Boxing elites Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, who have kept the sport alive for the last half decade are getting up there in age, and it is becoming more and more obvious that the two will never fight each other. So instead of wasting our time anticipating the biggest fight in boxing history, a bunch of young guns have been fighting for respect, and some older veterans have begun to get the recognition they have long deserved.
September was a great month for boxing. First we got to see Andre “Son Of God” Ward defend his title in his hometown of Oakland California against hard-hitting Chad Dawson. Ward wore Dawson out from the beginning, as Dawson underestimated Ward’s power to go along with his lightening speed and was outmatched from the start. Ward defeated Dawson by TKO in the 10th round, knocking him down three times throughout the fight. Ward impressed his record to 26-0. Some compare him to a young Joe Calzaghe, as they are in the same weight class. Had Calzaghe not been in his mid-40s, it would have been great to see the two of them face off.
There was also a bout between Oscar De La Hoya’s youngest protégé Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, as he defeated Josesito Lopez by TKO in the 5th round. No one expected Lopez to defeat Victor Ortiz at the beginning of the year, as we were all expecting a match between Alvarez and Ortiz. But Lopez, with almost both eyes completely shut, kept fighting and ended up breaking Victor Ortiz’ jaw, causing them to stop the fight. Lopez showed great heart in the fight, but we all knew he was no match for the 22-year-old Alvarez, who stands at an incredible 42-0, including 30 wins by TKO.
Hands down, the best fight of the year was Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. against one of the toughest fighters in boxing, Sergio Martinez. Martinez dominated the entire fight, and instead of pulling a move like Mayweather at the end of the fight by running and fighting conservatively, Martinez traded blows with Chavez Jr. until the very end. People thought Chavez might actually win as he recorded a knock down of Martinez in the 12th round, due in part to Martinez fighting all 48 minutes even though it was obvious he won the fight. However, Martinez got up and kept exchanging blows with Chavez Jr. and reigned victorious.
Had Chavez Jr. won, we would have probably saw a fight between him and Andre Ward by the beginning of the year 2013. But because Chavez Jr. recording his first lost, Ward has to look for a new opponent. It is out there that Martinez might be a potential matchup for Ward, but Martinez might have bigger opponents on the table. Being that Mayweather and Pacquiao aren’t going to fight, Martinez could be a potential opponent for either of the two. And to be honest, I think Martinez can beat both of them right now. They’d have to come to an agreement to fight at a certain weight, but either way Martinez might out-box them both.
On October 16th, it was reported that Welterweight Robert Guerrero, who had hoped to face Timothy Bradley in December, has agreed to a bout with the ferocious boxer Andre Berto. Berto, who was recently reinstated by the Boxing commission after having the steroid norandrosterone found in his system after a random urine test, was originally scheduled for a June 23rd rematch with Victor Ortiz, but that came to a screeching halt after the urine test. Guerrero and his camp was very displeased with how Timothy Bradley’s camp handled the situation, as they think they “chickened out.” We were all anticipating a fight between the two since the beginning of the summer, as December was going to be an even bigger month for boxing had those two fought.
On December 8th, we will see the fourth installment of a brutal battle that goes back almost 10 years between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez. All 3 previous fights between the two have been close brawls. This one may not be any different. In Pacquiao-Marquez 1, Pacquiao flat out dominated Marquez the first two rounds, including 3 knockdowns in the opening round. Marquez showed tremendous heart, however as he bounced back and won rounds 3-6 easily, in my naked eye opinion. Pacquiao of course showed that he wanted to win and came back and won the next three rounds. One can argue for either fighter in the last 3 rounds as they respectively exchanged blows. The bout however was ruled a draw. In their second fight, Pacquiao knocked Marquez down once, and this one was just as much of a close fight as the first one was. Two judges scored the fight 115-112 in favor of each of them. And to ensure this one wasn’t a tie, the final judge scored it 114-113 in favor of Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao came out victorious in the second fight, but in the third, even Pacquiao couldn’t believe he won. Unlike the first two fights when Marquez started out slow, he came out swinging from the opening bell and the majority of viewers and thousands in attendance believe he should have won the fight. The judges however gave the win to Pacquiao. Rumor has it that they favored Pacquiao to keep his reputation strong in hopes of a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, which of course will never happen. Rest assured that Marquez has a sour taste in his mouth for being screwed in the third fight, look forward to a bloody battle come December 8th.
Other fights for one to look forward to are Zab Judah vs Lamont Peterson, a rematch between Chad Dawson and Jean Pascal and a showdown on December 1st between Austin Trout and Miguel Cotto. Judah and Peterson were hoping for a fight in November, but at this time I doubt it happens, as that isn’t enough preparation time for the fighters to train for the bout. They have until October 17th to come to a contract agreement for the fight, and it will be scheduled no later than January 2nd. After Dawson’s humiliating loss to Andre Ward, look for him to avenge himself and find his groove in a second installment between him and Jean Pascal. The biggest of the bunch, however will be upcoming star Austin Trout against heavy hitting Miguel Cotto. Cotto stands only 5’7, and Trout at 5’10. Look for Trout to use his reach and outbox Cotto from a distance. Cotto on the other hand is all too familiar with fighting bigger fighters, as we saw what he did to Antonio Margarito in their second fight. Cotto has fought 40 professional fights (37-3 record), so his experience should help him against the young champion Austin Trout (25-0). But Trout is no slouch, so Cotto will have his work cut out for him.
Adrien Broner (24-0) is the only boxer of this generation with a bigger mouth than Floyd Mayweather. He recently said he will beat the Cuban phenom Yuriorkis Gamboa (21-0). Gamboa has yet to respond, but a fight between the two of them would be huge, as both have tremendous upside.
As the end of the year approaches, boxing is returning to the relevancy it once had, even without Mayweather scheduled to fight anytime soon and we don’t know what is next for Manny Pacquiao. But the young brawlers are sure to carry the sport in the future to keep it relevant and guarantee us that we will see some good fights. The rest of the year will be interesting for boxing. And the year 2013 should be even more promising.