2007: Promising year for boxing

15.11.06 - By Adrian Saba – As this year concludes, we can see a ray of light that illuminates 2007. It will be one of those memorable years with important activity in almost all weight classes. There are many plots that will be solved.

1. The announcement of the agreement between Oscar de la Hoya and Floyd Mayweather was the main story of the day. It will become the most talked fight since Tyson-Lewis in 2002, a fight that will reach mainstream media and will be boxing’s most important topic until next May. A lot of people think that Floyd should win easily due to Oscar’s age and inactiveness. However, at 33, De la Hoya is not ‘old’ or ‘shot’. Sure he isn’t in his physical prime, but he is more experienced than ever before and mentally prepared for a Grand Event like this. The showdown will take place in the Light Middleweight division, which is something negative for Mayweather.. As you can see, both have advantages and disadvantages in different aspects. This is the fight of the decade. I understand why the Golden Boy wants to retire after next year. However, Mayweather would be doing something against his own legassy if he retires in May - that decision would be improper.

2. The Junior Lightweight division (130 pounds) will have a new Champion, the winner of the Morales-Pacquiao bout. ‘The Ring’ will give their illustrious belt to the winner of that fight because ‘Pacman’ is the Top Contender and Morales is the #3 contender. Hopefully, the new Champion will start defending his Title in 2007. In the case of Morales, he could fight Barrera again, or Guzman, or Barrios. There are plenty of options. On the other side, if Pacquiao wins the 130 pounds’ crown, he would become a Three-division Linear Titlist. Personally, I would love to see him fight Barrera, again, or go to the Lightweight division. Maybe Pacquiao, and not Mayweather, is destined to become the first Four-division Champion. Who knows?

3. Next year will be also important for the Middleweight weight class. It’s Champion, Jermain “Bad Intentions” Taylor, has decided to move up to the Super Middleweight division after his fight with Kassim Ouma, which will be next month. I predict Taylor to knockout Ouma, who was once seen as the best guy at 154 pounds, and then fulfill his promise: he’ll vacate the Title. The Middleweight division would then become the battleground for Winky Wright and Arthur Abraham. Meanwhile, Kessler, Lacy, Mundine and maybe even Calzaghe will be waiting for Jermain Taylor.

4. Are we reaching the end of the Heavyweight anarchy? After his victory over Calvin Brock, Wladimir Klitschko has marked a bigger difference from the rest of the contenders. Maskaev seems to old and slow for Klitschko. Peter was already defeated. Toney would be to small and can’t frighten Wladimir with his power. Briggs is fast and powerful, but his last performance does not suggest that he would beat Klitschko. Valuev still has to defeat (clearly) a contender before we make a fair judgement of him. In 2007, we will see if Klitschko can unify. Maybe the chosen one is a young, undefeated fighter.

Article posted on 15.11.2006

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