs). This fight is unlikely as the promoters of the two, Golden Boy and Top Rank, have contracts with HBO and Showtime respectively. We can only wish their promoters reach a consensus and give the fans what they want.
Kell Brook Vs Devon Alexander
British boxing seems to be producing the most promising fighters in the world at the moment; the British Amateur Boxing Association (BABA) finished top of the medals table at the 2012 Olympics. Amongst the BABA alumni is Kell Brook (29-0-0 19 KOs) who has represented England in 16 fights at amateur level.
It has being well documented that Kell Brook has wanted to win the IBF title for a while. This plan could come to fruition on the 23rd of February when he faces titlist, Devon Alexander (25-1-0 13KOs).
This will be Brook’s first top-class fight and winning will open the doors for fights against the likes of Paquiao, Mayweather, Guererro and possibly a British Mega fight against Amir Khan.