What Lack Of Competition?: Promoters Of The Boxing World, Take Your 'Trophies' Off The Shelf!

ricky hatton21.06.07 - By Vivek Wallace: A few days ago I launched a piece which spoke of the blazin' competition in boxing's welterweight division. Personally, I like to keep my 'earz to the streetz' and live by what I call the G.E.W.T.W. creed, (Pronounced JUDO - which means GIVE 'EM WHAT THEY WANT).

So after taking a few days to gather some thoughts and soak up the great comments and feedback rendered, I felt compelled to do a spin-off to that article by taking a closer look at all the other weight classes in boxing. As I skimmed through my latest edition of THE RING MAGAZINE to view the other divisions and see how they'd compare, I was actually amazed.

The welterweight division is by far the deepest, but there's actually a load of talent throughout the sport of boxing in general. Seeing this helped me solidify the point that many have stated all along. That point being that the only thing preventing us from seeing regular epic battles is either the fight promoters, the fighter's themselves, or the networks who broadcast.

I won't attempt to engage in the politics, but what I will do is briefly play promoter to show how easy it could be to not only please the average fight aficionado, but more importantly, increase enough interest to make the non-fight aficionado's actually wanna pay to see a few more fights. With all the talent today in the sport of boxing, why we can't get these kind of matches regularly is beyond me, but to help jump-start the 'boogie', I laid out 8 fights, (ranging between Jr. Lightweight and Light Heavyweight) that would put the sport of boxing right back where it belongs...In the thick of things among other sports.

1. Miguel Cotto (29-0, 24KO's) vs Oscar Dela Hoya (38-5, 30KO's)

Jr. Middleweight: Some might argue that this is a matchup that favors the younger fighter based on their last fights, but I think you guys forgot to read that memo..."SORRY, COTTO IS NO FLOYD, AND OSCAR IS NO JUDAH"!!! As great as he is, Cotto doesn't have Floyd's speed and if you know like I know, Oscar is much more competitive when he can actually hit his target. Cotto on the other hand is far from a pushover and will give the 'Goldenboy' a run for his money every step of the way. I think both men would have their moments in this fight and it's a tough one to call. Grab a quarter right quick...This one is definitely a coin toss. It'll be Oscar's tested heart and power against Cotto's power and not yet completely tested heart.

2. Jose Luis Castillo (55-7-1, 47KO's) vs Antonio Margarito (34-4, 24KO's)

Welterweight: Talk about a 'head-banger's brawl'...This would be a helluva matchup. Granted, Castillo fights lighter but he can easily do this fight at 147lbs and hold that weight like a suitcase. Here you'd have two guys that take pride in constant action with the kinda power that typically sends the opposition to the showers early. Easily a fight of the decade candidate. Castillo is about to take on a little brawler, (Hatton), but I'd love to see him in there against a guy who fights the same style, but one who requires HIM to look up a bit. (JLC is 5'8" - AM is 5'11").

3. Ricky Hatton (42-0, 30KO's) vs Manny Pacquiao (44-3-2, 35KO's)

Catch weight between 130lbs and 140lbs: Is there really anything left to say after mentioning these two guys in the same breath? With two guys who have their whole countries riding on their backs, you wouldn't need to do a 24/7 styled documentary to promote this one. If the 'power's that be' could set a catch weight and let these two guys do their 'thing', this fight would easily set the sport ablaze. These are two little men who know how to do it big!!!

4. Kelly Pavlik (30-0, 27KO's) vs Joe Calzaghe (43-0, 32KO's)

Catch weight between 160lbs and 168lbs: Here you have a young man (Calzaghe) who could end his career as one of boxing's best stories against a man who was recently revealed as one of boxing's best kept secrets (Pavlik). Much like Victoria, Pavlik would no longer be a secret by the end of this night. I couldn't even fathom what the compubox punch stats would look like after this matchup. Both of these guys have power, stamina, heart, and a feverish passion that's un-contained when it comes to punch output. Kessler and Adamek would pose great challenges to Calzaghe as well, but Pavlik's style to me would make this a sizzla'.

5. Bernard Hopkins (47-4, 32KO's) vs Mikkel Kessler (39-0, 29KO's)

Catch weight between 168lbs and 175lbs: Some would rather see Calzaghe in this slot with B-Hop but Calzaghe's style is more solid in terms of overwhelming the opponent. I would like to see Hopkins in there with a man who has that 'every-punch' power to actually rock him, the stamina to keep that power for a full 12 rounds, as well as a chin to sustain great punishment over the longhaul. Not to say Calzaghe isn't capable, but I don't wanna see Hopkins overwhelmed, I want to see him taste his own medicine to see how he handles it. A slow, methodical grudge match - a helluva fight between the two in my book.

6. Travis Simms (25-0, 19KO's) vs Shane Mosley (44-4, 37KO's)

Jr. Middleweight: For some odd reason when it comes to the conversation of great skill you don't hear Travis Simms' name often but this guy is easily one of the most talented fighters in the game today. Speed, power, and skill all come at a high premium when this guy is on deck and of all the people Mosley has managed to beat, none are even halfway as talented as it appears this guy is from an overall basis. For Mosley it would be a young stallion who could match him in every category, and actually outdo him in the strength category. For Simms, it would be a guy who's quicker and has the chin to absorb punishment while dishing out his own. A sure classic.

7. Tomasz Adamek (31-1, 21KO's) vs Librado Andrade (24-1, 18KO's)

168lbs - 175lbs (Catch weight): Both of these guys fight every second of every round and don't slow up 'til the other man's down. This would be a helluva fight
between two guys that can bang with the best of them. Librado had his struggles against Kessler and although Adamek is naturally a few pounds heavier, that wouldn't mean much in the heat of the battle. Once again you would have a classic battle waiting to happen. This kind of competition is what a boxing fight should always be made of.

8. Joan Guzman (27-0, 17KO's) vs Manny Pacquiao (44-3-2, 35KO's)

Jr. Lightweight: Of all the listed fights, this is one that is probably closer to reality than any other and a helluva matchup it should be. For the longest, Floyd
Mayweather Sr. has stated that he and anyone he trains will expose Freddie Roach and anyone he trains and as it stands, he may be on the brink
of doing exactly that. This could be the fight where the veil of invincibility that covers Manny Pacquiao is finally lifted. I won't count on it, but I surely wouldn't bet against it.

This was only a few examples of some mega fights that could be made and there are tons of names we didn't even mention. So, the next time someone balks at the sport of boxing and states that the level of competition is boring, be sure to remind them: It's not the sport, it's the ones who promote it.


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Article posted on 21.06.2007

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