Heavyweights: Light On Talent, But World Class Match Up Possibilities

24.01.04 - by John Gaulrapp: While it's been fashionable to deride the talent, or lack thereof, in the heavyweight division the last few years - one thing is for certain; in 2004, there are potential match-ups that would make any fight historians mouth water. There are also match-ups that would make most fight historians groan. But I say - these fights need to be made anyway.

Sitting in the bar the other night, a few friends and I were discussing the dream match-ups that "could've been" from years ago. Of course no one would object to seeing what could have happened if Bowe fought Lewis or Hopkins squared off with Marvin Hagler. But the conversation, as it always seems to do, veered off towards today's fighters and the wealth of intriguing match-ups that are out there.

Much has been written about the fights we'd all like to see this year (Klitschko/Lewis, Hopkins/DeLaHoya) but truth be told there are an abundance of good fights to be made right in the Heavyweight Division. Right in the heavyweight top ten. Sure there are infinite obstacles to many of these fights (rival promoters, rival networks, fighters with too much risk, fighters with too much too lose, etc..) But hey, I'm not a matchmaker or a promoter just a fan who thinks the following would be as good as it gets with the little we've got:

As I'm currently in the grips of Super Bowl Fever, please excuse the following promotional suggestions...

(In no particular order)

The Breakdown Bowl

Mike Tyson v. Chris Byrd

Sure there's not much to gain for Tyson, but Byrd would love the purse. And who wouldn't be curious to see which breaks down first, Byrd's defense or Mike's psyche.

The Triple A Bowl

Dominick Guinn vs Joe Mesi

Which of these two young heavies will make the jump to the major leagues? Tune in and find out.

The Stopwatch Bowl

John Ruiz vs David Tua

Okay, maybe no one's interested in seeing Tua dismantle Ruiz again, but at least lets see if he can do it in under 19 seconds.

Vengeance Bowl

Vitali Klitschko vs. Corrie Sanders

The good doctor shrugs off a title shot to seek vengeance on his brothers conqueror. A promotional dream.

Vengeance Bowl (option II)

Vitali Klitschko vs. Chris Byrd

The good doctor takes a different road to the title and avenges his prior loss to Byrd. Byrd gets a willing opponent and a much deserved payday.

Vengeance Bowl (option III)

Wladimir Klitschko vs. Corrie Sanders

Kid brother cleans up his own mess.

The EuroDollar Bowl

Wladimir Klitschko vs. Mike Tyson

Both have tremendous appeal in Europe. A guaranteed huge payday for the bankrupt ex champ and a shot at a valid, critic silencing victory for the aspiring one.

The WBO Bowl (on ESPN 2)

Wladimir Klitschko vs. David Tua

Both are ex WBO belt holders. Both seem just a notch below championship caliber. Let them fight to reclaim the "notch below championship" belt.

Klitschko Conquerors Bowl

Chris Byrd vs. Corrie Sanders

Both beat a Klitschko. Byrd beat the man whose brother was beaten by his opponent. Sanders beat the man whose brother was beaten by his opponent. Intriguing? Exciting? Actually, no. Next.

Brooklyn Bowl

Shannon Briggs vs. Mike Tyson

Lets hope this happens. First, it's a good tuneup fight with a nice payday for Mike. Second, if Briggs loses we don't have to hear him beg for this fight anymore.

The "C'mon Already" Bowl

Lennox Lewis vs. Chris Byrd

C'mon already. Give him a shot.

Could it be the End Bowl

Wladimir Klitschko vs. Evander Holyfield

Klitschko KO's Holyfield. Holyfield finally contemplates retirement.

It's Really the End Bowl

Vitali Klitschko vs. Evander Holyfield

Klitschko pummels Holyfield into retirement.

God, Lets hope it doesn't end this way bowl

David Tua vs. Evander Holyfield

Tua's still got enough in that left hook that we should all hope this one actually doesn*t happen.

The Siesta Bowl

Juan Carlos Gomez vs. Fres Oquendo

Has anyone in boxing even shown a modicum of interest in either of these snooze merchants? Let's hope they fight. Perhaps, at least the loser will fade into obscurity.

The Never-ending Pasta Bowl

Hasim Rahman vs. Kirk Johnson

Let the blubber fly as these tow tubs of goo go at it for 10 thoroughly uninteresting rounds.

Indecent Exposure Bowl

Joe Mesi vs. Mike Tyson

If Guinn's not a big enough payday for Mesi, Tyson surely would be. And someone's gotta expose this guy for what he is. Decent, at best.

YoMamma Bowl

Roy Jones Jr. Vs. James Toney

The press conferences may be better then the fight. Let the trash talk begin.

And of course, what Bowl list would be complete without

The Toilet Bowl

Lance Whitaker vs. Michael Grant

Nuff said.

Yes, the majority of these fights are devoid of talent, poor style match-ups and don't have much to offer in making sense of the heavyweight division. There also highly unlikely to happen. But any of them do, I'll be glued to the TV. And if your reading this, you probably will be too.

Article posted on 24.01.2004

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