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Five Intriguing Boxing Storylines for 2010

Will Juan Manuel Lopez continue rising in 2010, or will he suffer his first setback?
Will Juan Manuel Lopez continue rising in 2010, or will he suffer his first setback?

Since it's a pretty slow news day, I thought I'd look ahead a little bit and discuss some potentially interesting developments that could come to the sweet science in 2010. Here are ten of them, in no particular order.

OK, so Mayweather-Pacquiao. Great. But then what?

One thing that might slightly dampen spirits, but is worth considering: Where will boxing go after Mayweather-Pacquiao? This is a fight so big that there is nothing else the sport can possibly produce in the immediate future that even comes close. This has the general public talking. When's the last time you really saw that? Even Floyd's fight with Oscar, the all-time PPV king of fights, wasn't kicking up the "must-see" sort of discussion this one has going for it. The previous biggest seller (Lewis-Tyson) was known by many to be a probable mismatch with Tyson as faded as he was.

This fight is something completely different. But boxing promoters have often been short-sighted. That seems to be changing gradually, but is still a slight concern. Will Top Rank, Golden Boy and everyone else be ready to capitalize on the surge of boxing interest?

Juan Manuel Lopez is stepping up big

Lopez had plenty of trouble in October with Rogers Mtagwa, a double tough fighter with limited skills. But in January, he faces Steven Luevano, a skilled southpaw who often wins by stinking out the joint. Lopez seemed overeager to brawl with Mtagwa. Will he be overeager to please against Luevano and put himself in bad situations?

And if he does get by Luevano, and Yuriorkis Gamboa beats Mtagwa the same night, Lopez and Gamboa will meet in the summer. We're going to learn a lot about Lopez in 2010.

Khan coming to America

Amir Khan will almost surely head to American shores next year, where he'll try to become a worldwide name. He's got the skills, and he's got the trainer. But a move to the States will also mean he'll have to take on better opponents than the likes of Dmitriy Salita. Can he hold up?

The Super Six

Stage two has plenty of intrigue already. Mikkel Kessler looks to bounce back against Carl Froch, who is nothing like the only two men to beat Kessler (Calzaghe and Ward), and that "different" isn't a "good different" as far as Froch is concerned. Arthur Abraham faces the quick Andre Dirrell, who has a lot to prove and could prove a lot by being the first to defeat King Arthur. And Jermain Taylor: Man climbs right the hell back on the horse against the red-hot Andre Ward.

Upsets are not out of the question in any of those fights -- even Ward-Taylor. Taylor's career as a top fighter is on the line now if it hasn't been already. If he intends to keep fighting after the tournament, you better believe he's going to put everything he's got into his next two fights.

Andre Berto: One Step Away

People are talking about Shane Mosley potentially fighting the Mayweather-Pacquiao winner later in 2010 like young, fast, strong and undefeated titlist Andre Berto won't be across the ring from Mosley on January 30. Sure, Sugar Shane's the favorite, and he deserves to be. But Berto is a very live dog for any number of reasons, not the least of which is he's pretty damn good.

What if Berto wins? Does he become the frontrunner to fight Mayweather or Pacquiao? Who else would be left?

Share your own ideas!

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