Boxing Forecast for 2011

By Joseph Herron: With the fallout of Haye/Klitscho negotiations fresh in our minds, it would be very easy to get discouraged about 2011 becoming a breakthrough year for boxing. From one die-hard to another: Don’t let the latest disappointment get you down. There is a lot to look forward to within the next several months.

The networks are starting to understand that big match-ups and tournament style boxing matches can be made. As long as the fighters and promoters are willing, the fans are definitely clamoring for it. With Showtime’s “Super Six” and Bantamweight Division tournaments, along with HBO’s loosely formatted Jr. Welterweight tournament, boxing has finally turned the corner regarding a format to generate casual viewer interest.

On January 22nd, 48 year old Evander Holyfield is in action against journeyman Sherman Williams on a lightly stacked PPV card. The “Real Deal” is currently searching for his record 4th Heavyweight Championship and is coming off of an 8th round TKO of Frans Botha. Holyfield is one of many heavyweight fighters currently hoping to entice WBA titlist David Haye into a Championship bout. I wonder why he’s not going after the Klitschko brothers’ titles?

On January 28th, Cristobal Arreola stays busy by taking on 47th ranked heavyweight fighter, Joey Abell on Friday Night Fights in Temecula, California at the Pechanga Resort and Casino…wouldn’t it be something if “Minnesota Ice” starches the pudgy Hispanic fighter? Honestly, I think it would be catastrophic for the heavyweight division. In my opinion, Arreola is a very likable guy and is ultimately good for the sport. Abell has never fought anyone at this level, but out of 27 wins the Minnesota native has 26 knockouts. Hmmm…I guess we’ll have to tune in.

On January 29th, Timothy Bradley unifies the Jr. Welterweight division by defending his WBO title against 23 year old WBC Champion Devon Alexander on HBO. This battle of the undefeated has “fight of the year” candidate written all over it. Both fighters have had impressive wins over Junior Witter to claim their titles and have had impressive knockout title defenses. Both men have above average hand speed and a variety of punches in their arsenal. More than likely, the winner of this fight will be considered the Ring Magazine Jr Welterweight Champion. I know, I know…what about Amir Khan? Hopefully he’ll get a shot at the winner later this year. Right now this fight is a toss-up in my mind, but rest assured I will select a favorite before the 29th arrives.

On February 19th, Showtime strikes again with a “superbout”. P4P fighter, Nonito Donaire, tangles with Fernando Montiel for the WBC and WBO Bantamweight titles at the Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. This should be considered the toughest fight for both men to date, and wouldn’t be surprised if either fighter gets knocked out in this one. The winner of this fight will more than likely be scheduled to fight either Abner Mares of “King Kong” Agbeko later this year. If I had to select a winner in this fight, I would have to go with the Filipino Flash…the dude is just that good.

On the undercard, a rematch between undefeated, but questionable prospect, Mike Jones takes on Jesus Soto-Karass as a result of the robbery which took place on the undercard of the Pacquiao/Margarito bout in Cowboy Stadium. Hopefully, Iron Mike Jones has learned that Jesus has one of the hardest heads in boxing. Pace yourself, Mr. Jones.

On March 12th, Sergio Martinez jumps back into the proverbial frying pan once again by defending his middleweight crown against the undefeated Ukrainian fighter, Sergiy Dzinziruk. The slick southpaw is making his middleweight debut against “Maravilla”, but has been the WBO Jr. Middleweight titleholder since 2005. Dzinziruk has an impressive record of 37-0 with 23 knockouts and is a very skilled fighter. Both men deserve the world’s respect and recognition for simply making this fight happen, win or lose. If you’re a fan of the “sweet science”, you will absolutely love this fight.

**Sleeper fight notice** On February 26th, Lightweight contender Brandon Rios will be featured on Showtime facing dangerous Miguel Acosta for the WBA lightweight title. This fight is a “can’t miss” bout and will prove to be a candidate for fight of the year. Both guys can crack and have a fan pleasing fight style. Don’t miss this one!!

Buckle up, fight-fans!! 2011 has the potential to be a “breakout” year for boxing. So don’t dwell on the fights that weren’t made. Simply sit back and enjoy what the sweet science has to offer!!

The MJ Curse: Is it Real?

Has anyone else noticed the “Michael Jackson” curse? It just so happens that any fighter who enters the ring to any song performed by the late Michael Jackson, not only loses, but gets stopped and suffers a brutal bludgeoning?

Before you jump to conclusions and dismiss this as just a coincidence, lets take a visit back in time to December of 2003. Kirk Johnson fought Vitali Klitschko and made the fatal mistake of entering the ring to Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop till You Get Enough”. Poor Kirk got KTFO’d in just 2 rounds and never regained his contender status.
Now, let’s fast-forward to June of 2009. Victor Ortiz was being showcased by Golden Boy Promotions as the next great Jr. Welterweight and a potential crossover fighter. He was scheduled to face a relatively unknown fighter out of Argentina named Marcos Maidana. He made the sad mistake of entering the arena to a medley of Michael Jackson favorites. Unfortunately for Ortiz fans, the vicious one was viciously beat-up and ultimately stopped in the 6th round. He is still trying to mentally recover from that devastating loss.

Now let’s travel to Berlin, German y in October of 2009. This was the sight of the opening bout for the much anticipated Super Six Tournament. The first fight of the tournament paired Jermain Taylor opposite Arthur Abraham, two former Middleweight Champions. According to “Bad Intentions”, this fight was his last chance for fight glory. Unfortunately, Jermain make the sad mistake of entering the ring to “Bad” by Michael Jackson. It turned out to be a prophetic anthem as poor Jermain was knocked unconscious in the 12th and final round. He hasn’t returned to the ring since.

Coincidence? You be the judge. But, fighters beware…if you’re thinking of paying homage to the late Michael Jackson on fight night, you might want to think about the curse. Choose to enter the ring with something a little more intimidating…like, I don’t know…maybe Elvis Presley or something. Dude…how can a fighter prepare to tear his opponents head off with Billy Jean? C’mon now.

More Next Week…

Oh, by the way…if anyone would care to share their thoughts or would like to discuss their views, drop me a line at . I am always willing to talk boxing with the die-hards of the sweet science. Look forward to hearing from you!

Article posted on 21.01.2011

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