Manny Pacquiao asking the fans what they think
As a die-hard fight fan, one of the most enjoyable—and oftentimes frustrating—things to do is imagine dream matchups you would like to see go down in the ring.
The reason that pondering dream matchups can be frustrating is because the best potential fights often times never materialize. Whether it’s Floyd Mayweather Jr. versus Manny Pacquiao or Juan Manuel Lopez versus Yuriorkis Gamboa, boxing enthusiasts are oftentimes left to settle for “what if.”
In order from most important to least important, the factors we considered were the amount of time a given fight has lingered as a possibility and the magnitude or prestige involved in the fight.
For the sake of this “dream,” let’s assume that promotional beefs don’t exist. Read on for the five dream matchups every boxing fan wants to see.
Wladimir Klitschko versus Vitali Klitschko
Who wouldn't want to see the two best heavyweight champions square off in the ring? The problem here is the top big men in the sport are brothers. Though if we're dreaming, this has to be near the top of the list.
Adrien Broner versus Brandon Rios
Both men exchanged some heated words back at the beginning of 2013, with Rios calling Broner out for fighting smaller opponents—among other things. While this potential matchup has only been talked about for a few months, both combatants have the gift of gab and fight fans would love to see them back it up in the ring.
Brandon Rios versus Lucas Matthysse
Rios versus Matthysse is another fight that hasn't been on fight fans' radar for too long but piques people's interest because of both men's fighting style. This test of wills definitely has its share of obstacles, but would a crowd-pleasing brawl.
Coming in at No. 5 is one of the most recent and hottest dream matchups that boxing heads have been clamoring for.
With Gennady Golovkin’s recent rise in the ranks, every name from Floyd Mayweather Jr. to Adrien Broner has been thrown out by fight-hungry fans as a potential dream matchup.
But in all actuality, the best and most realistic matchup for “GGG” is fellow middleweight, Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez. Martinez is getting older and has looked vulnerable as of late so time is certainly ticking on this fight.
Martinez versus Golovkin lands at No. 5 because the bout hasn’t had much time to gain steam. Both fighters are extremely exciting to watch and a matchup between the two could do big numbers in Martinez’ homeland of Argentina.
Brandon Rios versus Danny Garcia comes in at No. 4. This matchup has gained momentum in the last couple of years because of the toughness both men have shown in the ring.
This matchup would pit two of the most relentless warriors in all of boxing and surely be a fight-of-the-year candidate. Chances are that this battle could be scheduled for six rounds and still wouldn’t go the distance.
With Robert Garcia and Angel Garcia (no relation) working the microphones during the press conferences, you can believe that the buildup to this fight would have some all-time great quotable material.
Because both fighters are still young and stand on the opposite sides of the promotional lines at the current moment, boxing heads may agonize over this fight for years to come.
And since we’re dreaming, you wouldn’t be wrong for thinking that the late great Emmanuel Steward would have a ball commentating ringside for this fight. Gatti-Ward IV, anyone?
Broner is a character
An Adrien Broner versus Floyd Mayweather fight would be huge on multiple levels. Both men are flashy outside of the ring and can certainly talk a good game—not to mention burn a few bills (literally). Both guys have tremendous skill and are the type of characters people will always want to see lose.
Mayweather versus Broner would be billed as a possible changing of the guard fight and would certainly garner mainstream media attention.
Though the fan interest for this fight is relatively new, this bout has been an even bigger topic of heated discussion on the Bleacher Report message boards than Govolkin-Martinez and Garcia-Rios.
It’s clear that this bout intrigues fans as well as angers them. Because Mayweather has assumed the big brother role to Broner, many die-hards believe we will likely never get to see the two talented fighters face off against each other.
If both men continue to win, this fight may garner enough interest among boxing fans to warrant the top spot on this list.
Juan Manuel Lopez
Before a guy named Orlando Salido came along and ruined everything—for fight fans at least—this fight was one of the most highly anticipated bouts to come along in years.
By early 2011, both fighters were undefeated, knocking out foes left and right and on a collision course to meet for featherweight supremacy. Alas, something had to give.
Instead of putting two of his top fighters against each other, Bob Arum infamously decided to let the bout—in his own words—“marinate” (per Dan Rafael of ESPN).
Juan Manuel Lopez went on to lose two fights to the rugged Mexican, Salido. Gamboa on the other hand left Arum’s Top Rank stable but has remained undefeated.
Even after all of this, a potential big-time brawl still lingers in the minds of fight fans worldwide.
This fight lands at No. 2 simply because it doesn’t match the potential fanfare that the No. 1 fight would. But if Lopez is able to defeat Mikey Garcia on June 15, a matchup versus Gamboa could once again pick up steam and easily jump to No. 1 in terms of dream matchups that fight fans want to see.
Mayweather vs. Pacquiao would be a battle for the ages.
This fight has seemingly lingered forever as a possible mega showdown. Numerous failed negotiations and outside the ring distractions are only a couple of reasons why we have yet to see Floyd Mayweather battle Manny Pacquiao.
Regardless of losses, PED accusations, promoter hatred and even other big fights being made—like Mayweather versus Saul Alvarez—optimistic boxing fans all over the world would still love nothing more than to see Mayweather versus Pacquiao become a reality.
While some may argue that this ship has sailed, you can’t help but wonder just how huge this entire event could be. If Mayweather is the top pay-per-view revenue king, than Pacquiao is certainly No. 2. Add a pair of high-caliber trainers and you have an added level of interest for fans to dissect.
Was two years ago the perfect time for these two high-caliber fighters to have faced off against one another? Sure. But, if this fight was made today you can believe it would still sell a record number of tickets and likely break the current pay-per-view revenue mark set by Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather in 2007 (per Golden Boy Promotion's Wikipedia page).
Dream on, fans, dream on.