The supposed final fight of Floyd Mayweather Jr. was a letdown for boxing and the sport looks like it is currently in the doldrums.
I have two suggestions for Mayweather if he wants to do his part in getting the sport out of the doldrums: fight any of the top contenders, particularly those who have no losses; or stay retired for good.
But let’s forget Mayweather at the moment and discuss fights that can save boxing from falling into oblivion. As expected, none of the fights I will mention involve Mayweather.
Miguel Cotto (40-4 with 33 knockouts) vs Saul Alvarez (45-1-1 with 32 KOs)—fortunately this fight has been finalized and the two will clash on November 21, 2015. Cotto’s World Boxing Council middleweight crown is on the line and this early; the younger and bigger Alvarez is favored to win even by stoppage. But don’t count out Cotto because he has the championship experience entering the fight.
Gennady Golovkin (33-0 with 30 KOs) vs Cotto or Alvarez—the winner of Cotto-Alvarez should logically face Gennady Golovkin who currently holds the International Boxing Federation, International Boxing Organization and World Boxing Association middleweight titles. Golovkin has been referred by some boxing writers as the Mike Tyson of the middleweight division and with good reason.
Keith Thurman (26-0 with 22 KOs) vs Danny Garcia (31-0 with 18 KOs)—Garcia recently made his climb to welterweight where Thurman is acknowledged as the hardest hitter. Both are undefeated and willing to trade leather. I expect this bout, if it materializes, to end in a knockout or stoppage.
Marcos Maidana (35-3 with 31 KOs) vs Thurman or Garcia— Maidana has been acknowledged as giving Mayweather his hardest fights twice. Maidana still has a high knockout percentage and a match up at welterweight with Thurman or Garcia will definitely be a slugfest.
Wladimir Klitschko (64-3 with 53 KOs) vs Tyson Fury (24-0 with 18 KOs)—the good news is this colossal fight is happening on October 24 this year. With Wladimir towering at 6’6” and Fury at 6’9”, expect this fight to be a colossal clash, literally.
Deontay Wilder (34-0 with 33 KOs) vs Fury—if Fury beats Wladimir, expect Wilder to call on the Briton for a unification bout. Wilder is no small heavyweight at 6’7” so this would be an even match-up. Also, the two will be representing superpowers so the fight will also be a United States vs United Kingdom showdown.
Vitali Klitschko (45-2 with 41 KOs) vs Wilder or Fury—while Wladimir has knockout power, his chin has been suspect and all his three losses were by stoppage or knockout. On the other hand, the older Vitali has never been knocked down but suffered a stoppage loss from cuts in a title bout with Lennox Lewis and another from an injured shoulder against Chris Byrd. If Wladimir loses to Fury, expect Vitali to call on the Briton for a mega bout.
Donnie Nietes (36-1 with 21 KOs) vs Roman Gonzalez (43-0 with 37 KOs)—this may not be as big as the abovementioned fights but a bout between our very own Nietes and Gonzalez can help save boxing. Nietes has racked up a record number of defenses at minimum weight and light flyweight while Gonzalez remains undefeated at flyweight.
Gonzalez will be facing also our very own Brian Viloria (36-4 with 22 KOs) on October 17, 2015 and as expected, the Nicaraguan is the favored fighter.
But if Viloria upsets Gonzalez, that would send shock waves across the boxing world that would help erase, even for a while, the bad memories left by the recent sleeper between Mayweather and Andre Berto.