What to look forward to in 2007

02.01.07 - By Matt Yanofsky: 2006 is finally over. The ball has dropped and so has a great year of boxing! While many fans may not belive 2007 will be as good as 2006, I disagree. There are many super fights, intriguing prospects, and "what if's" that will bring the year 2007 a long way. I have listed a few of each below..


Alexander Povetkin: Povetkin, 10-0 {8 KO's} is a total monster! He is easily the best heavyweight prospect around. Povetkin has already defeated tough Heavyweight Ed Mahone, Livan Castillo, and former Cruiserweight champ Imamu Mayfield. Expect to see him in a pretty significant fight in 2007 and contending for a world title in 08. There is a good chance he will be the first heavyweight to win a world title with less than 18 fights.

Amir Khan: 10-0 {7 KO's}. Khan has been referred to by many as the best Olympian since some fellow named Ray Leonard. Khan, a 2004 Silver Medalist has incredible hand speed backed by decent power. Khan is a major prospect in Europe and expects to be fighting shortly on American TV. I am personally very high on Khan and see a bright future for him.

Andre Berto: 16-0 {14 KO's}. Berto has already been featured on televised fights. The man is a total power punching monster who has devastating power in both hands. Berto most recently destroyed Miguel Figueroa on the Taylor vs Ouma undercard which was featured on Boxing After Dark. Berto is arguably the best punching prospect south of the middleweight division since the legendary Julian Jackson.

Super Fights:

Oscar De La Hoya Vs Floyd Mayweather: This is the most anticipated bout in quite some time. I expect this to be the best selling non Tyson pay per view in history! Mayweather, who was not a big puncher at 140, moves up once again from 147 to 154. Oscar at the time would have been out of the ring for a year while Floyd earned unanimous decisions over Zab Judah and Carlos Baldomir. Predictions on this fight have been split. Some belive Floyd is unbeatable and Oscar is past his prime while others feel Floyd is way too small to fight at 154 against a man who has already fought five times in the division. This fight will truly be a treat we are all waiting for.

Joe Calzaghe Vs Mikkel Kessler: Although this fight is not scheduled, expect it to be. If Calzaghe beats Peter Manfredo like expected, I see no season for this fight not to happen. Calzaghe has been the WBO champion for a long time while also holding the Ring Magazine Title. Kessler owns the WBA and WBC belt. This is a true unification and would leave no questions about who is the true champion at Super Middleweight.

Manny Pacquiao vs. anyone! Pacquiao has proven why his popularity is so much higher than fellow pound for pounded Floyd Mayweather. Manny knocked out the great Erik Morales twice and battered star Oscar Larios while Floyd won two boring decision fights. Manny is already god like in the Philippines but is becoming huge in the USA. Pacquiao was looking to fight both Marco Antonio Barerra and Juan Manuel Marquez but as of now, it appears Barerra is going to fight Marquez so we will have to wait and see what is next for the pacman!

What If's

Heavyweight unification: One of the biggest problems in the sport. The casual fan enjoys big time heavyweight show downs. As of now, we have four heavyweight champions with no unification fights scheduled. This is a big part of why boxing's popularity is hurting. I would love to see a four man heavyweight tournament featuring all four champions. This would be a mega pay per view event and bring back a lot of interest to boxing. Although most belive Wladimir Klitchko is the superior heavyweight, he only has one belt and some can say Shannon Briggs is the man because Briggs beat Lyakhovich who beat Brewster who beat Klitchko. There is only one way to solve this and I say lets get it on!

Divisions are eliminated: Boxing has too many divisions. This problem is mostly with the lower weight classes. There are weight classes of 105,108,112,115,118, and 122. This makes boxing hard to follow for all but the hardcore fans. I belive 105,112, and 118 should be eliminated. There is no reason why 3 lbs should separate one weight class! Although there are many good fighters at lower weight classes such as Ivan Calderon, Jorge Arce, Rafael Marquez, and Israel Vazquez they don't get the deserved respect due to the fact there are too many divisions/champions and some feel that anyone can win a belt. Removal of three weight classes would make things a lot easier and championship belts more glorified.

The unexpected: This is a beautiful thing about boxing. In 2006, the unexpected was Carlos Baldomir. Baldomir shocked the world by beating Zab Judah in Zab's "tune up" fight for Floyd Mayweather and then proceeded to knock out Arturo Gatti in front of his fans in Atlantic City. Baldomir took the boxing world by storm and was one of the best stories in 2006. I belive another unsung hero like Baldomir would be great for boxing. This also shows that you can never underestimate your opponent and expect the unexpected!

Article posted on 03.01.2007

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