Peterson-Holt, Alexander-Brook, Garcia-Judah start the 140 & 147-lbers off to an exciting 2013
Published Feb 01 2013 by: Darren Bettington
While boxing promoters have been rightfully criticized for not matching up elite fighters, and with boxing fans missing out potential big fights such as Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao, and more recently, Nonito Donaire vs. Abner Mares, quite often many have been left wandering "what if?" However, in the mist of bad match ups and alphabet interim championships, there is light at the end of the tunnel, at least in the Junior Welterweight and Welterweight divisions where it's set to be a busy few months for many of the top contenders.
We'll be seeing elite boxers fighting each other, champions defending their titles and interim titlists get their crack at the big time, in a slate of bouts which are set to change the landscape of the scene in these divisions. While some big fights between, surprise, Golden Boy and Top Rank fighters may still elude us, there's a lot to enjoy at 140 and 147 pounds.
Lamont Peterson, fresh off signing a contract to be promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, will be competing against former titlist Kendall Holt. It will be Peterson's first bout since his controversial points decision over Amir Khan in December 2011. While Peterson will head into the fight as the favorite, the hard-hitting Holt will look to force the fight from the offset.
Throughout the entire year of 2012 Peterson was inactive, largely due to the PEDs scandal he found himself embroiled in. Looking to clear his name from the negative press he received, a good performance is essential for the Washington D.C.-based fighter, and a victory over Kendall "Rated R" Holt may put him back on the path to bigger and better things.
In my view, one of the most interesting match-ups set to take place at Welterweight is Devon Alexander vs. Kell Brook. Devon Alexander will be making his the defense of his 147Ibs IBF title against Britain's undefeated Kell Brook. It will be Brooks' 2nd fight on American soil, and he'll have his 1st opportunity to capture a world title against the slick and crafty Devon Alexander.
Since Alexander's disappointing loss to Timothy Bradley in January of 2011, Alexander has gone 3-0, defeating Argentinean punchers Lucas Matthysse and Marcos Maidana, as well as Randall "KO king" Bailey. That fight earned Alexander his 2nd world title and placed him back in with the top fighters at 147Ibs.
Alexander possess many great skills: Fast hands, slick footwork, ring intelligence and since his move up in weight to 147 lbs, he has demonstrated a good chin. He also represents a step up in experience and class for Brook. In what is sure to be a fascinating fight to watch, a victory for either man could potentially set up for a unification bout with WBA titleholder Paulie Malignaggi, or a slate of other intriguing matches in the division.
In a bout initially scheduled for February 16, the Danny Garcia vs. Zab Judah bout will now be contested on April 27. Danny Garcia suffered an injury to his ribs in sparring during training, and after seeking medical advice he was advised to rest for between 4-6 weeks. When the fight does finally take place, the winner shall walk away with the WBA and WBC titles.
The winner of this fight may also be teased by the idea of a unification bout with the winner of the Peterson-Holt fight. However, with the highly regarded Lucas Matthysse holding the interim WBC title, the WBC may order a fight later in the year between full and interim WBC champions. There has already been some fierce words exchanged between Garcia and the Argentinian native, while Judah holds a close points win over Matthysse from several years prior.
Meanwhile, Manny Pacquaio and Juan Manuel Marquez seem to be marching towards a 5th bout in their rivalry during the later part of 2013. Also Floyd "Money" Mayweather is planning a return to action on May 4th, with Robert Guerrero and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez seeming as the frontrunners -- although Mayweather has denied the Guerrero fight being finalized, and other interesting opponents are also available. Mayweather also plans on fighting this year in September.
With all of those big names and bouts, we still have to consider top fighters such as Andre Berto, Amir Khan, Timothy Bradley, Victor Ortiz, Josesito Lopez and Marcos Maidana, amongst others. As such, 2013 should surely prove to be an exciting and intriguing year as we watch the elite fighters at 140 and 147 lbs battle it out for supremacy.