2010 is upon the boxing world.
While the biggest fight in recent memory has apparently fallen through, that doesn’t mean it won’t happen at all this year. Whether or not Pacquiao vs. Mayweather comes off in March or September, there are plenty of other good fights out there to be made. Here are ten fights that can help boxing continue down its road to redemption.
1) Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley
Manny Pacquiao is the Ring Champion at 140. Bradley is clearly the number one challenger to that title. This is a clear no-brainer. At this point, Bradley has as good a chance to beat Pacquiao as any boxer on the planet not named Mayweather Jr. This fight would probably have to be at “Mannyweight”, somewhere between 140 and 147.
2) Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. winner of Mosley/Berto
If Mayweather/Pacquiao had come off in March, this seemed like a no-brainer for September. If Mayweather defeated Pacquiao, the only thing left for him to do would be fight the winner of Mosley/Berto. If he won both fights, he would have finally been worthy of much of the accolades he heaps upon himself. Oh, what could have been.
Pacquiao vs. Mayweather is off at least until September, and it looks like Mayweather wants Malignaggi in March. How I wish he would wait until May and fight the winner of Berto/Mosley. I can wish, I can wish.
3) Paul Williams vs. Kelly Pavlik
Simply put, this fight has to happen in 2010. Kelly Pavlik has very few options at 160. Paul Williams has trouble securing big fights. These guys have bad blood. It’s been on and off several times. Williams’ camp says Pavlik is ducking him. Pavlik’s camp says Williams is ducking them. Let’s hope both guys quit ducking each other and get it on.
4) David Haye vs. Pick your Klitschko
David Haye seems to be just the shot in the arm the division needed. He is young, brash, and exciting to watch. He has power, and is never at a lack for words. If he gets a shot at Vitali or Wladimir this year, expect fireworks for as long as it lasts. Couple that with his Klitschko severed heads t-shirt, and you have Must-See TV.
5) Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito II
First, Margarito has to be reinstated. Now that may or may not happen this year. If he does get reinstated, he has to fight someone. Now maybe Cotto never wants to step into a ring with him again. It would be hard to fault him for that. However, you have to wonder what would happen with legal handwraps. Both these guys are coming off stoppage losses, and would need a tuneup first.
Simply put, it is this writer’s opinion that Cotto deserves a fair fight, say in September or so.
6) Vic Darchinyan vs. Nonito Donaire II
Looks like this fight just may happen. Gary Shaw has blocked this rematch about as long as he could. If you didn’t see the first fight, you missed a shocker. Donaire outboxed, outpunched, and turned Darchinyan’s lights out. I don’t see anything that indicates a rematch won’t result in a similar result. But then again, that’s why they fight the fights.
7) Edwin Valero vs. Michael Katsidis
This could have been Valero vs. Juan Manuel Marquez. Both fights would be equally exciting. Katsidis is boxing’s new Arturo Gatti, the new Ultimate Blood and Guts Warrior. He is about as all action as they come. Valero knocks out anybody that steps within his punching range. This is guaranteed fireworks for as long as it lasts.
8) Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Michael Katsidis
It really is hard to overstate how good Katsidis is to watch. What he lacks in athletic talent and skill he makes up for with heart and desire. This guy gives every fight all he has. What makes this matchup so interesting is that Katsidis might just be able to will himself to victory over an aging Marquez. Or maybe Marquez still has a few tricks up his sleeve. Either way, sign me up for this one.
9) Timothy Bradley vs. Marcos Maidana
This could be a potential fight of the year candidate. Bradley comes to fight and Maidana likes to knock blocks off. This is a fight that seems likely to happen sooner or later. Let’s hope sooner, like 2010. Bradley stays busy and if he fights three times in 2010, let’s hope he gives the dangerous Maidana a call.
10) Ivan Calderon vs. Brian Viloria
Ivan Calderon is entering the twilight of his career. Clearly a pound-for-pound fighter for a long time, he has lost a step or two. Viloria is finally showing the promise we all know he has. This fight would be a passing of the torch, so to speak.
Sound off Inside Fights community, what are the fights you want to see in 2010?
Tags: Boxing, David Haye, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Ivan Calderon, Kelly Pavlik, Manny Pacquiao, Paul Williams, Vitali Klitschko, Wladimir Klitschko, Wladimir Klitschko vs David Haye