- No “important” fights, anything based on mythical “pound-for-pound” lists or any independent rankings because those fights are oftentimes better on paper than on canvas. Something that more network executives have to be mindful of as they drain their budgets on such fights.
- Also, any fights that are already on the docket, I stayed away from.
- And simply put, they have to be fights that I think will provide action. They don’t have to be the biggest or most anticipated fights.
So here we go...
- David Price vs. David Haye: I think Price might be the real article (as they say in Britain) but if you look at his résumé, it’s still relatively thin. Price has an upcoming fight with Tony Thompson in the spring. Haye, who showed he still has something left in the tank by handily dispatching of David Chisora, would be a dangerous test for Price. And you wouldn’t have to worry about selling tickets to this fight; this does big business in the U.K.
- Gennady Golovkin vs. Peter Quillin: Both of these guys hold belts in the middleweight division that is ruled by Sergio Martinez. Both are talented but also unproven to a large degree. “GGG” faces Gabriel Rosado on January 19th and “Kid Chocolate” takes on Fernando Guerrero on February 9th. Both are offensive-minded boxers who are setting down some roots in the Big Apple. I could see this fight doing some business in New York by the end of the year. The winner of this match-up could make a clear statement on who would be the clear number one challenger for “Maravilla.”
- Lucas Matthysse vs. Marcos Maidana: OK, it’s not clear if the WBC (or more importantly, Al Haymon) will let “The Machine” anywhere near Danny Garcia. That said, “Cry for me, Argentina” between Matthysse and Maidana would be would be the most un-civil of wars. Two hard-hitting guys who don’t like to give an inch.
- Amir Khan vs. Josesito Lopez: Say what you will about Khan but his flaws are what make him so fascinating. And while Carlos Molina was simply too small and too soft-punching to exploit his flaws, Lopez is a tall, rangy 140-pounder who has better-than-average power in both hands. Lopez was simply overmatched physically against Saul Alvarez but he’s a strong, sturdy fighter between 140-147 pounds. He will test Khan all night long.
- Scott Quigg vs. Carl Frampton: I’ve tweeted in the past that this potential hook-up would be like the British version of Marco Antonio Barrera-Erik Morales. Alright, maybe that is a bit of hyperbole but I think these guys have styles that go together like peanut butter and jelly. I could see this becoming a multi-fight series.
- Brian Viloria vs. Roman Gonzalez: Will the networks finally get rid of their glass basement and start paying attention to divisions below the featherweight class? No, we’re not saying you can - or should - headline a card with flyweights but tell me they don’t make for good appetizers. Subscribers of HBO and Showtime were deprived of seeing Viloria’s entertaining affair against Hernan “Tyson” Marquez (and a strong outing from “El Chocolatito” on that same card). If this fight could be consummated, it would be a crying shame if it wasn’t on one of the premium cable outlets. The “Hawaiian Punch” has really come into his own as a blue-chip fighter and Gonzalez is one of the hardest punchers in the sport.
- Lamont Peterson vs. Ruslan Provodnikov: No, this isn’t the most high-profile fight on my list (far from it) but as the old adage goes, “Styles make fights,” and I think these two would go well together. Provodnikov is a heavy-handed grinder, who keeps coming forward and Peterson is a skilled in-fighter who loves to attack the body. These two won’t need a GPS to find each other.
- Leo Santa Cruz vs. Vic Darchinyan: Hey, c’mon, you know I was going to fit Santa Cruz somewhere on my list. Now, while he hasn’t vacated his IBF bantamweight belt, my gut feel is that he will move up to 122 pounds. If he does, it would be an early litmus test to see how he does with the “Raging Bull” who’s coming off a career-saving victory over Luis Del Valle on “Boxing After Dark” in late September. This would show if Santa Cruz, who had a huge 2012, is truly an elite fighter and it would be interesting to see how he deals with the always awkward Darchinyan.
- Andre Ward vs. Carl Froch II: Yeah, we’ve seen this one before; I know. So what? And yeah, I get that Ward may always beat Froch. But by that standard, we should have never seen a rematch between Evander Holyfield and Riddick Bowe, right? Say what you want about “The Cobra” but he has clearly established himself as the second best super middleweight in the world and he destroyed Lucian Bute last year on his home turf. If he can gain revenge on Mikkel Kessler or defeat the dangerous Adonis Stevenson, tell me who deserves more to face Ward for the super middleweight championship. It certainly beats seeing Ward paired with Kelly Pavlik (who was listed as a 16-1 underdog); doesn’t it?
- Deontay Wilder vs. Steve Cunningham: We’re still a long way from finding out if Wilder is the real thing. Well, facing Cunningham (who most believed did more than enough to defeat Tomasz Adamek in December) would be a good start. Wilder is a big, tall heavyweight who can certainly punch. Let’s see how he does with a solid veteran like “USS” who brings good boxing acumen to the table. Wilder has been protected, which is fine. There are questions about his ability to take a good shot. Well, Cunningham is a natural cruiserweight and has been floored more than once. Certainly, that has to be to the liking of Wilder’s management.
- Nonito Donaire vs. Abner Mares: OK, so I lied. I can’t help myself. I still want to see this fight but yeah, it’s most likely not going to take place.
Originally, HBO was going to televise the sacrificing of Kelly Pavlik to Ward on March 2nd but with Ward on the mend and out for an indefinite period of time, it looks like they have moved up the heavyweight bout between Chris Arreola and Bermane Stiverne as the main event in what will now be a “Boxing After Dark” broadcast. It’s been speculated that hard-hitting Keith Thurman, scheduled to go on March 9th, could be shifted to co-headline this card. But Richard Schaefer, Golden Boy Promotions CEO, didn’t seem to know much about that on Thursday afternoon.
No venue has been finalized for this card but it will most likely take place in California, I’m told.
Golden Boy announced that Jermell Charlo has been added to the January 26th Showtime telecast versus Tom Bob Anderson (TBA)...Frankie Gomez, who continues to rebuild his career from JaMarcus Russell-ville, will face Lanard Lane from the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas. Also on this card - which will be televised by Fox Sports/Deportes - are Joseph Diaz Jr. and Mickey Bey Jr...Brazilian Aldimir Silva has been tabbed to face “JuanMa” Lopez in Puerto Rico on February 2nd....Schaefer says that their March 2nd card featuring Daniel Ponce de Leon-Jayson Velez will take place at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. If any of the fights are really bad, “Sandman Sims” can give ‘em the hook...Andy Reid in KC? Interesting...The SEC has struggled a bit in bowl games this season, haven’t they?...Ray Lewis is retiring at the end of this season. Truly an end of an era. No doubt one of the greatest that ever played the game...