We are now a year and a half away from what some believe to be the end of the world. The Mayans supposedly have predicted an end to the world on December 21, 2012, which doesn’t give us much time. Thankfully, we have 18 months until 2012 to clean up boxing and settle some scores. Now, I contend that my predictions are just as dependable as the Mayans’ call that the world will end, although there is some debate concerning what they meant. But for argument’s sake, we will go with the majority that lean toward the end of the world stuff.
Manny Pacquiao versus Floyd Mayweather, JR.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Bob Arum announced the fight had officially been signed and that the two best fighters in the game would return to the ring in November and face off for all of the marbles. The boxing message boards become so flooded with conversation and debate that they begin to crash, and the media frenzy begin. Every boxing and MMA website begins running stories, reporting rumors, and claiming friendship and the inside track to both fighters. “Steroids or not, I’m going to send him to the floor,” Floyd Mayweather, JR., notes to a reporter during training camp, as Roger comments, “the boy’s in trouble.”
Freddie Roach is very happy with Manny’s performance in camp and predicts an 8th round stoppage for his fighter. The Pacquiao fans scream “destiny,” which becomes the tagline for the fight: DESTINY: Floyd Mayweather, JR., vs. Manny Pacquiao.
HBO’s 24/7 Series brings in its highest ratings and the PPV numbers do not disappoint as on fight night they report that they have indications that they have beaten the highest grossing PPV by 50%.
A sold out crowd stands on their feet as Pacquiao walks down to the ring. He is stone faced as he walks in and as he steps into the ring, he seems focused and ready. He begins throwing some shadow punches and looks out to the capacity crowd. Jim Lampley notes that “Pacquiao looks like a caged lion.”
Mayweather wastes no time as he makes his way to the ring. He too seems more serious than ever. “This is the most electricity I have ever felt,” notes Lampley as the crowd roars with anticipation. He makes his way into the ring and stares at Pacquiao. Manny glares back and they begin to walk to each other when their corner men step in, preventing a pre-fight fight.
With the prefight festivities out of the way, the two stare at each other from across the ring, eagerly awaiting the opening bell. Pacquiao storms out of his corner and throws a straight left that immediately lands, but Floyd takes it and begins dodging and deflecting the incoming. The first round belongs to the more active Pacquiao.
In the second round, Floyd begins landing and although they are not seeming to hurt Pacquiao, they are turning his face red. “You are standing in front of him…use angles,” Roach calmly states to a frustrated Pacquiao in the corner.
In the fifth round, Pacquiao strikes and drops Mayweather with a straight left hand. Mayweather arises and smiles, winking at the referee when he counts. It was a good shot that stunned Mayweather but didn’t necessarily hurt him. Pacquiao swarms but most of the shots miss and Floyd goes back to his corner with a smile on his face.
From the sixth round on, Floyd controls and amazingly begins to hunt down Pacquiao. Manny moves and attempts to counter Floyd, an interesting tactic for sure, but an ineffective one. In the 10th round, Floyd lands with two uppercuts and Pacquiao collapses to the floor. He sits down and looks at the referee as he counts. He arises at six, nods at Floyd and the bout continues. Pacquiao survives the round.
A late rally in the final round by Pacquiao impresses, but it is obvious to the commentary team that Floyd did enough to win. The judges come in and score it, 116-110, 114-111, and 113-112, all for the winner Floyd Mayweather, JR. Because of the success of the first outing, the two agree to a rematch, which takes place in May of 2011, Floyd once again winning a decision in similar fashion.
The Return of Mike Tyson
Foxwoods Casino, Uncasville, Connecticut
The former 2-Time Heavyweight Champion, Mike Tyson, returns to the ring in March of 2011, featured on a special broadcast on FOX, in their attempt to bring back boxing to network TV. Their prior cards in late 2010 brought in good ratings and now they were able to strike a deal with Don King, the promoter of Tyson for the upcoming telecast. Tyson signed to fight Mike Mollo, an aggressive heavyweight with a big punch that had gone the distance with Andrew Golota.
Tyson came in weighing a fit 225 pounds, and had reportedly looked sharp in training. The fight, itself turned out to be sloppy for the first few rounds with an obviously rusty Tyson missing many of his punches and Mollo progressing forward and doing some damage. In the fourth round, Tyson would jar Mollo with an uppercut, wobbling him. Tyson would pounce and land two more uppercuts, sending Mollo crashing to the floor. The referee would reach nine and wave it off. Tyson returns with a stoppage win in the fourth round. With the amazing ratings, ABC and NBC announce a planned fight schedule for the near future, and Tyson states interest in a title shot.
Tyson gets his title shot in August of 2011 against WBF Champion, Evander Holyfield. A PPV titled: “The Reunion” pits the two all time greats against each other with both men stating that there will be no excuses. Holyfield seems to dictate the action, but Tyson is actually fighting well. At the end of 12 rounds, the decision is in doubt. Holyfield was ahead, it seemed, but lost two points for intentional head butts. The judges would score it 113-113 across the board, ending in a draw and talk of a fourth encounter.
In November of 2010, Wladimir Klitschko finally defends his title against the eager Alexander Povetkin, winning a hotly disputed split decision in Germany. Teddy Atlas screams home cooking with the judges, and with David Haye fresh off his TKO 1st round stoppage of Audley Harrison, a Klitschko – Haye fight looms and Povetkin will be denied the rematch.
Vitali Klitschko signs to fight former WBA Champion, Nikolay Valuev, in Germany in December of 2010, and jabs his way to a wide decision, making the comment that there aren’t “many more worlds to conquer.” With Odlanier Solis knocking out Ray Austin in two rounds, he demands his crack, but there are other options like David Tua, a fight that Vitali has been entertaining.
In April of 2011, Haye-Klitschko becomes a reality, fought in neutral territory in Las Vegas, Nevada. Haye shocks the world by stopping Wlad in six rounds. Wlad could not keep off the swarming Haye once he hurt him and crumpled to the canvas, unable to beat the count. Vitali expresses his interest in the now unified champion (WBO/WBA/IBF/IBO) but Haye states that he has other plans.
Vitali would take on David Tua in June 2011 and survive some rocky moments to take the decision.
Super Six Results
With only one defeat in the Super Six, Arthur Abraham takes the title home with a stoppage of Andre Ward. He now looks forward to a showdown with Lucian Bute, a man that has been eagerly awaiting the winner since the inception of the tournament.
The End of Bernard Hopkins
Hopkins sees the potential of winning another title at light heavyweight and signs to fight IBF Champion, Tavoris Cloud. Cloud impressed the boxing world with an 9th round TKO battering of Glen Johnson in August of 2010, and a January 2011 showdown was signed with ring veteran Hopkins to be featured on HBO.
Hopkins wins the early rounds with his ring generalship and movement but a left hook would rattle the old warrior and he wouldn’t be able to fend off the aggression, succumbing to the punishment, rescued by the referee in the seventh round.
Cloud would sign to fight fellow champion, Chad Dawson, in a May 2011 showdown. Cloud once again surprises critics with a stoppage of Dawson in the later rounds, becoming one of the stars in boxing.
Paul Williams & Sergio Martinez
Without anyone eager to face either man, they turn to each other in September of 2010, an eagerly awaited rematch in a fight that saw Williams winning a majority decision. In the rematch for middleweight gold, Martinez turns the tables and wins a close majority decision of his own, leading to a third and final encounter in May of 2011, which disappointingly ends in a draw. The two decide to explore other options before agreeing to a fourth showdown.
This is only a possible look at the future and there are two things that will happen in 2012…either the world will end with explosions and natural disasters and all that stuff, or it will continue to go on, which is the favorite right now if you’re betting. Just like Y2K, this is another interesting thing that we create as humans to keep life fun and to keep Hollywood making bad movies with enormous budgets and ridiculous special effects. I believe the boxing world will keep on spinning and life will go on and be fun when 2012 comes along and passes.