Ring Fantasies: An Elite Eight Dream Tournament for Welterweight Fighters

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Ring Fantasies: An Elite Eight Dream Tournament for Welterweight Fighters
Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

The Showtime "Super Six" super-middleweight tournament that was completed last December was one of the most successful boxing events in recent years. Viewed with some skepticism when it was originally announced, it ended up making stars out of Andre Ward and Carl Froch, re-vitalized the career of Glen Johnson and introduced European stars like Arthur Abraham and Mikkel Kessler to a larger American audience. 

It was a triumph for boxing as a whole and could provide a great model for building future fan interest. In a sport where casual fans are often left wondering why fighter X is even fighting fighter Y instead of Z, a tournament format inserts a certain order and logic.  

Boxing needs more tournaments. And what better weight class to focus on than welterweight, the most talent-heavy division in the sport?

But we'll start off by omitting the world's top two ranked welterweights, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. 

Mayweather is already ranked No. 1 at 154, too, and Pacquiao appears to be edging closer to a full-time political career. Neither would gain much from making a two years plus commitment to further cementing their dominance at 147.  

In all honesty, the tournament would be extremely difficult to organize even with the fighters I'm going to list. But the rewards for such a risk would be substantial: The winner would emerge as a legitimate superstar in the post-Manny, post-Floyd boxing universe.

For boxing fans, it would be win-win-win all the way.  

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