Fights that should happen in 2008

23.12.07 - By Cesar Pancorvo: 2007 was a great year for boxing. That phrase has been mentioned ad nauseam but it is the simple truth, because this was an excellent year and it created new fans for the sport, it put boxing back on the map, and we had many great fights between the best of the best –and also two of the biggest fights of all time, which were won by Floyd Mayweather-

Mayweather-Hatton, Mosley-Cotto, Judah-Cotto, Calzaghe-Kessler, Haye-Mormeck, Barrera-Pacquiao II, Taylor-Pavlik, Vasquez-Marquez, etc. But we can’t live in the past…the following years should be as exciting as this one was. As a start, let me mention four interesting fights that should happen in 2008 and everyone wants to see.

Floyd Mayweather versus Miguel Cotto: This is, nulli secundus, the fight that everyone that likes boxing wants to happen. The Welterweight Champion against the clear #1 contender. Two P4P fighters. I thought this was going to happen, a fight between the winners of Mayweather-Hatton and Mosley-Cotto was a natural, but other actors have entered the scene: Oscar de la Hoya and Antonio Margarito, who could end up fighting Cotto. Another factor: Mayweather said he is going to stay some time, 9 to 12 months, outside of the ring (although he said a similar thing after the De la Hoya fight and it wasn’t true). Considering all of the above, I think Mayweather is going to stay inactive for some months, maybe until late 2008 or early 2009, and Cotto is going to have one or two bouts to establish himself as a marketable superstar. Then, the fight will happen. There is too much pressure. Don’t worry, it will happen eventually. I think that, due to their styles, Mayweather would beat Cotto without problems after some initial close rounds, and maybe he would even knockout Cotto, a boxer that doesn’t have too much speed or defence, or a granite chin. It would be an easier fight than the one against Ricky Hatton.

Bernard Hopkins versus Joe Calzaghe: In theory, this is a duel between a legend and a fighter that could be a legend –because I think that Calzaghe, to become a legend, needs more important or notable names in his win resume– or this is a fight between two of the biggest stars that boxing has had in the last decade…between two men that, together, combined, have defended their belts more than 40 times; a really good showdown. I’m afraid that the actual fight would not be so interesting; it certainly would be a chess match. However, it must happen because of one fundamental reason: it would be the definition of the career for both men. Hopkins, at 42, is very inactive and not going to fight for much more time. Calzaghe, at 35, is not a young and hungry boxer anymore. Hopkins, in his last fight against Winky Wright, didn’t impress me like Calzaghe did against a very motivated and capable fighter like Kessler. Calzaghe UD12.

Manny Pacquiao versus Juan Diaz: His fight against Juan Manuel Marquez is official and if he wins, and crowns himself as the first Super Featherweight Champion since Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao should move up to the Lightweight division and challenge the best fighter there –although not the Champion–, Juan Diaz. I would prefer a fight against Diaz before a fight against Guzman. This would be a mega fight, a slugfest, and a war. Juan Diaz has a bright future in boxing, but will Manny Pacquiao truncate it? Meanwhile, while two of the best 130-135 pounds’ fighters face each other, Joel Casamayor, the Lightweight Champ, keeps disappointing.

Wladimir Klitschko versus Ruslan Chagaev: While Klitschko is clearly the best Heavyweight, there is no consensus on who is the #2 in that division. My answer would be Ruslan Chagaev, especially after his victories against Ruiz and Valuev. Skelton, his next opponent, is a Top20 fighter. Some would prefer to watch Klitschko against the winner of old & inactive Oleg Maskaev against Sam Peter, whose face has already been disfigured by Klitschko. I wouldn’t. I am unfortunate, because a Klitschko-Chagaev fight is highly unlikely next year. The Steel hammer has a very important fight against Sultan Ibragimov and then will have mandatories against Tony Thompson or Alexander Povetkin, while Chagaev will be told, by the WBA, to face the winner of Sergei Liakhovich against Nikolay Valuev. Maybe it will happen in 2009 if they keep winning, who knows.

Article posted on 24.12.2007

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