Matches That Could Happen in 2017
By Adam Hayes: Boxing has become a major spectator sport thanks to the advent of not only Pay-Per-View but also online marketing and promotion. There was a time when major boxing matches were mostly heavyweight title fights; these days, however, the most anticipated matches do not necessarily have to involve a boxer who rises through the ranks to challenge a belt.
The following matches are being discussed as probably taking place in 2017, which means that fight promoters will start working their magic during this holiday season:
David Haye vs. Tony Bellew
While this is not a championship fight, promoters and fans of the British heavyweight scene have been hyping this match all through 2016. These are tough fighters who may not be skilled, but their animosity has been palpable over the last few months. In late November, the fighters met at a press conference that turned ugly as Bellew shoved Haye, who threw a bare knuckle punch. In other circumstances, boxing officials may have considered calling off the match, but the fighters agreed to become civil, only to resume their trash talking on Twitter. Barring any other issues, this fight is set to take place in March; the winner will become a title contender.
Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Antonio Margarito
The Golden Boy boxing brand has been interested in promoting a worthy match for star fighter Canelo, who is always a top attraction for a Cinco de Mayo card, even if it does not involve a belt. To make this main event happen, Canelo would have to fight in the middleweight division, and this could mean Miguel Cotto, but this is a match that boxing fans are already familiar with. Canelo vs. Margarito may be a better card for Cinco de Mayo, as these are two Mexican fighters who do not mind going toe-to-toe, and they are reasonable skilled. Neither fighter is the type who will stay down after hitting the mat; instead, they welcome aggressive punches that get fans fired up.
Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn
The legendary boxer, politician and singer from the Philippines will likely continue his illustrious fighting record in 2017 with a match to defend one or two of his numerous belts. One possible match would be against Jeff Horn for the welterweight title of the World Boxing Organization; the only contender until recently has been Tim Bradley, who has yet to prevail against Pacquiao. Jeff Horn could rise to take the number two WBO spot and become a mandatory challenger. Unlike Pacquiao, Horn is not a preferred Top Rank fighter, which means that he has to prove himself to promoter Bob Arum, who has been observing the young Australian fighter.
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