5 Hot Names in Boxing Whose Popularity Won't Last

Kevin McRaeFeatured ColumnistMay 31, 2013

5 Hot Names in Boxing Whose Popularity Won't Last

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    In boxing, being popular is a fickle business.

    Some fighters have a style that is crowd-pleasing. They either have huge knockout power or are willing to slug it out in order to land their own punches.

    Others you have to admire because of their natural boxing abilities and how they make a complex sport look so simple in the ring. 

    But popularity can be fleeting, and you can have it one day but not the next. All it takes is one dub of a performance, one loss or one outside-the-ring transgression. The following five fighters may be popular now, but you can take it to the bank that their popularity won't last.

Danny Garcia

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    It seems that boxing fans are always looking for the next great (insert blank here). In this case, the next great Puerto Rican fighter to follow in the footsteps of Felix Trinidad and Miguel Cotto is unified junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia.

    Garcia burst on the scene last July with a stunning fourth-round TKO of rising British star Amir Khan, netting him the WBA 140-pound title to go with his WBC version.

    But despite his rising popularity, Garcia really hasn't accomplished all that much.

    He was losing the fight with Khan up until the knockout, and his remaining big wins have come against a pair of aging veterans in Zab Judah and Erik Morales. 

    In his next fight he will face Lucas Matthysse, an absolutely lethal power puncher from Argentina, who most recently nearly sent Lamont Peterson's head into the Atlantic Ocean via the Atlantic City boardwalk.

    That could be the end of Garcia's run to the top.

Sergio Martinez

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    It sure seems to have gone downhill fast for Sergio Martinez, hasn't it? 

    He looked every bit the world-beater as advertised heading into the 12th round of his battle for middleweight supremacy last September with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. It's basically been a downward spiral from the opening bell of that round.

    Martinez was dropped hard in that final frame, suffering multiple injuries, including two deep head lacerations, a broken left hand and torn ligaments in his right knee.

    He struggled mightily against lightly regarded Martin Murray of England in his most recent title defense, leaving the ring with the same trio of injuries. Those injuries will likely keep him sidelined for the rest of the year.

    At nearly 39, and with huge challenges in the form of Gennady Golovkin, Peter Quillin and a resurgent Chavez, it could be closing in on the end of "Maravilla" before long.

Adrien Broner

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    In a few good, and a few not so good ways, Adrien Broner has drawn comparisons to Floyd Mayweather Jr. He's certainly talented and brash, backing up his talk in the ring thus far.

    But you get the sense pretty quickly that Broner's antics, which include a disrespect of his opponents that often borders on the vulgar, will get under people's skin pretty quickly.

    If you need any confirmation that his is true, just check out his recent press conference announcing his move to welterweight to challenge WBA champion Paulie Malignaggi in June. It wasn't vulgar, but it was way over the top, even for boxing, and both guys should be embarrassed.

    If Broner kkeeps improving, he will win his share of fights. But winning fans is another story if he doesn't temper his trash-talk.

Guillermo Rigondeaux

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    Guillermo Rigondeaux established his credibility as a professional fighter, despite fighting just 12 pro bouts, with an easier-than-expected unanimous-decision win over 2012 fighter of the year Nonito Donaire this past April. It was dominant, pure boxing at its finest, and Donaire was able to do virtually nothing offensively. 

    It was a great win, and in many eyes an upset, but it's not the type of win that makes a fighter popular. Rigo is a tremendous defensive fighter who is able to make people miss and make them pay at-will, but his unwillingness to engage at times is not pleasing to the eye.

    Unfortunately for Rigo, it also might be difficult to cash-in on the victory over Donaire.

    Nobody really wants to see a rematch, and a fight with Mikey Garcia could be a stylistic nightmare. Abner Mares isn't available because of the Golden Boy/Top Rank feud.

    Is he a good fighter? Absolutely. Will he remain popular? It's hard to imagine unless something changes.

Andre Ward

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    Andre Ward is a supremely talented fighter, in fact, he might be too talented for his own good.

    Ward is the undisputed champion at 168 pounds, regardless of who else holds belts, beating every possible challenger in his weight class. With dominant wins over Carl Froch, Mikkel Kessler and Chad Dawson already in the bag, it's hard to see who Ward faces next. 

    What will he prove by beating Carl Froch for a second time, especially given that he won with ease in their first bout? Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is a possibility, but he was dominated by Sergio Martinez in his last bout and was subsequently suspended. Also, he would have to come up in weight.

    Ward is a really, really good fighter. He's No. 2 on most pound-for-pound lists, but he has a style that is effective, if not exciting, and few intriguing fights available. That could continue to hurt him in the box office aspect of the sport.