Boxing 2006 Fight Preview: Part I

04.11.05 - By Gabriel DeCreas: A previous article published on East Side Boxing titled, “Possible Fights in 2006” hinted at some of the matchups that might come to blows in 2006. The coming year may well have thrills in store for everyone—even hard to please detractors that claim the sport will never reach the exhilarating peaks it has in the past. Some great battles have already been set in stone and galaxies of others are waiting to be made. The following is a rapid-fire fistic forecast with little offered in the way of analysis. Let the message boards be the terra upon which the war of public opinion is waged over who will emerge victorious.

So far, the following fights are tentatively set for 2006:

January 21st—Manny Pacquaio v. Erik Morales II: The rematch is on despite Erik’s lackluster loss to Zahir Raheem in which he took being a slow-starter to a new level. Even so, Freddie Roach and Manny had better work up a better defensive strategy if he wants to put “Manilla Ice” to work against what will surely be an intensely motivated El Terrible in the return..

January 28th—Arturo Gatti v. Thomas Damgaard: With Gatti back on HBO, and campaigning at welterweight, boxing fans will again be cheerfully delivered to a battleground where bloody courage and big bombs overshadow any expectations of good form or technical brilliance. The Dane is reasonably tough, but untested. Not that it matters, Gatti could sell a fight against Larry Merchant.

Calvin Brock v. David Tua: This fight will go down on the same card as the Gatti fight, and promises to either be a big step on the comeback trail for the ultra-tough, but never quite brilliant David Tua, or one more test for the young Boxing Banker who impressed roundly with his off-the-canvas decision over Jameel McCline. Brock is the best all-around prospect the division has, and, way back when, Tua put the screws on John “The Enemy of Boxing” Ruiz in 19-seconds. It’s hard to know who to root for in this one.

February 25th—Shane Mosely v. Fernando Vargas: This WBA 154-pound eliminator will likely be a low-intensity run-through between shadows of the ex-champions involved. Neither Sugar Shane nor El Feroz has looked sharp or hungry lately.

March 25th—Marco Antonio Barrera v. Jesus Chavez: The Baby Faced Assassin looks to become the first Mexican fighter to win a world championship in four divisions. National pride and the strength of four impressive wins since the Manny Pacquiao disaster has all the momentum moving in Barrera’s direction going into this one. On the other side, Jesus Chavez is coming off a brutal and tragic win over Levander Johnson, after which Johnson fell into a coma and died days later. It is hard to say what impact Johnson’s death will have on Chavez as a fighter. The once-dangerous Gabriel Ruelas was never the same after he killed Jimmy Garcia in the ring. But more recently Brian Viloria rebounded to a first round knockout in his first time out after nearly beating Ruben Contreras into an early grave.

Article posted on 04.11.2005

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