By Paul Strauss: Fans are in agreement as to the big one. Of course it is the one between Little Money vs PacMan. If it comes, great! But, let’s not dwell on the possibility. For now, let’s recognize Little Money is flapdoodle as a candidate and pass him by. Realistically, enough time has to be allowed for his family’s legal problems to be cleared up, and then (when he and his uncle get out of jail) maybe Manny willl be retired to public service and other fun things. At that point, if the Mayweathers’ synapses are snapping, they will realize they missed out on the biggest pot of gold any leprechaun could conjure up.
Instead of pining over the dysfunctional, let’s practice a little magic of our own and invoke some interesting and exciting match-ups. Furthermore, let’s have a little fun and call forth with tales of how the action will transpire and do our best to contrive some winners. There’s at least one match-up for just about every division, starting with the big guys and moving down the scale.
Klitschko Brothers vs. Haye (Shut the Hayemaker up – either giant can do it) Soon after Haye left the cruiser weight division, he boasted about how he was going to clean up the boring heavyweight division. Fans perked up a bit and hoped he might bring a little excitement into the dull goings on with the behemoths. But, those days have come and gone, and now most fans think Haye’s bragging is so much hot air. His haymaker has become more of a: “Hey, shut up!” Either one of the Ukrainian doctors has the prescription for putting this blabber mouth to sleep. And, because this twerp has pushed fans into wanting to see his lip buttoned, the fight undoubtedly will be a big seller. There’s no giant killer here, just another pretender to the throne about to be exposed. He will wilt the first time he lands his big right hand, and finds out it didn’t have the desired result. Then the doctor will commence with the examination and the prescription for sleep (coma) will be administered.
Marco Huck vs. Danny Green. Green will be the heavy favorite, but Huck is tough enough and punches hard enough to make things interesting. It’s no surprise that Huck fights out of a tight cover and then explodes with big shots, because he has the same trainer, Uli Wegner, as peekaboo artist King Abraham. He does give up quite a bit of action while waiting for his opportunities, but he doesn’t wait quite as long as the King. Green is riding high after beating Roy Jones, Jr. and more recently outpointing B.J. Flores, so he will be hard to beat. Huck would be smart to try and arrange for the fight to take place in somewhere other than down under.
Chad Dawson vs. Tarvoris Cloud Let’s see what Cloud can do with an entirely different type of fighter from Glen Johnson. Dawson twice beat Johnson, and at one time was thought of by some as one of the P4P best in the sport. However, he needs redemption after suffering his disappointing loss to Pascal, and he just might show Cloud what a real big and fast combination puncher can do. Look for Dawson to get back in the winning column by outpointing the muscle bound Cloud.
Pascal vs. Bute (assuming the canuck UD’s the old man, eh?) Man, what a crowd this one will draw in Canada, and justifiably so. There’s a good chance it will be a very skilled, exciting fight. It will involve two fighters who do everything well. They are both skillful boxers, and both are very fast and carry a big wallop. Both have recently come off big wins, and are riding high levels of confidence. As fighters do when they win championships, these two have improved a lot and become excellent fighters. Pascal will carry a highly unpredictable style into their fight, along with a big enough punch to get things going his way in a hurry. It will be hard for Bute to land his jab, which in turn will make it more difficult to get his combinations going. But, Bute is a very skilled technician, who has learned to do everything well. With big wins over tough opponents with explosive styles, he should be ready for any surprised Pascal might have up his sleeve. Look for Bute to come away with a victory.
Bute vs. Ward (Eventually this one will happen, but it will be a while) Bute will make sure this one doesn’t take place in California, no matter how much Ward feels he is deserving. Ward just has notched up another win, but this one was really ugle, as are all wins over Sakio Bika. But, he got the win nonetheless. Ward has enjoyed the advantage of speed over his opponents so far, but that won’t be true with Lucien. He’s not going to be able to jump in with lead rights, and chances are he will not be nearly as successful with his attempts to transition to the southpaw stance and land his left hook. It’s also highly unlikely he will be able to push Bute backwards against the ropes. But, if Bute wilts at all, Ward will be in his face, and he will be pressing hard from beginning to end, so there had better not be any chinks in Bute’s armor.
Trilogy – between Williams vs. Martinez People are funny, and many will be just as eager this time to go with the winner of the last fight, especially since Sergio’s one punch knockout was so devastating. They’ve come to the conclusion that Sergio has figured out Williams, so in their mind he will have no problem putting Paul’s light out once again. But, don’t be so sure. Williams is not dumb. In addition to being an imposing opponent for anyone because of his size, speed and volume punching, he has a flaw that can be corrected. That flaw is his willingness to fight. When he does so, he negates at least a couple of his advantages, but he knows that and is not likely to make the same mistake again. Look for him to
better use his height and reach and try to pull off an upset by outpointing Martinez from the outside.
Martinez vs. Margarito (Give Sergio a chance for revenge) This one should go as expected. Sergio is too fast and slick for the wide swinging tornado. He’s also tough, and will be able to absorb anything Antonio might get through before getting knocked out. The real attraction of this fight will be for those fans of Sergio’s who would like to see him get revenge for his 2-19-2000 loss to Margarito. There’s also a substantial group of fans who would pay to see Antonio get his clock cleaned again, because of what he attempted to do, and what many think he got away with doing.
Dimitry Pirog vs. Felix Sturm Sturm has been a fighter of interest ever since he got screwed out of a win over Oscar De La Hoya. He’s had nine wins since then, and has proven again and again to be an excellent boxer. Pirog jumped into the limelight with his marvelous one punch knockout of the then unbeaten Daniel Jacobs. It wasn’t just the fact that Dimitry beat Jacobs. It was how he did it. Pirog showed the ability to box well, create pressure and punch hard. His display of what old timers like to call the double shift was a thing of beauty to watch. The perfectly executed move allowed Pirog to land a beautiful right hand to the chin that put Jacobs right on his face. Against a suberb boxer such as Sturm, it will be interesting to see if he can duplicate the move.
Angulo vs. Kirkland (get the bandages and smelling salts ready) Kirkland needs a little time and a tune up fight or two before tackling someone like Angulo. However, if he can stay on the straight and narrow and rededicate himself to the level he was at before being incarcerated, then he could be one-half of one helluva fight. The sure money will be betting that this one doesn’t go the distance, but it might be a toss up as to who is left standing. Kirkland loves to apply tremendous pressure with volume hard punches. Angulo likes nothing better that to have someone try and fight with him. His adrenaline kicks in and it’s like he still has his “dog collar” on. He wants to bite someone on the butt and tear off a piece of their nerve. He too is a hard straight puncher, who has the unusual ability to remain focused even after getting tagged. Lot’s of fighters think they have that ability, and trainers hope their fighters have it, but few really do have it. Angulo is one who does!
Winner of Angulo vs. Kirkland against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (you need more medical supplies) Read the above, and drop down the same attributes. It could be either one who the young Alvarez might be challenging. Even though this youngster has had a lot of fights, he is an unknown commodity in the USA. His biggest exposure was his recent dumping of the tough Carlos Baldomir on his face. He did so with a picture perfect left hook. Canelo also just walked away with a UD over Lovemore N’dou, and looked pretty good doing so. How can this kid go wrong? He’s got a nice biblical Jewish first name, a Mexican last name, and an Irishman’s red hair!
Pacquiao vs. Marquez (Pacman should make Juan no more) All the big money will, of course, be on the PacMan, especially if the two fight at welter. But, as Juan has proven many times over in past battles, you can’t count him out, ever. Who for example can name anyone other than Juan, who was knocked down three times in the first round, only to come back and earn a draw (some say win). He repeatedly proves the experts wrong who say he’s getting old, and won’t be able to keep up with his youthful opponent’s energy and high level pace. However, this time the experts will probably be right. PacMan has continued to get better and better. He is a complete fighter now, whereas he was not in their first two meetings, and if they fight at welter, he will be too big, strong and fast for Marquez. This time Juan Manuel might just get stopped.
Pacquiao vs. Berto Berto’s impressive win over Hernandez has moved him high up on the list of possible opponents for Manny. Freddy Roach has expressed concern over this match-up, and rightly so. Like PacMan, Berto keeps getting better and better. He has always been a very strong fighter with excellent balance and fast hands. But, he also has been criticized for not being a very big puncher, and for not being a very good in-fighter. Even though his punching power probably hasn’t improved, his accuracy had improved, and that’s what is really necessary to cause damage. He has also learned to fight to his strengths, and not to engage so much on the inside anymore. Rather, he is content to explode with clean shots, or quickly move in and out with fast combinations. Potentially, he could provide some problems for the PacMan.
Winner of the Khan vs. Maidana against the winner of Bradley vs. Alexander Once again we await the results of impending battles. Khan is supremely confident in his skill. Maidana is equally as confident in his toughness and power. Soon we will also know who is the better man between Bradley and Alexander. Devon’s confidence might have been dented a bit in his less than impressive win over Andriy Kotelnik. He wasn’t so “Alexander the Great” in that fight, which took place in front of his hometown fans. It will be interesting to see if he can regain the high he was on after his spectacular knockout over Juan Urango. There’s a good chance Bradley might surprise everyone and come out on top of this heap.
Brandon Rios vs. Robert Guerrero Max Kellerman of HBO is really high on Rios. He depicts him as devastating, and rightly so because Rios has managed to roll over everyone and keep his unblemished record intact. He has an impressive nineteen knockout to go with his 26 wins (1 draw against Manuel Perez back in 2008). Guerrero is a different kettle of fish though. He too is very tough, and can punch. He also fights fromt he southpaw stance, and is a skillful boxer. You would be hard pressed to find a fighter more dedicated than Robert, and there has been some question about he same being true of Rios. Rios’ style is to come in hard and straight. He depends on intimidating his opponents with his strength and power. With Guerrero, he might find himself running into some hellacious lefts to the body that might defuse him a bit. If Guerrero is successful in slowing down Rios and maybe even backing him up, then it’s as the old saying goes, all over but the shouting.
JuanMa vs. Gamboa Before JuanMa’s domination of Rafael Marquez, there might have been a lot of fans willing to bet Gamboa’s unbelievable speed and power would be too much for Lopez. But, JuanMa changed more than just a few minds with his performance over Marquez. He boxed well. He presented a pretty tight defense; although, he was badly rocked once, but once again showed he has great recuperative powers, by quickly regaining control of the action. So, he turned a negative into a positive. He also showed once again that he has excellent power from both inside and outside, and he just keeps coming and applying tremendous pressure. Gamboa fans will remind of us of their fighter’s blinding speed and power, and the fact that he is so good that he makes it look easy. Sometimes it might seem too easy to him as well, because he has gotten careless on occasion and got planted on the seat of his pants. But, like JuanMa, he has quickly shaken off any ill effects, and quickly regained control. One other factor, JuanMa is the more experienced of the two, and has been in bigger fights, but so far Gamboa doesn’t seem to be shy when it comes to attention and not too much attention should be placed on that factor.
Nonito Donaire vs. Darchinyan (rematch) If and when this one happens, look for Donaire to come away with another win. It’s doubtful he will be able to duplicate the one-punch knockout he pulled off in their first fight, but Donaire is just too big and too fast for the little “Raging Bull”. Vic will try to box more and be smarter this time around, but Donaire will pick him a part, and if Vic tries to bull his way in, then it will be curtains for him, just like the first fight.
Nonito Donaire vs. Fernando Montiel Talk about two stylists! You certainly would have two in this fight. But, just as with Darchinyan, Donaire might just be too big and fast for Montiel. It would be different if Nonito didn’t match up so well speed wise, but he does. Also, Montiel is always willing to take changes, because he normally is faster and more skilled, so he gets away with it. He generally can make them pay for their efforts. However, with Donito that will not be the case. In fact, Montiel might pay dearly for trying similar tactics with the Filipino Flash.
Right now December is already shaping up nicely. Happy Holidays!