Happy New Year one & all.
I hope that you had an enjoyable festive period.
Back to reality of setting an alarm at 6am for work, those long lay-ins a distant memory.
In my opinion, there are some fights that must and will happen this year.
There are some fights that everyone fan, critic and broadcaster wishes to happen which I will list shortly.
Then we have my hand-picked fights which I will discuss in more detail, as to why I would like to see them.
I’m going to exclude Floyd “Money” Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao within this, as it is a pipe dream. This fight is destined for games console as a pure fantasy encounter.
It is up there with other urban myths such as ghosts, goblins, unicorns and lottery wins.
It will always be the fight that never happened for 100 hundred millions reasons.
The main issue being the promoter rivalry between both camps that represent each fighter (Goldenboy for Money Mayweather, Top Rank for Manny) the broadcaster rivalry between both camps (Showtime for Floyd, HBO for Pacquiao).
I feel the same about Carl “The Cobra” Froch and “Saint” George Groves rematch. Froch has no desire to fight Groves again, he is afraid, annoyed at the public and Groves’ perceived behaviour after the controversial stoppage win Froch had in the 1st fight.
That is my genuine gut feel, I hope I’m wrong, but I feel Froch will avoid it at all costs. The Cobra has cited aspirations of fighting in Las Vegas before he retires, I expect him to fight there this year at some point.
The below is a list of fights that everyone wants to see, and I feel they will happen this year at some point:
Miguel Cotto v Saul “Canelo” Alvarez
Scott Quigg v Carl Frampton
Mikey Garcia v Yuriorkis Gamboa
Ruslan Provodinkov v Brandon Rios
Adonis Stevenson v Sergei Kovalev
Floyd Mayweather v Amir Khan
Floyd Mayweather v Marcos Maidana
Tyson Fury v Deontay Wilder
Tyson Fury v Dereck Chisora II
Manny Pacquiao v Tim Bradley II
Andre Ward v Gennady Golovkin
Andy Lee v Matthew Macklin
In relation to the above fights, I feel these have been talked to death by boxing experts on TV, us, the fans and are constantly discussed on social networks.
Boxing is prize fighting remember, so I feel the above will happen due to public demand and money.
The contradiction to the above statement is Mayweather v Pacquiao match as it would be the most financially lucrative of all time. There simply is SO much “red-tape” preventing it from ever occurring.
If you wish to read further into this, there are countless articles, interviews with both fighters and their respective camps on the internet.
Let’s move on now to the fights I personally want to happen:
Andre “Son of God” Ward v George Groves
This is a fight I believe can, and will be made in 2014.
Ward has declared that he is interested in fighting him and Groves’ trainer Paddy Fitzpatrick tweeted in a Q&A with fans that a fight with Ward is a real possibility.
Another fascinating point about this fight, which adds more drama to it, is that Carl Froch has publicly declared on numerous occasions that he wants a rematch with Ward. The Cobra as you will recall lost to Ward a few years ago. It was a boxing lesson from Ward.
For Groves to be chosen by Ward as a more exciting adversary than Froch, speaks volumes about his profile Stateside.
Technically this will be a beautiful fight, two fighters with crisp jabs, dazzling speed and both can whack.
You would have to favour the undefeated “Son of God” on paper due to his dazzling CV, but only a fool would bet against Groves bringing the world to a standstill by winning.
Danny “Swift” Garcia v Adrien “The Problem” Broner
Both fighters have had two contrasting years in boxing, but I feel both need one another in the ring.
Undefeated Garcia, has no credible opponents left at 140lbs (Jnr Welter) having beaten Lucas Matthysse in September. Broner it seems will move down from 147lbs (Welter) to 140lbs after a career first defeat against Marcos Maidana last month.
It is a fight that I believe will happen late 2014, certainly PPV (Pay Per View) and one that would be career defining for both fighters.
The winner will be able to stake their claim to be a future global star in America, ready to take the mantle from Mayweather when he retires.
Garcia, will put himself firmly in front of Mayweather as an opponent for 2015, one that he won’t be able to avoid.
Broner, will show that he is the real deal, that he took the defeat against Maidana like a man, went away, honed his craft and delivered emphatically.
Danny is an accurate puncher, rarely wastes a shot. He struggled in stages against Zab Judah, but looked world-class against Matthysse.
Broner is a big puncher, has good hand-speed but he must work on his conditioning and lifestyle as he will have a short tenure in the sport if he continues to live the way he does.
Amir “King” Khan v Kell “Special K” Brook
Now many of you may scoff at the proposition of this fight;
“How can Khan go from Mayweather to Brook?”
That my friend is a valid question, my answer?
Khan would earn loads from this fight, domestically it is a PPV fight, Sky and Eddie Hearn would be all-over it like chicken pox on a toddler.
2014 financially could set Khan up for life, two fights, Mayweather and Brook, opposite ends of the scale granted, but both hugely lucrative.
Khan can use the Brook fight as an opportunity to prove to his doubters in the UK that he isn’t “chinny” and can beat the best domestically at 147lbs.
For Brook, if he beats Khan, he becomes a household name; it would announce him on the big stage in America.
Kell would receive much needed recognition there and set up some huge fights in the Welterweight division.
King Khan has a big profile America and receives more “love” than he does at home.
I think it would be a great tear-up, no love lost between them which date back to sparring between them as amateurs.
Brook needs to beat Shawn Porter, the newly crowned IBF Welter Champion when they fight in the summer.
I feel that this can be the carrot dangled in-front of Amir to lure him in to a blockbuster match up.
Khan has blistering hand-speed, but always has that vulnerability factor about him that has you on the edge of your seat.
Special K, at the age of 27 (28 in May) is untested on the world stage. Fights with Shawn Porter and Amir Khan will prove whether he will “sink or swim”.
The stakes couldn’t be higher for either fighter in this, losing is simply unthinkable.
Anthony Joshua v Hughie Fury
This fight draws mixed opinion from most, is it too soon for them to fight? Joshua, 24 is 3-0, Fury, 19 is 12-0.
There is a valid argument that we should wait a few years, let it manifest into a monster fight.
Perhaps they could take a leaf out of the Quigg v Frampton situation as opposed to James DeGale v George Groves.
DeGale v Groves if you recall took place 3 yrs ago this May, was a cracking encounter but it could of been a bigger fight further down the line as both have had only a handful of fights.
The positives of this happening in the summer are that we have a match-up between the two most exciting Heavyweight prospects on these shores.
The loser has plenty of time to come-back and build themselves again, as they are both mere pups for the Heavyweight division.
Joshua may start out for some as the favourite, but write Fury off at your peril as he could surprise many.
The pair of them are big lads, with impressive KO records so far, I would be amazed if this went the distance.
There are a number of other domestic fights I believe we could see, which I will list below:
Callum Smith v Frank Buglioni
Nathan Cleverly v Tony Bellew II
Kevin Mitchell v Ricky Burns II
Tommy Coyle v Kevin Mitchell
David Price v Dereck Chisora
Luke Campbell v Gavin Rees
Frankie Gavin v Kell Brook
I think 2014 will be the year of the Lightweight Division as there are so many fights that can be made there domestically, you could comfortably stage 1 each month.
I will be happy if any of the above happens, 2014 has some huge shoes to fill as 2013 was a phenomenal year for the sport.
Right, I must dash… my salad is getting warm…