Christmas and New Year are times for reflections and holiday wishes. Here are my wishes for 2012, a year boxing fans are already looking forward to.
Nonito Donaire vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux
Earlier this year Donaire assumed his rightful place among boxing’s elite with a spectacular one punch knock out over veteran Mexican champion, Fernando Montiel. Donaire moved up to super bantamweight and is scheduled to face former champion from Puerto Rico, Vilfredo Vasquez Jr. , who is by no means an easy opponent. Donaire is expected to pass this test in February with flying colors.
Cuban defector Rigondeaux is scheduled to fight for another version of super bantamweight title in January against very talented Rico Ramos from Southern California. Former two time Olympic gold medalist, Rigondeaux only has eight bouts in his professional dossier which are supplemented by unparalleled amateur career. Guillermo spent a brief stint in Hollywood training with legendary Freddie Roach. As a boxer Rigondeaux combines flawless fundamentals and savvy defensive skills with superior speed and power. In sparring he knocked out a veteran opponent with a lightning fast uppercut. According to Roach Rigondeaux is a perfect blend of Pacquiao and Mayweather. Should Nonito and Guillermom pass their tough test this Winter, their showdown later on this year could be explosive.
Yoriorkis Gamboa vs. Gary Russell Jr.
Another explosive world champion from Cuba, Gamboa wants to follow in Manny Pacquiao footsteps and dominate several weight divisions. He has been successful asserting his superiority in featherweight division. There were talks about Gamboa moving up to lightweight to face Brandon Rios, but as of now he is scheduled to face Rocky Juarez at super featherweight in March in Los Angeles. That match up is meaningless. Even though former Silver medalist Juarez is very experienced, he has become nothing more than a tough opponent as of late. Considering his amateur background, Gamboa has done enough practice; he needs a real challenge that could captivate hearts of boxing fans. That challenge could be another former Olympic silver medalist, Gary Russell Jr. American fighter from Maryland has come on the scene last month when in his HBO debut he stopped a seasoned veteran from Mexico, Heriberto Ruiz in the very first round. Russell can match Gamboa in speed , skills and power and would provide for a breathtaking match up at super-featherweight division.
Robert Guerrero vs. Brandon Rios.
Multi divisional champion from Gilroy, California, Robert Guerrero has one name on his Christmas wish list, Floyd Mayweather. With Floyd going to jail and Robert yet never fighting above lightweight, I believe this match up is premature. Widely recognized as one of the best lightweights in the world, Brandon Rios has been blowing through opponents like Hitler invading Eastern Europe.Rios has struggled to make weight in his last fight and lost his championship on the scale. Guerrero wanted to move up to light welterweight last year against Marcos Maidana, but suffered a shoulder injury. Styles make fights and a style match up between Guerrero, a stylish south paw boxer puncher with Rios, an all out offensive machine with skills is mouth watering.
Miguel Cotto vs. Canelo Alvarez
Ever since being stopped by pound for pound king, Manny Pacquiao in 2009, Miguel Cotto moved up to light middleweight division and ruled it with skills and experience. Last time out at a sold out Madison Square Garden, Cotto registered a dominating performance against fierce nemesis from Mexico, Antonio Margarito. Rising star from Mexico, Saul Alvarez has been dominating opponents put in front of him and looking more and more impressive each time out. Pundits say it’s time for him to take a real test. This match up tingles my sweet science taste buds. Long standing rivalry between Mexico and Puerto Rico would add fuel to the fire of this contest which pits youth versus experience and skills and power on both sides. Cotto versus Alvarez could sell out MSG in New York as well as Staples Center in Los Angels or any venue in Mexico.
Sergio Martinez vs. Dmitry Pirog.
Following a spectacular one punch knock out of Paul Williams last year, Middleweight champion from Argentina, Sergio Martinez has been clamoring to fight Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather. Extremely gifted fighter, Martinez must have problems with arithmetics; Manny and Floyd are welterweights, Sergio is middleweight. That’s two divisions and thirteen pounds apart. May be Martinez should try to fight somebody his own size. One of those guys is a middleweight title holder from Russia, Dmitry Pirog who believes that his fundamental boxing skills and power would upset athletically superior Martinez. If nothing else this would be a fair fight featuring two talented and skilled champions.
Andre Ward vs. Lucian Bute
Former Olympic gold medalist from Oakland, California, Andre Ward asserted his dominance in super middleweight division winning a two year long Super Six tournament and defeating every top opponent put in front of him. The only guy that did not make it to the tournament is an undefeated champion from Canada, Lucian Bute. Slick south paw with sneaky power in both hands, Bute has been impressing fight fans with his speed and ring savvy. Ward and Bute need each other for a super fight that would attract fans around the world in a relatively new super middleweight division.
Klitschko vs. Klitschko
Heavyweight division has not given fight fans much to cheer about as of late. Two giant brothers from Ukraine, Wladimir and Vitali have been dominating a former glory division with iron fists for quite a while now.Boxing fans have been dying for explosive heavyweight action only to witness dominating performances by either brother. I know they are brothers and I know they vowed to never fight each other, but unfortunately that is the only fight that could generate any interest in the division. Perhaps a brotherly quarrel could set up a huge fight or I could just keep dreaming and asking Santa to put this one together.
Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather
Speaking about dreaming, I have been hoping for a Super bowl of boxing between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather for quite a while now. Two best fighters in the world, pound for pound, Manny according to Ring Magazine, and Floyd, self proclaimed and now backed by ESPN, just have to face each other in the ring to decide who is the best. Most anticipated and most talked about match up in recent history is most intriguing because of styles. We have an offensive machine, Pacquiao facing defensive wizard, Mayweather. Who will win? Will we ever find out? And just when it seemed like negotiations were moving in a positive direction, Floyd was sentenced to go to jail for ninety days. Would this hinder making a big fight? My wife put a turkey in the oven for Thanksgiving and forgot all about it . You know what happened to the turkey; it got burned. I just hope this mega fight doesn’t get burned. Precious time is ticking.
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