By James Slater: Wish list time! Now that we are at last approaching the summer drought that always happens in boxing, the remainder of 2012 and early 2013 will, hopefully, give us some great match-ups and some great fights for boxing. There are some quality fights set for September through November, and if the trend continues, some of the following bouts will get singed for December and beyond:
In playing at picking and choosing, I list (in no particular order) the fights I would really love to see get made:
Yuriorkis Gamboa Vs. Adrien Broner.
These two don’t seem to like each other and both have an electrifying, all-action style. Speed and power Vs. speed and power. This one would be a classic, I’m sure. If Gamboa can get past Juan Carlos Salgado in November, and if he and the ever-growing Broner can agree on a weight to meet at, this one would be special.
Manny Pacquiao Vs. Juan Manuel Marquez IV.
We still do not know which of these two great fighters is the absolute best, what with all three fights between the two masters being of the nip and tuck variety. For the purposes of closure, we need to see Pac-Man and Dinamita do it again. Manny needs a foe for Nov. 10th, or Dec.1st, and Marquez, recently turned 39, would jump at the chance of either date I’m sure.
Vitali Klitschko Vs. David Haye.
Vitali craves this fight, and with it the chance to KO Haye. While Haye, if he does decide to fight again in what would be a fight that would truly motivate him, would possibly come out smoking against the ageing, possibly deteriorating “Dr. Iron Fist” (Vitali’s big body, some reports suggest, may be breaking down; his knees in particular). I’m not saying Haye would definitely win, but I think we would see a far better action fight than Wladimir against Haye.
Wladimir Klitschko Vs. Alexander Povetkin.
Arguably the only heavyweight challenger left for the younger, at-his-peak Klitschko brother, unbeaten Russian Povetkin might, just might, have the necessary tools to be able give Wladimir a rough night. But can Povetkin get past ageing threat and next foe Hasim Rahman?
Floyd Mayweather Vs. either Sergio Martinez or Manny Pacquiao.
Now that he’s out of prison and “Money” is all but sure to resume his career soon (probably next year), there are two fights that would cement his greatness were he to win. Fans are sick and tired of the Mayweather-Pacquiao saga, but the fight still needs to happen. As for Mayweather against Martinez; nobody would be able to question Floyd’s all-time greatness were he to defeat the middleweight king. But can “Maravilla” get past a dangerously determined Julio Cesar Chavez Jr?
Tavoris Cloud Vs. Nathan Cleverly.
This one would be a unification bout (IBF and WBO belts on the line) and the styles of the two men would ensure a lively, possibly brutal fight. And, now that Cloud-Jean Pascal is looking extremely doubtful, why not this fight instead? What else has “Clev” got in the pipeline anyway? Cloud is all action, Cleverly isn’t far behind him. This one would thrill the hardcore fans, in either America or the U.K.
Miguel Cotto Vs. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
This one, some experts say, is sure to happen one day – and be a huge Pay-Per-View attraction when it does go down. What would (will) be a hugely notable addition to the long running Mexico Vs. Puerto Rico rivalry, this fight would also tell us how good Alvarez really is. But how much does the seemingly rejuvenated Cotto have left to offer? This fight would give us plenty of other answered questions besides.
James Kirkland Vs. Saul Alvarez, or Erislandy Lara, or Cornelius Bundrage.
In short, the fantastically exciting (and wickedly powerful but also vulnerable) Kirkland against any high profile 154-pounder would be great. Kirkland needs to sort out his legal issues (suing, being counter-sued by his former trainers, etc) before he can think about fighting, but when he is in action, the southpaw is hardly ever in a bad fight. Against the elite at 154, the stakes would be that much higher for one of the world’s most exciting fighter.