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Who Will Stay And Who Will Go In 2012? Reigning World Champions And What The Future May Have In Store

Bernard HopkinsBy James Slater: In borrowing heavily from a regular Ring Magazine article that appears every year (okay, stealing the idea totally!) I list here my picks for who will stay and who will go in the coming 12 months: as in which reigning world champions will stay and which will go.

Pretending we are back in the glorious days when the glorious sport of boxing had just ONE world champion in each of its EIGHT weight divisions, I’m giving my predictions on what will happen to the current rulers at heavyweight, light-heavyweight, middleweight, welterweight, lightweight, featherweight, bantamweight and flyweight.

Here goes:

Heavyweight:
World Champ, Wladimir Klitschko, prediction: Stay.

With fights against Jean Marc Mormeck and then (likely) Tony Thompson set for 2012 (Thompson being a guy Wladimir has already KO’d), it would take a brave man to predict “Dr. Steel Hammer’s” demise.

Light-heavyweight:
World Champ, Bernard Hopkins, prediction: Go.

B-Hop held onto his crown with a No-Contest against Chad Dawson, yet before the infamous “flip” that left the 46-year-old with a damaged shoulder, there were suggestions the old master was beginning to show his age (yes I know less than 2-rounds completed makes it hard to rate either guy’s performance). I think 2012 will be the year in which “The Executioner” finally begins to fade. I’d pick Dawson to beat ’Nard in a return.

Middleweight:
World Champ, Sergio Gabriel Martinez, prediction: Stay.

“Maravilla” may be well into his mid-thirties, but he is so full of hunger and so strong and fresh, that his chances of losing his claim as the Real middleweight king look slim. Tough, gutsy Matthew Macklin looks set for March, while Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. figures to come after that. Neither guy beats the magnificent Argentine.

Welterweight:
World Champ, VACANT.

The two top men at 147 are Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, and until they meet we can not say for certain who the very best, the man worthy of true world champion status, is at welterweight. In terms of a prediction, however, I say neither Pac-Man nor “Money” loses to any-one else in the meantime.

Lightweight:
World Champ, Juan Manuel Marquez, prediction, Go.

“Dinamita” has said firmly how he will either fight Manny Pacquiao a fourth time (at a weight above 135 obviously) or retire. Either way, the amazing 38-year-old will not be defending his lightweight crown.

Featherweight:
World Champ, VACANT.

One of the most competitive (and messy) divisions in boxing, there are at least three guys you could argue over when it comes to who is the weight classes’ definitive #1. Will we see one fighter proceed to clean up the division this year?

Bantamweight:
World Champ, VACANT.

Unfortunately we have yet more confusion regarding a weight classes’ #1.

Flyweight:
World Champ, Pongsaklek Wonjonkam, prediction, Stay.

Amazing Thai Wonjonkam has dominated his division for months now. Arguably helped somewhat by the fact that the weight class is not the strongest its ever been, the 34-year-old southpaw has nevertheless won 18 fights on the bounce (with two draws) since his last loss. Wonkonkam looks set to continue his reign in 2012 (unless he vacates with a move up in weight).

Article posted on 29.12.2011



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