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What is yet to come in 2011?

By Sam Smith: The year 2011 has given Boxing fans many surprises and disappointments. Juan Manuel Lopez’s crushing defeat at the hands of Orlando Salido was something very few expected, David Lemieux’s meteoric rise to stardom was shot down by a resilient Marco Antonio Rubio. An upset is something I personally as a fan of Boxing enjoy, not necessarily if I followed the career of the defeated fighter but I do like to find myself asking the question I’m sure most fans ask themselves post upset, ‘How did I not see that coming?’

Something that I cannot see the bright side of though is the much-loathed ‘disappointment’. Yes, Shane Mosley may have entered complete survival mode after being dropped in the 3rd but surely the reigning pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao should have been able to end the fight as well as Mosley’s decorated career before a much less skilled fighter could tarnish it further.

Then came the let-down of the Summer, this fight managed to make Pacquiao-Mosley look entertaining. David Haye vs. Wladimir Klitschko was meant to reinvigorate the dormant Heavyweight division, but instead of what Haye promised, a brutal knockout, the viewer’s got 12 rounds of Klitschko giving Haye a lesson in ring generalship. The fallout has been that severe that Sky has made the decision to stop its PPV service until 2013.

But hey it’s not all doom and gloom, we were treated to some great fights on both sides of the Atlantic. Victor Ortiz vs. Andre Berto, this looked like Berto was picking another Light-Welterweight to make easy pickings of, but didn’t that turn out to be a smack in the face, over 12 brilliant rounds Ortiz proved his heart in this up and down thriller and gained the WBC belt in the process. On my side of the pond, undefeated John Murray took on come-backing Kevin Mitchell in what turned out to be a potential British fight of the year.

Looking forward now, the new season is almost about to kick off and we have a few excellent months of boxing to salivate over. The conclusion of the Super Six tournament, the ring return of the Floyd Mayweather Jr. and several other mouth-watering bouts all before the year’s end.

After all Showtime’s competition has been through with injury induced pull-outs, some less suspect than others, I believe that the two best fighters will meet in the tournament’s final and that is Andre Ward and Carl Froch, I’ll admit that I’m a big fan of Froch’s but I’m not that short-sighted to see that Ward possesses many skills to make victory a big ask for ‘The Cobra’.

On September the 17th Floyd Mayweather Jr. makes his return after what will be by fight night a 16 month hiatus. He has many questions to answer, ‘Is there any ring rust?’, ‘How good is a 34 year old version of Floyd Mayweather?’, ‘Is Victor Ortiz good enough to make this fight difficult?’ and ‘Why isn’t Floyd Mayweather more active in the ring than he is outside of it?’ I sincerely hope this is not the last time we see Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the ring with the ever increasing amount of court cases being filed against him.

Manny Pacquiao, how can you not like the guy? Rags to riches personified, the best in the world at his trade and yet remains seemingly humble despite his growing celebrity status and workload. The Pac-Man comes face to face with Juan Manuel Marquez for a third time on the 12th of November, the previous two fights between them resulted in sensational action over 24 combined rounds, including 4 knockdowns, all suffered by Juan Manuel Marquez but that man has determination in abundance.

Juan Manuel Marquez’s only adventure above 135lbs, apart from a 1 round blowout against Likar Ramos, was against Floyd Mayweather Jr. were Juan Manuel Marquez was slower than usual and taught a lesson by Mayweather Jr., this does not bode well for Marquez as Pacquiao remains supremely fast nearly 40lbs heavier than his pro debut.

With only three fights covered it is clear to see that 2011 looks set for a strong finish with other fights on the way including Povetkin vs. Chagaev, Klitschko vs. Adamek, Alvarez vs. Gomez, Martinez vs. Barker, Hopkins vs. Dawson, Bute vs. Johnson, Steiglitz vs. Kessler and Cotto vs. Margarito II, plus many fighters are yet to have bouts arranged.

It’s all good.

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