Fights to look forward to in '08
Well, I haven't posted in a good while (work, ugh), but considering that we're now heading into the home stretch of what's been an incredible couple of months of big boxing fights for the last few months (Pavlik/Taylor, Pacquiao/Barrera II, Diaz/Diaz, Calzaghe/Kessler, Cotto/Mosley, Guzman/Soto, and coming up in 2 weeks, Mayweather/Hatton), its probably time to start looking forward to next year and what it holds in store for boxing as far as big fights go. Now, nothing is set in concrete yet except for these few, big fights:
Roy Jones/Felix Trinidad- Honestly, I don't care much for this fight as I think both of them ought to be retired, and considering the layoff Trinidad is coming off of, plus the high weight, I can't see this fight being competitive at all. I know Afro and Harlem will heartily disagree with me here, but I'll tell you right now that this fight won't be getting a buy from me.
Wladimir Klitschko/Sultan Ibragimov- Finally, a heavyweight unification bout in February, and about time. It should be on HBO, I believe on Feb. 23.
Kelly Pavlik/Jermain Taylor II- Even though its not a title fight, it should still be another good fight, one that I expect Pavlik to win. On PPV on Feb. 16, if I'm not mistaken.
Israel Vasquez/Rafael Marquez III- This is the one I'm looking forward to! For the true super bantamweight championship of the world, and the rubber match to what's been an all-time great series of fights. On March 1.
And of course, there are the rumored fights for next year, including Paul Williams/Kermit Cintron to unify their respective WBO/IBF welterweight titles, Oscar de la Hoya is supposed to be fighting on May 3 at Dodger Stadium, who knows against whom, and Manny Pacquiao is supposed to be fighting on March 13, hopefully against Juan Manuel Marquez.
Cotto's next fight would probably be a title defense against Antonio Margarito (but I'd LOVE to see him fight Hatton if he beats Mayweather next month), we could get to see Joe Calzaghe/Bernard Hopkins, Samuel Peter will finally get to fight Oleg Maskaev, and for those of you who are fans of the little guys, I keep hearing rumors about a fight between Fernando Montiel and Cristian Mijares to unify their WBO and WBC super flyweight titles.
2007 has been great, especially towards the end. Here's to hoping 2008 is better. Boxing needs this momentum.
I pretty much agree with everything your saying here. The only reason why I'm watching Tito vs Jones, is because it will be the RJJ show. He's my fav. fighter, and I just like watching him fight.
Oh and I really hope we get to see Calzaghe vs Hopkins sooner rather than later!
Must make an amendment to my list: Golden Boy just won a purse bid to promote a fight between Juan Diaz and Michael Katsidis, probably to be held in Houston on Jan. 26. Now, this doesn't mean the fight is set in stone because the contract still needs to get signed by both fighters, but I think both sides have agreed to an 80/20 split (Diaz is making $1.2 million, while Katsidis will make $300,000). It doesn't seem like much for Katsidis, but the guy's definitely got balls and confidence. He knows just fighting Diaz could lead to bigger and better things for him in the future, even if he loses. Hell, if the fight is exciting (and it most certainly will be), you can expect to hear talks of a rematch sometime down the line.
Lightweight is gonna be fun to watch the next year boys. The winner of the Diaz/Katsidis fight has to face the IBF's #1 contender Nate Campbell, and he is more than deserving. Casamayor and Santa Cruz are supposed to rematch, and David Diaz has to fight the winner.
I think this fight could propel Juan Diaz into superstar status, since the fight is already an early FOTY contender for 2008. He'd have fought, and beaten, Acelino Freitas, Julio Diaz, and Michael Katsidis all in a row, and have to face Nate Campbell afterwards. That's as tough a 4-fight stretch as I've seen in a while. If all goes to plan, we could possibly see a complete lightweight title unification bout by the end of '08, or the very beginning of '09.
Check fightnews.com for the whole story.
And yet another amendment........Pacquiao/Marquez II is on!
Manny decided to rematch Marquez on March 15th, which had been a date held for him anyway. There had been talk of Pacquiao moving up to lightweight to challenge David Diaz for his WBC title, but thankfully, the man came to his senses and realized he still had unfinished business (plus he'd make more money fighting Marquez than any other opponent around).
So with Pavlik/Taylor II, Diaz/Katsidis, Klitschko/Ibragimov, Peter/Maskaev, Vasquez/Marquez III, Jones/Trinidad, and now Pacquiao/Marquez II, the first 3 months of 2008 are straight overloaded with important/huge fights.
On the bad side, the proposed Cintron/Williams unificiation bout has been called off due to Cintron's torn ligaments in his right hand. He's not cleared to fight until March, so the soonest he'll probably defend his title is probably April or May. In the meantime, Williams will defend his title against someone else.
Miguel Cotto still needs an opponent for his next fight (rumors include him fighting Antonio Margarito or Joshua Clottey), David Diaz is gonna need an opponent to fight while waiting on the winner of the Casamayor/Santa Cruz rematch, Paulie Malignaggi is for sure defending his title against Herman Ngoudjo, Ricardo Torres is supposed to defend his title against Victor Ortiz, and of course, there's that Calzaghe/Hopkins proposed fight that everyone keeps mentioning. 2008 is looking like it'll kick so much ass at this point.
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