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The 2014 Crystal Ball


By Bill Tibbs

A childhood buddy of my late father’s worked his way through the East Coast boxing circuit in the 1950s, legit bouts, smokers; you name it. I met him as a young kid and I remember him telling me about all the fights he had. He fought a lot, as often as he could. Granted, it was a very different time with little or no commission restrictions but I always remember him saying, “I fought every chance I got. It’s what I did for a living. I was a fighter, so I fought.” These days, until fighters are in the centre of the ring getting their pre-fight instructions, the only sure thing is that a fight is never a sure thing. Between the few promoters who can make enough money to finance another show, scoring available pay-per-view and TV dates, hoping rival promoters agree to work together, injuries, money and about a million other possible roadblocks, it can be harder than you would think to get two guys in the ring who, in fact, box for a living.


While these matchups between some of the game’s best would be fun for fight fans, there is a very good chance they won’t or can’t get made. But if they do, the predictions will be flying fast and furious. Let’s take a look into the New Year’s crystal ball…



Light Heavyweight: WBC/The Ring magazine champion Adonis Stevenson

Versus the winner of Lucian Bute-Jean Pascal: I like Pascal or Bute by unanimous decision unless Stevenson catches either. He hits them flush, he KO’s either one.


Versus IBF champion Bernard Hopkins: Father Time moves, fights in quick spurts and clinches his way to a unanimous decision. He sees everything in the ring and may be a bit too crafty for Adonis.


Versus WBO champion Sergey Kovalev: Bombs away in a doozy! Both have their moments. Pick ‘em.



Middleweight: Lineal/WBC/The Ring magazine champion Sergio Martinez


Versus Miguel Cotto: Toobig for Cotto. Miguel has his moments but not strong enough at weight to hurt Martinez. Sergio by unanimous decision.


Versus WBA champion Gennady Golovkin: Martinez looking good and winning until he gets caught and “GGG” stops him, late rounds.


Versus WBC/The Ring magazine welterweight/WBC/WBA/The Ring magazine junior middleweight champion Floyd MayweatherJr.(at a catchweight, ‘56, ‘57?): “Money” via easy unanimous decision.



Welterweight: WBC/The Ring magazine welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.


Versus WBO champion Timothy Bradley: Gutsy, no-quit Bradley wins some rounds but gets picked apart by Floyd. Mayweather by unanimous decision.


Versus Manny Pacquiao: The fight we all want to see before it gets too stale. Manny is game and fast but nobody can wait someone out to find the spot to counterpunch like Mayweather. You rush Manny and he can be an effective counterpuncher. You wait Manny out, he can get frustrated and he’s hittable. Nobody waits a fighter out to time the counter shot like Mayweather. He wrote the blueprint on that fight plan. Floyd sits back, gets timing down and cruises to a fairly easy unanimous decision.


Versus IBF champion Shawn Porter or WBA interim champion Keith Thurman: Both good, young, talented fighters. Both had great years in 2013 with lots more good stuff to come. A little too green at this stage for Floyd. Mayweather via unanimous decision over both.


Versus Amir Khan: Gotta love Khan’s toughness and desire to fight the best. He has some speed, which can be a problem but he will get hit at some point and his chin has betrayed him numerous times. Floyd by late stoppage.


Versus WBA welterweight champion Marcos Maidana: We all loved the never-say-quit tough guy for being “The Problem” for Adrien Broner. But did he fight much differently than he always has or did he expose Broner for being overrated? “El Chino” did display how coachable he was, following trainer Robert Garcia’s fight map to the letter. To coin a phrase used a lot by Adrien, this may actually be “easy work” for Floyd. I hope Maidana gets the shot; he deserves the payday. Viva Maidana but Floyd busts him up and stops him late.



Junior Welterweight: WBA/WBC/The Ring magazine champion Danny Garcia

 Versus WBO junior welterweight champion: Ruslan Provodnikov: It would be “Bombs away!” in this war. Nothing I’ve seen would let me bet against “Swift” so far; tough kid from Philly is impressive. Garcia by unanimous decision.


Versus Mike Alvarado: Tough guy from the “Mile High City” would be game for a while but I like Danny in mid/late-rounds stoppage.


Versus Brandon Rios: Probably would meet at 147 later in the year. I assume Rios would like a softer entrance back into the fray than Garcia but if they do meet, it’s a barnburner. I like Garcia by unanimous decision against tough-as-nails “Bam Bam.”




Questions and comments can be sent to Bill Tibbs at

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