2011: What can we expect in boxing?

By David Avraam: With David Haye and Wladimir Klitschko rumoured to be close to signing; the Timothy Bradley and Devon Alexander winner likely to take on Amir Khan and the Super 6 tournament declaring a winner, 2011 has the potential to be one of the best years of boxing in recent times.

Ever since he unified the Cruiserweight titles, David Haye has promised to bring some excitement back to the Heavy weight division.. The past few years have seen the Heavyweight titles shared amongst big, tall, robotic fighters from the wrong side of the old 'Iron Curtain'. Boxing fans were bored of witnessing large men pawing away at each other waiting to land big right hands. They were in need of 'A Great Black Hope'. With his power, speed and charisma, 'The Hayemaker' has the potential to reignite the spark that left the division when Tyson and Lewis hung up their gloves. He already has a credible victory over Nikolai Valuev and with that win he captured the WBA strap, but a bout against Wladimir Klitschko and then Vitali would be huge and would generate discussion and anticipation that wrestling fans had prior the Hulk Hogan vs Ultimate Warrior bout of Wrestmania VI. I for one am hoping (along with every fan across the world) that financial differences could be resolved so 2011 will produce fights we all want to see and one recognised Heavyweight champion of the World.

Soon after his gutsy win against hard hitting Marcos Maidana; Amir Khan was looking to jump up to Welterweight. Before he gets his chance to test himself against the 147lb fighters, he will have to get it on against the winner of the Timothy Bradley, Devon Alexander bout, only after victory can he then look to make the jump. This is no mean feat, both are undefeated and have good KO records. Amir did show us that his chin has improved since he jumped up from Lightweight, but he will once again be put to the test should he take on either man. Having unified the Light Welterweight division Amir would then be able to step up a division and take on the best fighters and maybe even a bout against the man at the top; Floyd Mayweather.

Only three originals are remaining from the first fights of the Super 6. Jermain Taylor punched in to retirement by Arthur Abraham, Mikkel Kessler forced to withdraw due to an eye injury and Andre Direll suffering from Neurological problems after his disqualification win over Abraham. Carl Froch and Andre Ward hold the WBC and WBA belts respectively, providing they overcome Glen Johnson and Arthur Abraham, we should see both men square off against each other towards the end of 2011. The winner would then have the right to call themselves the best in the division and the right to wear the Ring Magazine belt, this would lead on to a future fight against reigning IBF holder Lucian Bute or maybe even leverage to temp Joe Calzaghe out of retirement.

On the British scene, fight fans are eager to see how James Degale progresses after his sharp, slick win over Paul Smith, possibly a domestic unification against old amatuer foe and reigining Commonwealth Champion George Groves. Kell Brook and Nathan Cleverly are sure to be given their shot at world titles, both have impressed over the past year and should be given the opportunity. Could Cleverly be taking on the winner of the Pascal - Hopkins fight or could he possibly fight for two titles when Shumenov and Braehmer get it on in January and put their WBA and WBO titles on the line. Kell Brook would be reluctant fight Manny Pacquiao, he is likely to take on Shane Mosley when a match against the young undefeated Andre Berto would be more appropriate. Kell Brook could see him self fighting for the vacant WBO title against Mike Jones of the United States.

All in all 2011 has the potential to produce some exciting match ups and one recognized champion in at least three divisions, let us all hope that the year does live up to expectation.

Article posted on 17.12.2010

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