Will the Middleweight/ Super Middleweight/ Light Heavyweight Boxers dominate P4P during the next five years?
by Nick Hagan: The middleweight/Super middleweight and Light Heavyweight divisions were the elite divisions, from the mid 1990’s up to 2008 (when Joe Calzaghe retired). The world of boxing was blessed with Roy Jones Junior who had incredible fast hand speed, very hard hitting and exceptionally exciting to watch. I prefer, like most to remember Jones’s career up to 2003 (his win against Antonio Tarver). Up to this point he was simply unbeatable.
Then there was Bernard Hopkins who went unbeaten for over ten years and twenty world title defences. Bhop fought the best and beat the best during this time period. Bhop has come under criticism through his career for not always being the most exciting of boxers, however there is no denying that he was arguably the most technically gifted boxer of his generation. Any boxer who has wins against Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad and Winky Wright etc is exceptional.
Finally we had Joe Calzaghe, who was that good he was never beaten. Calzaghe like Jones was blessed with incredibly fast hand/ ring speed and true determination to never be beaten. Calzaghe in my opinion had two real defining fights during his career. The first against Chris Eubank to win the WBC Super middleweight belt, where Joe completely dominated the champion. However his pinnacle fight was against the much fancied American Jeff Lacy. Lacy was viewed as being almost unbeatable, but again Calzaghe dominated Lacy from start to finish and showed the boxing world, just how good he was. The win against Lacy really gave Calzaghe, for the first time exposure to the American public.
Since the retirement of Calzaghe, (with the exception of a few fights from Sergio Martinez and Carl Froch) the 155 Pounds – 175 Pound divisions have been largely overshadowed by the 140 – 154 Pound divisions, which have been blessed with true world champions in Pacquiao, Mayweather and Marquez. However I feel that this is all about to change within the next few years.
The 155 Pounds – 175 Pounds divisions have an abundance of gifted young boxers, such as Gennady Golovkin, Andre Ward, Julio Cesar Chavez, Nathan cleverly and George Groves.
I have watched GGG a few times and I have not seen power and knockout ratio like his, since Roy Jones Junior. Andre Ward reminds me of a young Bhop, not always exciting, but technically very gifted. Chavez in my opinion will improve once he moves up to the 168 Pounds division, where he will be less weight drained. Chavez could really mix it with the likes of Ward and Golovkin, so long as he stays off the Pot and commits himself 100% to boxing.
I have also recently watched a couple of fights by Nathan Cleverly. Cleverly is like a clone of Calzaghe, but possesses more power and aggression.
Andre Ward has already proven his credentials (WBC and WBA World Champion) against the likes of Froch, Kessler and Chad Dawson. Ward is here to stay and in my opinion would be the hardest to beat, due to his technical ability. Finally there is George Groves, the young Brit, who should be fighting for a world title during the next six months and has true potential.
What’s so exciting about these young boxers is that they could all quite conceivably end up fighting each other. GGG V Ward (would probably make PPV) and would be mouth-watering. The aggressor against the masterful technician. Cleverly V Chavez at a catchweight. This would also make for a great fight. Cheverly’s speed against the pure aggression of Chavez. Finally Cleverly V Groves would make for a great domestic battle in UK and American Interest If It happened in a couple of year’s time.
I’m sure that if these fights happened they would rival the great fights that Jones, Bhop and Calzaghe had during their careers.
So my point here is that boxing is changing, the old guard in the lower divisions will all be finished within two years and the young guns from above will take over. There is a lack of talent in the 140-154 divisions (with the exception of Broner), so don’t be surprised to find boxing’s Pound for Pound dominated by the slightly heavier divisions during the next five years.
What are your opinions?