Floyd Mayweather vs. Sergio Martinez and What to Look Forward to at 154
Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
Floyd Mayweather leads the way in a weight division that is quickly becoming the most interesting in boxing through several developments.
The junior middleweight division (154 lbs) is where Sergio Martinez made his first big splash, Shane Mosley made his last stand and Mayweather fought his most competitive fight in nearly a decade.
Now there's fighters moving up weight classes to be there. There's champions from higher weights talking of dropping pounds to get there. There's former knockout kings making a comeback.
Then there's the superstars in the making already making headlines as champions and contenders.
With all this electricity sparking from every direction, this could easily become a classic era in this weight division. Here are the biggest power moves and figures to look out for as the division continues to heat up.
Gabriel Rosado Becomes Mandatory Challenger for the IBF Title
A great montage of Gabriel Rosado's excellent 2012 campaign for a world title.
Gabriel Rosado (21-5, 13 KO) brutalized three respected, skillful fighters in a row to become the mandatory challenger for the IBF junior middleweight world title, currently owned by Cornelius Bundrage.
His nonstop work ethic and intense training has paved the way for a title shot and world-wide recognition heading into 2013.
Andre Berto Moves to 154 to Face Cornelius Bundrage for the IBF Title
Cornelius Bundrage's knockout of Cory Spinks.
Though Rosado is the mandatory challenger, Ring Magazine reports a deal for a fight between Bundrage Andre Berto has been made for Nov. 24.
Former WBC welterweight titlist, Berto will be making his 154-pound debut.
Berto has heart and power, which was seen on display in his previous two fights last year against Jan Zaveck and Victor Ortiz. Due to a series of setbacks, he hasn't fought since last September.
With this latest high-profile deal, Berto gets a shot at another world title and the often-avoided Bundrage gets a chance to scalp a young stud for more recognition.
Should the winner of this fight face Rosado in 2013, sparks will fly and a sure-fire fight of the year candidate will emerge.
Alfredo Angulo Returns to U.S. in November, Hires Virgil Hunter as Trainer
Look at Angulo's highlight reel of knockouts.
Speaking of fight of the year candidates, Alfredo Angulo had a terrific fight last year in Mexico against James Kirkland. The two heavy hitters exchanged bombs like they had a fistful of grenades.
Angulo lost that fight and went away for a year. Now he returns this November to face Raul Casarez to wipe off the dust on his nuclear weapons for fists.
Though Angulo is known for his explosive power, he has dropped his previous trainer for Virgil Hunter. Hunter is best known for helping bring Andre Ward to greatness in the super middleweight division.
Ward's style is still aggressive, but a bit more technical and defensive than Angulo's. Will Hunter help Angulo bring a better defense into the ring so he can give more bombs than he takes?
Only time will tell.
Saul Alvarez Looks to Fight in December Before Facing Miguel Cotto
Showtime's highlights of Saul Alvarez vs. Josesito Lopez.
WBC junior middleweight champion Saul Alvarez is the brightest star in Mexico at the tender age of 22 years old.
After taking on older veterans, such as Shane Mosley, and smaller foes, such as Josesito Lopez, the undefeated redhead is finally looking to get into a challenge.
ESPN reports that Alvarez is looking to return this December for a fight that will prepare him for a showdown with Puerto Rican legend Miguel Cotto on Cinco de Mayo 2013.
Miguel Cotto and Austin Trout to Do Battle on December 1
Miguel Cotto's career highlights.
Miguel Cotto and Austin Trout plan to do battle on December 1 in Madison Square Garden for the WBA regular junior middleweight world title.
Floyd Mayweather has the WBA super junior middleweight title so it's possible the winner of Cotto-Trout will try to lure Mayweather into a unification bout in summer 2013.
Cotto gave Mayweather his toughest bout in nearly a decade in his last fight, so it won't be tough selling the winner of Cotto-Trout vs. Mayweather.
A unification match with WBC champ Saul Alvarez is also a possibility for the winner in 2013.
Erislandy Lara vs. Vanes Martirosyan Is a Final Eliminator for Canelo's Belt
A highlighted recap of Lara putting on a career-best performance against Paul Williams only to be robbed on the judges' scorecards.
Move over Cotto and Trout, the winner of Erislandy Lara vs. Vanes Martirosyan on Nov. 10 becomes the mandatory challenger of Saul "Canelo" Alvarez's WBC.
Hot Boxing News reports that the WBC president will allow Alvarez to fight in December, but he must fight the winner of Lara-Martirosyan or be stripped of his title.
The only way Alvarez can get around this fight is by ditching his title to fight elsewhere. If Cotto defeats Trout for the WBA regular title, Alvarez may ditch his WBC belt to fight for Cotto's belt instead.
Cotto represents the biggest money possible for Alvarez outside of a showdown with Mayweather.
The biggest stars of Mexico and Puerto Rico going head to head on Cinco de Mayo 2013 is a blizzard of money just waiting to happen to be collected.
The winner of Lara-Martirosyan can't come close to generating that level of interests, but maybe a more Alvarez that grows more confident with each victory will take the challenge to prove he's the best at 154.
Sergio Martinez Threatens to Come Down to 154 for Mayweather and Cotto
Martinez calls out Mayweather during an interview with Ellie Seckbach.
Like Saul Alvarez will have to do soon, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. stepped up to the plate to prove he had the skills to match his immense hype as one of Mexico's brightest stars.
Chavez Jr., as Roger Mayweather would say, "got his ass whooped" very soundly by a more skilled veteran in Sergio Martinez.
Martinez has even suggested that he can make 154 pounds even though he fights as the middleweight champion of the world. The 160-pound division is fairly weak by comparison.
Maybe Martinez has to step down in order for his competition to step up. At age 37, he doesn't have too long to milk major money out of this sport. If he doesn't want to waste his time chasing anemic paydays at middleweight, than returning to the 154 division where he earned his first world title is his best option.
Gennady Golovkin Says He Can Make 154 to Get a Fight
Gennady Golovkin wastes Lajuan Simon in the first round.
Gennady Golovkin, current WBA regular champion, said, according to ESPN, he'll fight "anybody between 154 and 168."
He's not only one of the hardest pound for pound punchers in boxing today. He's very technically sound and yields a brick wall for a chin.
If Golovkin truly can make 154 still, there's plenty of challenges at the weight for him to overcome. The opportunity is there, all he needs is a contract and signature from someone willing to face him.
Easier said than done.
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