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Boxing’s Holiday Wishlist for 2010

Pacquiao vs. Mayweather; Stacked Undercards, Super Tournaments and more, oh my! What boxing can look forward to and wish for in 2010

Every year in boxing is full of great moments, great drama and great disappointments.  2009 was no different.  We got great fights in Margarito/Mosley, Pacquiao/Cotto and Marquez/Diaz.  We also enjoyed great drama with the return of Floyd Mayweather and Pacquiao’s emergence as an all time great.  Of course, with the good we must also accept the bad.

Boxing as a whole suffered a major disappointment when one of it’s top stars, Antonio Margarito, was given a one year suspension after being caught with illegal substances in his wraps.  Through it all, 2009 was a fine year in boxing and I’m hoping that the FOTY candidate between Paul Williams and Sergio Martinez along with the rest of the 2009 schedule can carry us into a great 2010.  What can we expect?  Here’s what I’d like to see…..

Mayweather vs. Pacquiao

Why bother starting anywhere else but here?  This is the fight that every boxing fan wants to see.  This fight could potentially break records.  It wouldn’t surprise me if Pacquiao vs. Mayweather eclipsed the record 2.4 million PPV buys that Mayweather vs. DeLaHoya brought in.  Now we just need to get the sides to come together and make it happen.  These are the two biggest stars in the sport and while there are stories popping up daily that the fight is getting closer to being made, I’ll believe it when I see the press conference with my own eyes.

Rumors that Mayweather wants to fight in the summer and Pacquiao wants to run for office in the Philippines in the summer seem to have people on edge that this fight may not get made.  Boxing needs this fight and they need it badly.  Let’s just hope it becomes one of boxing’s great moments in 2010 and not one of boxing’s greatest disappointments.

Pavlik vs. Williams

I want to see Middleweight “Champion” have to defend his titles against a real threat for the first time in his reign of over two years.  Gary Lockett, Marco Antonio Rubio and Miguel Espino just doesn’t cut it.  We want our champions to be warriors, defending their titles against the best that boxing has to offer.  In my mind, the best boxing has to offer at 160 is Paul Williams.

While Pavlik cancelled their proposed fight 3 times due to injury in 2009, Pavlik has stated that he still wants to fight Williams in 2010 and Williams’ paper thin victory over Sergio Martinez this month where Williams looked vulnerable could embolden Pavlik to step up to the plate.  This fight would be a thriller, something Pavlik hasn’t been a part of since he’s held the straps unless you want to include the 12 round drubbing he received at the hands of Bernard Hopkins.  This is another fight that needs to be made in 2010.

Blackballing of Margarito

The only thing worse than a cheater is a cheater who ends up putting another man’s life in danger as a result of his disingenuous actions.  Antonio Margarito’s ban is almost up and he has already stated that he’s looking for a title shot.  I hope nobody gives him one.  Margarito also wants a rematch with Cotto and Cotto has replied numerous times that “Margarito will not be making any more money off of me”.  Good for him.  I hope nobody of worth fights the guy, and if someone does, I hope he knocks Margarito into next week.

There’s no place in boxing for loaded gloves.  Any of you out there who honestly believe that Margarito didn’t know that the illegal gauze was in his hand wraps needs to take a step back and realize that every person in boxing that was asked the question “could something be put in your wraps without you knowing about it” responded with an emphatic “NO”.  The guy is a cheat, plain and simple and I hope he never gets paid the big money again.

A Great Super Six Tournament

So far so good depending on who you were rooting for.  If you’re an unbiased spectator like myself, I’m sure you’ve enjoyed the tournament thus far and I hope we get even better fights in 2010.  Kessler vs. Froch is going to be a heck of a fight and an all out war.  That fight isn’t going to go the distance. On top of that, Dirrell finds himself in a must-win situation against an Arthur Abraham who is coming off a dramatic 12th round KO of Jermain Taylor.

Speaking of, it will be interesting to see what happens with Jermain Taylor as well.  Will he continue or will he retire and let someone step in for someone?  And who would that someone be? Green?  Bika? Bute??  Personally, I hope Taylor continues on.  He is slated to face Andre Ward next.  Since Ward is not a big puncher and after Ward’s beating of Kessler, there will be a title on the line.  Don’t be surprised if Taylor gives it one last shot.

Better Undercards

The biggest fight of the year between Pacquaio and Cotto had one of the worst undercards on a PPV that I’ve seen in awhile.  Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. shouldn’t be allowed to fight on the same week as those two let alone 30 minutes beforehand.  Boxing is littered with pitiful undercards with fighters that people don’t care about and shouldn’t care about because many of the fighters will never amount to anything.

PPV undercards should have major titles on the line, should have fights between serious contenders and have fights displaying some of the brightest prospects in boxing.  For the most part, they just don’t. Boxing fans are paying big money to watch these PPV events and support their sport.  For the 50 odd dollars that it costs to buy the event on TV, we deserve to see more than one watchable fight. Fix it in 2010.

Less Boxing Deaths

Originally I had written “No Boxing Deaths” and then sadly realized that it just wasn’t realistic.  Because of the nature of the sport, untimely deaths will always be a part of boxing. Boxing’s emergence as a sport with a worldwide following took major blows in 1962, when Emile Griffith permanently knocked out Benny “Kid” Paret, and 20 years later in 1982, when Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini put Duk-Koo Kim down and out, for good.  More recently,  Benjamin Flores, 24, died May 5th from head injuries he sustained in a but the previous week.  Just two days later, Andras Nagy, 23, died after succumbing to his head injuries just to name a few.

There are some happy endings, Z Gorres who left the ring in a coma a couple months back is now regaining movement little by little.  While removing death from boxing isn’t a possibility, what we can hope for is more knowledgeable physicians that can make split second decisions for these fighters when their lives are on the line. And none of this even mentions the tragic out of the ring deaths of ring legends Alexis Arguello, Vernon Forrest and Arturo Gatti.

Before the end of the year, keep checking in with ProBoxing-Fans.com for the 2009 Fighter of the Year, 2009 Fight of the Year, 2009 Knockout of the Year and more awards and columns.