By James Slater: Wanna see a good fight? We’ve seen some great, dramatic fights this year (think Martinez-Chavez, Maidana-Karass, Brook-Jones, Garcia-Khan to name but a few) and 2012 has more promising action still in store. But next year, 2013, could be even better – in fact a whole lot better.
How? By making these fights become a reality.
This is the way I see it, anyway: from heavyweight on down, the best match-ups that can be made next year……..
Heavyweight: Vitali Klitschko-David Haye.
As long as Vitali is active, this grudge-match will prove tantalising. Haye, who is convinced he can become the first man to KO “Dr. Iron Fist,” has said he won’t fight in Ukraine, but it wouldn’t matter – this one would be massive in Germany, in the U.K or in the U.S. Name a more intriguing heavyweight battle between big names that can be made today?
Cruiserweight: Marco Huck-Denis Lebedev.
Who is the best 200-pounder in the world today? This fight would give us the answer, as well as give us a terrific battle between two proven crowd pleasers. The winner could then fight Yoan Pablo Hernandez, and then that formidable Polish guy with the unpronounceable name (Wlodarczyk).
Light-Heavyweight: Tavoris Cloud-Jean Pascal.
This one, a sure-fire value for money barnburner of a FOTY candidate, was all set to go, only for the too good to be true battle to fall through. Hopefully, this war will go down in 2013!
Super-Middleweight: Andre Ward-Carl Froch II.
Yes, Ward won the first fight in wide fashion, but Froch, coming off that awesome win over Lucian Bute (who, some critics say, Ward avoided) had “S.O.G” huffing and puffing and holding on in the later rounds. Would a return be a different story, especially if Ward were to be tempted to box outside of his Oakland stronghold?
Middleweight: Sergio Martinez-Gennady Golovkin.
Sure, a Martinez-Chavez Junior return would be welcomed due to the sheer drama that amazing, sure to win this year’s ROTY award, final three minutes gave us, but Martinez Vs. Golovkin would be something else. The two best, hardest hitting 160-pounders in the world squaring off! What’s bad about this match-up?
Light-Middleweight: Floyd Mayweather- Saul Alvarez.
A no-brainer! Also a classic, Old Master Vs. Young Star match-up.
Welterweight: Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao.
Yes, we’re still hoping it can and will happen!
Light-Welterweight: Danny Garcia-Lucas Martin Matthysse.
Talk about a guaranteed thriller. How good is Khan crusher Garcia? How hard a man is Matthysse? This one would thrill all hardcore fight fans big time.
Lightweight: Ricky Burns-Adrien Broner.
Is Burns the best 135-pounder on the planet today? How good is Broner and can “The Problem” live up to the hype he has generated? This one, whether in the U.K or the U.S, would answer a whole lot of questions – as well as give the fans of both guys plenty to get excited about.
Super-Featherweight: Yuriorkis Gamboa-Juan Carlos Salgado.
This one was all set, only to fall apart. Let’s hope it can get rescheduled. Gamboa is an awesome talent and it’s been far too long since he rumbled.
Featherweight: Daniel Ponce De Leon-Juan Manuel Lopez.
Was “Juanma’s” 2008, 1st-round blast out of De Leon a fluke? Is The Mexican slugger, now a two-weight ruler, a better fighter today? How will Lopez come back from his loss to Salido and his subsequent suspension? Not only would this unlikely rematch answer these questions, it would also add to the already rich Mexico Vs. Puerto Rico rivalry.
Super-Bantamweight: Nonito Donaire-Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Donaire, a sizzling talent, must come through against the formidable Toshiaka Nishiaoka before “The Filipino Flash” can think about any other fight, but against Cuban pure boxer Rigondeaux, Donaire would really see his skills tested. But how much longer will Donaire stay at 122?
Bantamweight: Anselmo Moreno-Leo Santa Cruz.
Moreno, who has a great fight coming up against Abner Mares, must keep his amazing (currently 27-fight) win streak alive, but if he can do so, a unification with the unbeaten, recent Eric Morel conqueror Santa Cruz would be a very big fight for the little guys.