A Preview for the Remaining Fights of 2007

kelly pavlikBy Anthony Coleman: The first half of 2007 is already in the books and to be honest so far it has been a typical year in boxing. There have been a few great fights, a few surprises, too many bad fights and a whole lot of rightful complaining about the current state of the sport we love. Yet there are still months of boxing to go before the year is over and it will produce some fights, which on paper, looks great. However, there are some fights that seemingly have no other options but to suck. So with out further ado here are my choices for the fights I’m looking forward to seeing, and the fights that I will avoid like the plague.

Fights I would pay to see:)

Joe Calzaghe vs. Mikkel Kessler: I honestly thought that this fight wouldn’t be made but I’m obviously surprised it did. I’m a fan of both fighters and this is a pick’em fight if there ever is one. Both men are among the truly elite fighters in the game today, and this fight could possibly determine their legacy. If Calzaghe wins then he’ll have a huge case to being considered the greatest super middleweight in the history of the division (which really isn’t saying all that much because the division is only 23 years old. If Kessler wins, he is top five pound for pound. Either way the winner of this fight will set themselves up for a mega-fight with the winner of this bout…

Jermain Taylor vs. Kelly Pavlik: Personally out of all these fights I think this is the easiest for me to pick a winner. The other fights on this list are pick’em fights. However, when Pavlik and Taylor meet in September, I think that Pavlik will win this fight. He holds the clear advantages in power, boxing skills, and ring intelligence (he is also just as strong as Taylor). However, because of Taylor’s heart and athletic ability he will make this fight interesting until it ends, and that is why I think this fight will be among 2007’s highlights. Yet is still doesn’t change my early predicition for this fight: Pavlik TKO10.

Rafael Marquez vs. Israel Vazquez II: Last March, these two men put on a great fight for seven rounds that looked like was shaping up to be an all-time classic. That was until Vazquez suddenly had to quit in his corner because of a badly broken nose. However, in approximately three weeks we’ll see the rematch between these two warriors and I still can’t wait. The only question I have is whether Vazquez’s nose is in good condition. Vazquez’s nose was absolutely mangled by Marquez’s punches and in four months he’s still will have the same amazing punching power that he has always shown. It’s a big question if Vazquez’s repaired nose can withstand that kind of pounding. Yet if Vazquez’s nose can hold up, then I think the rematch will probably be the fight of the year. Vazquez still brings power and technique and Rafael Marquez is still the gold standard among today’s offensive fighters are measured by. It is going to be one hell of a fight as long as it lasts.

Antonio Margarito vs. Paul Williams: Both men are strong power-punching, volume punching boxers and I think this fight will be explosive from the opening bell to the ending bell. The winner of this fight will probably meet Miguel Cotto later this year, and that itself will also be a fight of the year candidate. The only remaining question I have is this: will you Margarito haters give him the credit he deserves if he defeats Williams?

Fights I don’t want to see:

-Kermit Cintron vs. Walter Matthysse: I have no doubt whatsoever that Cintron is going to win this fight. Not because Cintron is the second coming of Ray Robinson (though he is a good boxer), but because Walter Matthysse absolutely, positively sucks. Did you see his fight last year with Paul Williams? He showed absolutely no talent last year when he got bludgeoned from pillar to post by the power-punching Williams. His record is a product of fighting against lesser talents in his native Argentina. I like Cintron by KO in this fight and I’m willing to place cash on it.

-Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Jorge Barrios: First off let me sit here and say that I like Jorge Barrios. He is a tough rugged guy who comes to win every time he steps into the ring. With that being said, there is one way I see him winning this fight: landing a perfect left hook to the body just like he did against Janos Nagy. Yet with a guy like Marquez that is the equivalent of getting lucky. Barrios is a good boxer, but Marquez is an amazing boxer. Not only that, but Barrios is built to order for Marquez because he throws wide loping shots. He’ll be wide open to counterpunches and even though he is not in his physical prime, Marquez is still the best counter-puncher in the sport today. Marquez is going to score all night long with his punches and it is going to be a one-sided blood letting. It is also shameful that this fight is going to be broadcast on pay-per-view. I wouldn’t pay one dollar to see this match-up so to swindle the boxing audience by forcing them to pay 35 dollars is outright criminal. For shame Golden Boy Productions.

-Wladimir Klitschko vs. Hasim Rahman: This fight has only been proposed, but still I have a feeling that it is going to take place and if it does it will be a further indictment on HBO’s lackluster matchmaking abilities. This has blowout written all over it. The only people who will enjoy this fight are diehard Klitschko fans, Rahman haters, sadists, and white supremacists. On second thought if you think about it, with that kind of demographic HBO may snag a halfway decent rating, so maybe they know something that I don’t know. Yet still, count me as part of the crew who wants no part of this massacre. Oh yeah; my early prediction is Klitschko by KO by the way.

-Winky Wright vs. Bernard Hopkins: Perfect example in how two great fighters who styles will probably not create a great fight. I think both fighters are top five pound-for-pound in my book and the winner in my book is the pound-for-pound number one (or at least tied with Pac-Man). However, their styles aren’t conducive to all out wars. They are both cautious ring generals and don’t be surprised if there is a lot of booing going on during the bout. Also, HBO once again miscalculated by putting this fight on PPV. I’d watch it if it was on free HBO, but putting this thing on PPV is too much. I’d be shocked if this fight topped over 350,000 buys.

So there you have it, the fights that I’m desperately looking forward to watching and the bouts that I think have a high probability of being clunkers. Personally, I’m hoping that all of these fights will be successes because the sport needs to pump out great fights on a continual rotation in order to keep and develop new fans. Yet, as of right now, I’m fairly confident that the fights that I think will be exciting will be great, and the fights that look bad on paper will suck. We’ll find out by the end of the year.

Article posted on 12.07.2007

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