Sorting Out the Remaining Year in Boxing

As rumor would have it, Mixed Martial Arts and the UFC are killing Boxing. As true boxing fans would know, the UFC has helped force boxing to get its act together. The best are fighting the best, titles or no titles. Fighters are routinely scrapping belts in favor of lucrative and compelling matchups that fans want to see.

So far this year we have been treated to gems such as Shane Mosley vs. Antonio Margarito, Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Juan Diaz, Jermain Taylor vs. Carl Froch, and Manny Pacquiao’s blowout of Ricky Hatton. With Wladimir Klitchsko vs. David Haye, Floyd Mayweather Jr vs. Juan Manuel Marquez, and Chris John-Rocky Juarez II, the summer was sure to bring the heat.

Enter the injury bug. First David Haye pulled out of his bout with Klitschko due to a back injury. After seeing what Klitschko did to Chagaev last Saturday, who can blame him? It’s hard to imagine that Haye is more enthused by the idea of facing “Dr. Steelhammer” after watching Chagaev eat jabs for nine rounds.

Next we have Floyd Mayweather Jr. Pretty Boy Floyd pulled out of his bout with Marquez due to a rib cartilage injury. Fight fans have now missed out on a second summer matchup, and will be forced to wait until September for Mayweather’s return.

This brings us to Chris John. He has announced he is pulling out of his rematch with Rocky Juarez after passing out during a sparring session. The feinting spell is being attributed to a blood ailment. Their first affair was ruled a draw, but to most fight fans, John was jobbed in a hometown gift for Houston native Rocky Juarez. The rematch was to take place in the Staples center in Los Angeles, in hopes of neutralizing the home turf advantage this time out. There has been no word on whether or not this fight will be rescheduled as of yet.

Wladimir Klitschko will most likely fight once more this year. The only compelling matchups for him at this point are David Haye and Chris Arreola. While neither fighter would be favored to defeat Klitschko, both possess styles that could lead to entertaining fights. Haye would not be content to eat jabs and follow Klitchsko around the ring. His all out offensive style would lead to some early fireworks, and would likely end in either fighter kissing the canvas. As for Arreola, his punching power and boxing pedigree would give him at least a punchers chance. If he could connect with a solid shot, he could also pull off the upset. This is all contingent upon him coming into the fight in shape, and looking to be aggressive.

Bernard Hopkins seems to be without a dance partner, and it’s unsure whether or not he will fight again this year. He has considered Tomasz Adamek, Carl Froch, and even fighting at heavyweight. Most recently, he has claimed he is open to fighting the winner of Chad Dawson vs. Glen Johnson II. With no date set for this match, it is doubtful he could face the winner before the end of the year.

Shane Mosley has been trying vigorously to land a fight with Manny Pacquiao, but to no avail. He also stated his willingness to fight Mayweather, but that fight has been dismissed by Mayweather. He could wait to see how Mayweather vs. Marquez turns out, but that would leave him without a fight for the remainder of the year.

At this juncture it seems he will have to look to fighters not named Pacquaio or Mayweather if he is going to fight again this year. Paul Williams is a name being thrown around, but that shouldn’t be Mosley’s first choice. The tall, lanky southpaw would likely give Mosley more fight than he bargained for at age 37. A good choice to bide his time would be young Andre Berto. Mosley should be a favorite in that bout, as he has the hand speed to match Berto, and far more experience.

This leaves us with Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto as the headlining bout for the remainder of the year. While this bout has not been officially signed yet, it seems close to being a done deal. Mayweather’s injury makes an October date with Pacquiao impossible, so it seems Miguel Cotto has won the Pacquiao fight sweepstakes. At this point the weight seems to be the sticking point, as in how far will Cotto be forced to go down to make the fight happen.

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