Fighters and Fights of 2011: Berto, Maidana, Brandon Rios …
By Francisco Hernandez: For 2011 we can forget about Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley; everyone already knows the outcome of that fight. Pacquiao is simply going to give the aged and rickety Mosley a beat down. This is a fight which outcome was decided the day it was made by Bob Arum. This fight is no different than when Bob Arum’s prodigy Butterbean beat the 50 year old Larry Holmes. Pacquiao vs. Mosley should be left for the casual fan to enjoy, dazzled by the media circus and 24/7. Real boxing fans should move on to better things in 2011. Here are some of the honest fighters boxing fans should be watching to make straightforward and exciting fights in 2011:
Fernando Montiel and Nonito Donaire are supposed to duke it out on February 19, 2011. Donaire is considered by many critics to be the most skillful Filipino boxer of today, he has been sheltered since knocking out Vic Darchinyan, but now he will be in a true contest against the dangerous finisher Fernando Montiel. The third man to watch in this rivalry is Abner Mares who should be matched against both Montiel and Donaire. This trinity can make exciting fights between them in the bantamweight division.
In the featherweight division we also have three fighters than can mix it up. Yuriorkis Gamboa and Juan Manuel Lopez shouldn’t wait longer than 2011 to fight each other. The moment is right, they are both at the top of their game, and fans want to see this fight now! The moment is right for this fight to happen. The third man in the mix is Rafael Marquez. Some fans think the three fights with Israel Vasquez took too much out of him, but Rafael in his last fight with Lopez demonstrated he can still dish out as much punishment as he gets. Win or lose Rafael can still give hell to both Lopez and Gamboa. This is another trinity of fighters that need to face off.
The Lightweight division is rich with fighters that can provide exciting matchups. Juan Manuel Marquez, Robert Guerrero, Brandon Rios, Humberto Soto, Urbano Antillon, Juan Diaz, Michael Katsidis. Any matchup here is full of high explosives, if they could all fight each other, boxing would return to its days of glory. All these fighters are known for a penchant to mix it up, Robert Guerrero is the boxer of the bunch but he knows how to beat up brawlers. Juan Manuel Marquez is the master technician. Brandon Rios is a foul mouthed kid who likes nothing more than to knock you out. Humberto Soto, hard working boxer who can hold his own against anyone. Urbano Antillon, whose reckless style of head first fighting makes good fights. Match Michael Katsidis with anyone one of the aforementioned fighters and you will not go wrong. Last but not least is Juan Diaz, el Torito has seen better days but he can still trade leather and have a chance of outworking any one of the fighters in this group.
The Junior Welterweight division is a sphere full of fighters that can make good matchups. Timothy Bradley vs. Devon Alexander should be an interesting fight. Win or lose both fighters are part of the mix of talent that needs to be matched. Marcos Maidana, Timothy Bradley, Devon Alexander, Victor Ortiz, should all fight each other to bring excitement back to Boxing. I am leery of putting Amir Khan in this group because the signs are there that he will now be fed easy opposition to bamboozle the Brits. But if Khan is willing to face this group of fighters he should be included.
In the Welterweight division there is not much to choose from. With master defensive boxer Mayweather in the shadows and the punisher Pacquiao becoming the Butterbean of this decade, the only worthwhile fighter left is Andre Berto. One exciting fight in Welterweight that fans would enjoy is Andre Berto vs. Saul Alvarez. Alvarez learning time is over and he needs to take the Welterweight championship next year before he can no longer make the weight. Saul and Andre can make a good fight. I doubt this fight will happen though, but hope it will.
At Junior Middleweight there is not much to say. A possible fight between Miguel Cotto and Alfredo Angulo could have been interesting, but rumors have it that Bob Arum wanted to protect Cotto from Angulo, and dropped the dime on Angulo to have him deported to Mexico. Arum seems to want to promote Julio Cesar Chavez junior against Cotto. That is a joke of a fight because Chavez junior can barely make that weight. Cotto would probably have to allow Chavez to come in weighing in at close to Super Middleweight, and that would be another circus. If Saul Alvarez moves up to Junior Middleweight which is probable, a fight between Saul and Alfredo in Mexico would be a hit. Saul Alvarez and Miguel Cotto would be interesting, but it is unlikely because Arum wants to reserve Cotto’s hide for Julio Cesar Chavez Junior, a fight not worth seeing.
In Middleweight there are three fighters. Sergio Martinez, Paul Williams, Julio Cesar Chavez Junior. A matchup between Chavez and Williams would be a hit, and also Chavez against Martinez. These are fights the fans want to watch. Arum may not allow Chavez to fight any of these dangerous fighters and therefore the Middleweight division is dead. Sergio Martinez doesn’t have anyone he can fight that matters. Paul Williams is in the same situation.
Beyond the Middleweight division words should not be wasted, they are empty of anything worth watching to this writer. Nuff said.