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Big changes likely for boxing in 2015

Manny PacquiaoBy Gav Duthie: Taking a good look at the boxing landscape I think next year is pivotal for the future popularity of the sport.

It is a make or break year for some of the decades biggest fights and is likely to see many high profile retirements. 2015 could finally see big changes in the heavyweight scene as well as a Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao scrap which is long overdue. We will also be looking for prospects like Gennady Golovkin to have a career defining fight. 


Pound for Pound

The king is dead, long live the king. There will always be a P4P Top 10, when one goes another will take his place. However, when I look at the list below I believe we may see the biggest change in years at the top and I’m not sure that the talent coming through is anywhere near what is departing. 

1. Floyd Mayweather
2. Andre Ward
3. Wladimir Klitschko
4. Manny Pacquiao
5. Tim Bradley
6. Juan Manuel Marquez
7. Guillermo Rigondeaux
8. Carl Froch
9. Roman Gonzalez
10. Saul Canelo Alvarez

Of the current Ring Magazine Top 10 four of them have hinted at imminent retirement and others will no doubt follow in the near future. Taking recent quotes at face value Floyd Mayweather will retire after his 49th fight in September 2015, Andre Ward said on twitter “If I never box another day in my life, I can’t complain” hinting he may also retire. There goes the top 2. #6 Juan Manuel Marquez is also likely to retire soon as is #8 Carl Froch if he doesn’t get a fight with Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr. Wladimir Klitschko won’t be far behind if he wins the final world tile in the set making him undisputed heavyweight champion. 

So that is potentially half of the top ten gone right there. Legendary Alien Bernard Hopkins can’t go on forever so the question remains Is there enough talent to replace these fighters on both a boxing and commercial level. We are looking at the likes of Gennady Golovkin, Deontay Wilder, Sergiy Kovalev, Keith Thurman, Kell Brook, Carl Frampton, Adrien Broner and Terence Crawford among others to really step up in the next year. 

Possible Huge Fights

Mayweather v Pacquiao

Love or hate Floyd Mayweather the specter of a fight between him and Manny Pacquiao has kept fight fans hopes dangling since 2009. Next year this fight either happens or its gone, its now or never. Either way it will be over and fans will be looking for the next big fight but I’m not yet sure what that is. 

Canelo v Cotto

Cotto is another modern day legend although currently outside the top p4p list. Cotto turned 34 yesterday and is battle scarred. One big fight is all he needs to secure his financial future and boxing legacy. Canelo is hugely popular but is still trying to rebuild his reputation after his loss to Floyd Mayweather. His win over Lara perhaps raised more questions than answers and Cotto’s style would suit the Mexican better for a top fight. 

Gennady Golovkin v ?

Anyone really. The above fights are easy as they are the only real fights left. As good as Golovkin looks he needs a big opponent. He says Martin Murray is the best one out there for early next year but that won’t excite anyone. Anybody from Jermaine Taylor, Peter Quillin, Miguel Cotto, Canelo Alvarez, Andre Ward, Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr or Carl Froch would suffice. If Golovkin beats some of those he goes right into the biggest list in boxings highest echelons. 

Wilder v Stiverne

I’m not getting into the is Wilder great or a bum debate I’ve discussed him before. The point is we will finally find out who is right this makes Wilder v Stiverne a huge fight. Also because it could change the heavyweight division makes it is important. What Wladimir Klitschko does is also important because if he adds the WBC belt to his collection it will be a great personal achievement but it is unlikely to help the popularity of the heavyweight division. We are all hopefully wandering who might dominate for the next ten years. 

2014-2015

I have been relatively disappointed with what has happened this year generally. At the end of 2013 Golovkin and Wilder were knocking people out but hadn’t been tested a year on and nothing has changed. Mayweather added two wins to his record but in beating Marcos Maidana both times improved his legacy only slightly. Andre Ward hasn’t fought at all. I really hope that boxing fans get what they deserve in 2015.

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