By James Slater: It often seems to me as though the fans of boxing make far better match-makers than the actual, well, match-makers of the sport! If only the fans, the guys and gals who pay to see boxing, got the chance to pick and choose which fighter fought who; as the paid pros do.
As a fan who has seen some great fights this year but could still do with seeing more excellent match-ups taking place – ones that could so easily be made at that – I now list my five choices for fights that I think should be made soon; if not this year then early next.
Here’s five bouts I’d sign in a heartbeat if given the chance!
1: A complete no-brainer to start with? I’d MAKE Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather fight. Simply put, it will be a travesty if this fight doesn’t get made. Perhaps an even bigger fight now, in light of “Money’s” highly controversial homemade video (you know the one!), this welterweight match-up would have the entire world tuning in. Forget other fights such as Pac-Man-Marquez III or, should he come back this year, “Money” against anyone else – this clash of Pound-for-Pound kings HAS to happen! Think Ali without Frazier, Leonard without Hearns, Robinson without LaMotta. This fight is owed to history.
2: A heavyweight slugfest that it is still not too late to make: Chris Arreola Vs. David Tua. A genuine fans’ fight, with a 50-50 look about it, between two guys who can bang, who love to get in close and go to war, and two guys who are not that hard to hit. Add it all up, and “The Nightmare Vs. The Tuaman” would make one helluva battle! A good case could be made for either slugger winning, and that’s another reason why I’d definitely make this would-be classic a go.
3: James Toney-Antonio Tarver. Forget Tarver-Danny Green; I’d make this fight, up at heavyweight, to see which forty-something has the most left. Both guys are faded but insist on boxing on, and if matched correctly, both future Hall of Famers can still look good. This is such a match-up. Both men have some of the classiest moves in the sport, and both have a superb boxing brain. I’d love to see who wins in this battle of wits. Also, the pre-fight build-up, with all the trash-talking, would be great fun!
4: Paul Williams Vs. Kelly Pavlik. Another fight that got away from us, this middleweight fight wouldn’t be as big now that both men have lost to/struggled with/ been iced by Sergio Martinez, but the fireworks would still fly in a major way if the two exciting warriors met. Both men chuck a bunch of punches in each and every round of each and every fight (barring “The Ghost’s” shocking loss to Bernard Hopkins), and this would not change if they met each other. Pavlik has just removed some rust with a so-so points win; Williams is due back against Erislandy Lara soon. The two former champs should meet in a classic crossroads match later this year; even if it takes yet another catch-weight to make it happen.
5: Lucian Bute Vs. the winner of Super-Six. Though the sensational Bute, the IBF 168-pound champion, may be in line to face the ageless Bernard Hopkins some time in the coming months (providing “Le Tombeur” gets past Mendy in the summer, as most feel he will) wouldn’t it be great to see him first challenging the winner of the Boxing Classic tournament? Whether it’s Andre Ward, Carl Froch or Glen Johnson who emerges as the victor of the tourney, Bute would have a great chance of defeating either of them. And how big would a Bute-Hopkins fight be next year if that happened!