Professional boxing stepped it up midway of the year 2009 and seems to be closing out strong throughout the rest of 2010. I must admit there were times during most of 2008 and the early parts of 2009 that made me unsure about the future of professional boxing in all of its weight classes.
Putting together good boxing matches posed a very tough challenge, or so it seemed! It was then, that the UFC, MMA and Wrestling Mania were on the loose. All the attention started to point in that direction. Names like Chuck Liddell, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Tito Ortiz, Anderson Silva, George St. Pierre, Forrest Griffith, Rashad Evans, Shaun Michaels, Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart and Randy Savage just to name a few. There are many more great fighters and wrestlers not mentioned here.
Just a year and a half ago, professional boxing seemed to be falling right off the diving board. The octagon was the sport most fight fans talked about. But it seemed half way through 2009, professional boxing shifted gears. Showtime brought us the Super Six Tournament. And then, out of retirement came Floyd Mayweather JR., with his one-sided upset over Juan Manuel Marquez.
Shortly afterwards we had Manny Pacquiao to dismantle Miguel Cotto. All of a sudden professional boxing hopped right back into the driver’s seat. It was really this year 2010 that professional boxing really started to sizzle again. The majority of the match ups has delivered very well. The heavyweight division seemed to be the only cylinder of six that did not work properly.
However, you can’t really place the blame on the best two fighters of the division, that being the Klitschko’s; it’s not their fault that there is no real competition for them. David Haye, who just defeated Audley Harrison, is about the only heavyweight available that could possibly cause them problems, but until those fights happen, we won’t know. Maybe 2011 gives us those bouts.
We had Pacquiao defeating Joshua Clottey earlier this year, before a huge crowd of 51,000 in the new Cowboy Stadium in Texas. Not long after that Mayweather dominated Shane Mosley in front of a sellout crowd in Las Vegas, Nevada along with huge pay per views buys. We also had Lucian Bute, Miguel Cotto, Victor Ortiz, Amir Khan, Timothy Bradley, Nonito Donaire, Rafael Marquez, Juan Manuel Marquez, Lamont Peterson and Zab Judah all showed up big in their fights this year.
The Super Six Tournament delivered some astonishing fights in ‘09 and 2010. Arthur Abraham had a devastating knockout over Jermain Taylor. Carl Froch had a split decision win over Andre Dirrell which some thought the fight could have went either way. Dirrell came back strong after Froch with a disqualification win over Abraham. Dirrell was giving Abraham a boxing clinic, before Abraham got discouraged a hit Dirrell while he was down from a slippage in round ten.
We also had Andre Ward winning over Mikkel Kessler. Ward showed superior skills over Kessler. Ward has been in the lead over all other boxers in the series. The tournament in some eyes had a very strong impact on professional boxing and may have helped save the sport in ‘09 and 2010. The Super Six Tournament has had some dropouts lately, but added Glen Johnson and Allen Green. Johnson just recently defeated Green by knockout.
Pacquiao just recently destroyed Margarito in twelve brutal rounds in what I thought was a complete beat down again in Cowboy Stadium in Texas before a huge crowd. Professional boxing is definitely on tract closing out 2010. We still have undefeated Julio Cesar Chavez JR., in a bout against Alfonso Gomez. We also have Marcos Maidana challenging Amir Khan with Victor Ortiz meeting Lamont Peterson all on one card.
Same weekend in December we have super middle weight Jeff Lacy against Dhafir Smith and Marcos Antonio Barrera meeting Likar Romos both lightweights. Following week we have light heavyweight Bernard Hopkins fighting Canadian Jean Pascal who was recently victorious over undefeated Chad Dawson. The year 2010 should close out strong with these remaining match ups.
Even though we didn’t get the big mega fight between Mayweather JR. vs. Pacquiao this year, we had enough interesting and exciting fights to make up for that event. Both boxers fought this year and looked really good against their opponents, so that only makes the year 2011 even more exciting.
The welterweights and light welterweights is where all the real action will be going into 2011. There is some serious talent boiling in those divisions. The middleweights and super middleweights will also have sparks flying in 2011. The likes of Andre Ward, Andre Dirrell, Sergio Martinez, Paul Williams, Lucian Bute and if Jean Pascal gets by Bernard Hopkins this year will also be a force in his division.
The heavyweight division has to make the fight between David Haye and the Klitschkos. That is all that division has! Place Haye against Vitali first, and if he wins, let him fight Wladimir second. Even if those fights are close, those are the three real threats in that division. Should Ortiz and Khan win against their opponents in December—let’s see them in a match up against each other in 2011. I’m sure Golden Boy Promotions is waiting for that day to materialize!
I would like see Andre Ward against Lucian Bute or Andre Dirrell. A rematch of Kessler and Froch would be exciting, maybe this time in England where Froch lives or here in the United States. Zab Judah has a lot competition in his weight class. It’s going to be interesting to see how well he revives his career. There is very good potential for some great fights in 2011. The match making should be easier going into 2011 than the last few years, because the level of competition has risen tremendously.
Somewhere in 2011, maybe spring or early summer we should be preparing ourselves for the biggest fight in the history of boxing. The two names that are now totally household names; Floyd “Money” Mayweather JR., vs. Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao should be in the headlines of all sports newspapers and magazines along with their faces on Billboards in every major city and town in this country and abroad.
That event has to take place in 2011. They both have run out of competition. The only thing left is for them to meet up against each other in the square ring. Floyd is an undefeated boxer with 41 wins w/25 by knockout 0 losses. He is a complete fighter. His ring skills are way above par. Manny has been beating up every fighter who steps in the ring with him regardless of size. His record is 52 wins 38 by knockout w/3 losses and 2 draws.
More than likely, these two icons will meet up in the center of the ring in 2011 afterwards we the fight fans will have a clear picture on who’s pound-for-pound best boxer in the world. With all the good talent it has in it’s arsenal, professional boxing can only produce great things in the year 2011.