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Cotto, Canelo & Golovkin – Boxing Redemption?

By Sean Campbell: Last month, fight fans (and none fight fans) witness Floyd Mayweather Jr. clinically defeat Manny Pacquiao. In what was billed as “the richest fight of all time”, the match-up itself left the paying public feeling somewhat deflated. There was an anti-climactic feel in the days and weeks after the event.

Those who studied the sport knew it was never going to provided excitement that of Gatti vs. Ward, or the spite between Morales & Barrera. No, it was simply a boxing masterclass from Mayweather, who won a fairly one-sided unanimous decision. Even Pacquiao’s loyal fans would struggle to dispute the decision if they are being honest with their-selves.

A week later Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, the young Mexican superstar, took on dynamite punching American James Kirkland. While it lasted, it was fierce. The fight proved to be what many had expected. A ruthless display from Alvarez who broke down Kirkland (who was coming off yet another period of inactivity). Kirkland however was game, came to fight, came to win, but unlike Mayweather, came to entertain.

On May 3rd, hours after Mayweather had taken home his guaranteed cheque for $100’000’000, and Pacquiao offering a shoulder injury to explain his low punch count, but $65’000’000 richer, the casual fight fan seemed unaware that there was ever to be another fight again. They didn’t know about the red headed Mexican undoubtedly having one last week of fasting while trying to make weight.

And that is a massive shame.

There is hope for boxing though. There is no way that the event on May 2nd did the sport any good in terms of gaining more viewers. Charging £20-£100 in PPV, offering almost no tickets to the public to watch it in the MGM Grand, then offering excuses of an injury, is just not good enough. The two fights, and promoters were paid, and paid well. But the fan deserved more.

“Canelo” Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin, & Miguel Cotto, arguably in anyone’s top 10 most exciting pound for pound fighters on the planet, are all campaigning between 154-160lbs. The fights are there to be made. Top Rank, Cotto’s promoter and Golden Boy, who look after Alvarez have shown they can work together in making Mayweather/Pacquiao happen. Golovkin is craving a big match-up with the big names. He has repeatedly stated he will move down to light-middleweight to meet Alvarez, or up to super-middleweight to challenge Carl Froch/Andre Ward. No one can say he lacks bravery.

Golovkin has fought good boxers, but none in the league of Cotto or Alvarez. There are still some who say the defeat to Mayweather has taken some of the shine from Alvarez. However, Cotto has nothing to prove. The 34 year old 4-weight world champion is in great form since working with Freddie Roach.

But the potential meetings between the 3 would get boxing buzzing again. The sport is not dying, but it’s hardly a golden era, like that of Duran, Hearns, Hagler and Leonard. These three however, could restore a lot of pride and faith in boxing. Over a two year period they could all fight each other. The interest would no doubt be high. Let’s hope the promoters can make it happen.

Not to mention, they would likely all be fight of the decade candidates.


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