As has been mentioned in the Garcia - Matthysse thread the boxing schedule really has been exceptional this year, and it is only getting better. I think this is partly by chance, that a lot of great fights have been made because the time was just right and the matchups made sense. I am also sure a lot of hard work has gone on behind the scenes by the likes of Richard Schaeffer, Bob Arum and Todd DeBeouf to make the big fights a reality.
There is no doubt in my mind that boxing has addressed some of it's flaws, e.g: fighters constantly avoiding each other while promoters protect them, poor undercards to big fights, etc, etc.
I'm sure the competition for fight fans from the UFC has been healthy and has pushed boxing promoters to make more of an effort to earn their customers money. Long may it continue.
After already seeing some great fights like Mike Alvarado - Brandon Rios II, Tim Bradley - Ruslan Provodnikov, Denis Lebedev - Guillermo Jones and Carl Froch - Mikkel Kessler II this year, the upcoming schedule for the second half of 2013 looks even better.
Here it is, along with who i think will win each fight. Feel free to give your predictions in the comments section:
July 13: Kell Brook - Carson Jones II *** (Sky)
Brook is from my home county and i have been a fan for a long time. He really needs to step it up now though and prove that the close first fight was due to getting his nose broken and not making weight properly. Jones could be dangerous once again though. Brook by decision 117-111.
July 20: Derek Chisora - Malik Scott *** (BoxNation)
I have seen very little of Scott. I'll go with Chisora by close decision win.
July 27: Andre Berto - Jesus Soto Karass *** (Showtime/BoxNation)
Karass has a non-stop warrior mentality and i think this could be a sleeper FOTY contender, if Karass can drag Berto into a war. Berto UD.
August 17: Daniel Geale - Darren Barker **** (HBO/Sky)
I like this matchmaking. Two similar fighters, both good technically, though Geale seems a bit more aggressive.
Geale by close, possibly split decision.
August 17: Nathan Cleverly - Sergei Kovalev **** (HBO/BoxNation)
Having recently watched Kovalev in action i have to say that outside of his obvious punching power, i was not overly impressed, although he clearly has good technique also and looks like a big 175lber. Cleverly is too though and i think with home support and a solid chin Cleverly will outwork him, though could well get dropped along the way. Cleverly 115-113.
August 24: Abner Mares - Johnny Gonzalez ***/ Leo Santa Cruz - Victor Terrazas *** (Showtime)
Mares TKO 8/ Santa Cruz UD.
September 14; Floyd Mayweather - Saul Alvarez *****/ Danny Garcia - Lucas Matthysse ***** (Showtime PPV)
Massive double bill. I think this might be a bit too early in his career for Canelo, and i'm sure Floyd is aware of that too. Floyd by UD 115-113/. Garcia will be tougher than many are expecting and if he can stay away from Lucas' big power and box smartly, i would not be at all surprised if he came away with the win. Matthysse TKO 10.
September 28: David Haye - Tyson Fury *** (maybe **** if you are from the UK) (Sky PPV)
Haye TKO 5. But if it goes much longer than that i think Fury can wear him down.
October 5: Miguel Cotto - Delvin Rodriguez *** (HBO)
Good bounce back opponent for Miguel after 2 losses in a row, to Austin Trout and Mayweather. Rodriguez is a pretty straight forward opponent but is tough and quite rangy. Cotto UD.
October 5: Wladimir Klitschko - Alexander Povetkin ***
I don't really rate Povetkin all that highly and give him roughly no chance of springing the upset, but he is an Olympic gold medalist and undefeated (although Marco Huck would dispute that). He is also the best opponent out there for Wlad, which tells you that the heavyweight division is still pretty dire. I think Wlad could get him out of there within 5 if he really let his hands go, but as usual he will probably take his time. Wlad by TKO/KO 10.
October 12: Tim Bradley - Juan Manuel Marquez ***** (HBO PPV)
I can't see Bradley outboxing Marquez so i think he will bring the pressure. He's tough and relentless, but JMM is the master counter puncher behind only Floyd in that regard, as far as i am concerned. Marquez 115-113.
November 23: Manny Pacquiao - Brandon Rios ***** (HBO PPV)
Really looking forward to this. Hoping Manny can return to form but if he is shot or even close to the end Rios could just grind him down. Pacquiao TKO 10.
Add to this list solid fights like Keith Thurman - Diego Chavez (both undefeated - August), Ricky Burns - Raymundo Beltran (September) and Erislandy Lara - Austin Trout/Ishe Smith - Carlos Molina (September: Mayweather - Canelo undercard), with the possibility of Yuriorkis Gamboa - Terence Crawford (October), Adrien Broner - Marcos Maidana (November), Vanes Martirosyan - Demetrious Andrade (November: Pacquiao - Rios undercard), Lucian Bute - Jean Pascal (December) and Amir Khan - Devon Alexander (December) and you can see why some are saying that this year has the best schedule of fights that we have seen in years.
Boxing is looking in good shape right now. Please, let there be no injuries, or even "injuries".