31.10.06 – By Ted Sares: Here are seven fights I’d pay to see in 2007. Would you?
7) Edison Miranda vs. Arthur Abraham II: A rematch. Both fighters have lot’s of heart and a genuine and pure hatred for one another. The second fight could be more brutal and bloody than the first……if that is possible. It’s the hatred factor that I find compelling on this one.
6) Joe Calzaghe vs. Mikkel Kessler: Let’s get it on. Euro fans demand it and deserve it. A bona fide unification…just like the old days. Forget Hopkins or Roy Jones.This fight would define J.C.’s career and give Kessler the chance at making boxing history as well. Both are popular, unbeaten and both are double world champions. Moreover, the victor takes home all the marbles. This IS the one for serious boxing fight fans…..whether in the US or abroad. Let’s see if Kessler peaks and catches Calzaghe at just the right time, or if Joe rises to the occasion as is his wont and turns in another Lacey-like performance. Too close to call.
5) Paul Williams vs. Antonio Margarito: Time for Margarito to put up or shut up. And the “The Punisiher” might just be the one who zips his clam. Indeed, the tall Williams has been calling out Tony for some time now. The 6’1” Paul with his 81 inch reach is the mandatory challenger for Tony’s belt. This should be a fight between a stylist/power puncher and a brawler/power puncher…and should tell us a lot about both fighters. Is Williams really the next Hearns? Is Tony a figment of Arum’s hype or is he the real deal? This is a match that should take place before Margarito-Mayweather. Indeed, it is a match that might make that much talked-about possibility academic.
4) Miguel Cotto vs. Ricky Hatton. An even and entertaining match up if ever there was one. Both fighters are incoming and are willing to take punishment in order to mete it out and both are brutal body punchers. Something has to give in this one.This could be Hatton’s redemption for his less than stellar showing against Collazo. As well, this could shut up those critics who say Cotto takes too many shots. The winner steps to the fore.
3) Floyd Mayweather Jr vs. Oscar De La Hoya: The one everybody wants to see and no one will have a problem paying to see it. The best P4P fighter with astounding skills, speed, defense and great technique against a somewhat controversial veteran who needs this fight to cement his legacy. If it happens, it will be the biggest fight in 2007. Does the Golden Boy have enough left to take this flashy superstar or could he be embarrassed? Floyd is no Tito and will not be tentative with Oscar. He will go after him. On the other hand, will Baldomir soften up Pretty Boy and make him vulnerable for Oscar’s left hook. Has the potential to be fight of the year (or a bore fest because styles make fights) and certainly one that could define Mayweather’s career and Oscars’ legacy. But I am going out on a semi-limb and predict that Floyd wins a unanimous decision…and easily so. Then, he takes on the winner of Hatton-Cotto or Williams -Margarito. Consider the possibilities and the mega money to be made!
2) Joan Guzman vs. Edwin Valero: Dinamita’s amazing ko streak vs. El Pequeño Tyson’s undefeated record. The slickster/puncher vs. The power puncher. Venezuela vs the Dominican Republic. With Valero’s brain scan issues lingering in the U.S., this fight could take place in South America. The winner would be the heir apparent at super featherweight. A fight between Jorge Barrios and Valero would also be a great one, but Guzman is the man to beat. I see the slick Joan taking out a game Valero by early KO in a shoot-out.
1) Jorge Arce vs. Vic Darchinyan: A mini-LaMotta or Mayorga vs. an incoming brawler throwing menacing hooks. Don’t go to the refrigerator; don’t even blink. These guys bring pure entertainment and excitement into the ring. Both have heavy hands and this could be one of the most explosive fights of 2007. It has the potential to be another Garza-Meza. Too close to call, but I am leaning toward the Armenian in a brawl for the ages. My kind of fight all the way.
And here is one I’ll throw in for good measure (pardon the pun)
Nikolai Valuev vs. Samuel Peter: Let’s finally get the giant tested. If he survives the ‘Nightmare,” then it’s insomnia for the rest of the heavyweights, including Klitchko. Peter, at over 260, has the size to stand up to Valuev….let’s see if Valuev has the strength and stamina to hold him off. A fascinating match up…both for its oddity as well as for its import. While stamina could be a key factor, I see Peter exposing the affable giant and wearing him down for a late stoppage or UD, but not without a lot of trouble. Peter is no Larry Donald or Monte Barrett. Klitchko, assuming he gets by Brock, then calls out the Nigerian Nightmare for a rematch.
Ted Sares can be reached at email@example.com