Rounding Out 2012: Ten Good Potential Fights

1.) Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao (WBA Welterweight, RING Magazine Welterweight Titles)

This fight of course is number one on the lists and minds of man boxing fans both hardcore and casual for obvious reasons. I have a thought the other day that either Pacquiao will fight Mayweather in the fall or Pacquiao will retire and then come out of retirement to fight Floyd. Maybe it was the episode of 'Legendary Nights: Leonard/ Hagler' that got me thinking of the second scenario but it seems as though Manny has increasingly non boxing aspirations clouding his brain at this present time. It would be a shame however if this fight never happens because this generation's best welterweights have the opportunity to sink the historical significance of another classic bout between the two best welterweights of a generation: Sugar Ray Leonard and Tommy Hearns. And hey why not make this fight for the undisputed championship seeing that no one questions whether Mayweather and Pacquiao are in fact the two best welterweights in the world.

2.) Sergio Martinez v Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (WBC, RING Magazine Middleweight Titles, Undisputed Middleweight Championship)

Aside from Pacquiao/Mayweather this is the biggest fight in boxing right now. Given the year long "will they or won't they" and the ongoing fan dance by the WBC, a match between Mexican superstar and WBC champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and lineal middleweight champion Sergio Martinez is beyond the typical "simmer" of building a big fight. The late trainer Angelo Dundee said he turned down an early cry for Sugar Ray Leonard and Tommy Hearns because he said he knew when the fight was going to be big and he thought the more the got "juicy" as he put it the more meaningful it would become. This fight is long overdue in my opinion and both fighters want it. However it might ultimately come down to those who see this very match up as a danger to their bank accounts.

3.) Adrien Broner v Yuriorkis Gamboa (WBO Super Featherweight Title)

At one time Yuriorkis Gamboa was seen by many as the best prospect in quite some time. I remember hearing about him in 2007 and the boxing world couldn't stop talking about the Cuban's arsenal of speed, power, and intelligence. Nowadays the boxing world is questioning whether or not the Cyclone of Guantanamo can rebound from a bad business decision when he rejected a fight with former lightweight action star Brandon Rios, citing contract issues. Instead we turn our attention to Cincinnati's Adrien Broner, who holds the WBO version of the super featherweight title.

4.) Jean Pascal v Chad Dawson II (WBC, RING Magazine Light Heavyweight Titles)

This is the only fight so far that will most likely happen should Dawson prevail in his rematch with Bernard Hopkins in a couple of weeks. Oddly enough it might be the first fight involving Chad Dawson that could be interesting and a huge seller....although a major component would be the fight taking place in Pascal's backyard in Montreal.

5.) Nonito Donaire v Guillermo Rigondeaux (WBA, WBO Super Bantamweight Titles)

Donaire has said he won't fight Rigondeaux because in his mind Rigo isn't a big name and therefore isn't worth his time. And yet, I would assume most boxing fans know more about Rigondeaux than Donaire's next opponent Cristian Mijares. And if not Rigondeaux why not Jorge Arce? Sooner or later Nonito will have to separate himself from the rest of the super bantamweights and if he beats Mijares, and then fights and beats Toshiaki Nishioka there will be no one left for him at the top of the division except Guillermo Rigondeaux.

6.) Canelo Alvarez v Paul Williams (WBC Light Middleweight Title)

This probably won't happen but I think it would be good for Canelo and Paul Williams if it did. The question surrounding Paul Williams before the Ishida fight was "Is the Punisher back?". Well he proved that he has some fuel left in the tank and that he wasn't completely forgone as a top contender. For Canelo its a chance to finally prove himself against a top ten opponent. Paul's not the same feared punching machine from the early to mid 2000s but he's not Tata or Kermit Cintron who were so beyond their peak it was criminal for Cintron to take that fight.

7.) Antonio DeMarco v Ricky Burns (WBO, WBC Lightweight Titles)

This is an interesting fight between two champions who I feel are the two dark horse lightweights in the division. Ricky Burns doesn't have natural ability but what he does have he uses it effectively and his game plan never fails. As for DeMarco he has height, reach and fast hands with a huge heart. His victory over Jorge Linares astounded many boxing fans because it was clear Linares was so much better than him and was dominating the fight. However DeMarco's ability to stay relaxed and apply smart pressure proved the perfect strategy as he captured the vacant WBC lightweight title via ref stoppage.

8.) Timothy Bradley v Devon Alexander II (147lbs)

They owe us a rematch for the absolute egg they laid at the Silverdome in Detroit on January of 2011. That fight was built as the second coming of Hagler/Hearns and yet it turned into a head butt fest and Alexander quitting before the fight had at least a chance of getting any better. We've seen a reestablishment of sorts from Alexander as he is finally at a weight where he feels he can utilize his obvious talent. If Bradley loses to Manny Pacquiao I wouldn't object to a rematch between he and Devon.

9.) Chris Arreola v Seth Mitchell

Yes folks I have a heavyweight fight on the list and I think a pretty meaningful one. Seth Mitchell has earned a lot of praise for his talent and the way he handles his progress. He's still pretty green yet he avoids the same clownish career path of Deontay Wilder who fights the VIP list for the Bum of the Month club. It remains to be seen if Seth can breakthrough and I think a fight with a now focused Chris Arreola would tell us more about how high his ceiling is. Arreola is a legit heavyweight contender and I would welcome that fight or a fight with Tomasz Adamek who seems to be on the tail end of an underrated career.

10.) Zab Judah v Lamont Peterson (IBF, WBA Light Welterweight Titles)

Provided Peterson beats Amir Khan Zab Judah's in line for the IBF title since he beat Vernon Paris in a title eliminator last weekend. Zab said god gave him his skills back and I wouldn't underestimate him if he's serious about rebuilding his career this late in the game. Zab always had talent, but never had the mental capacity to handle the expectations of having world class talent. He seems to be in a good place in his life and if the theme of late blooming 30 somethings continue Zab could be the next in line to prove that age is nothing but a number.

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