The Hottest Boxing Storylines to Watch in Week of October 28
Another week bites the dust as we move closer to the end of 2013, and the boxing calendar continues to heat up.
This past week we saw the latest return of an ageless wonder, a middleweight belt-holder looking to make a statement and some more dubious judging.
We'll reflect on the past weekend's huge fights, and set the stage for the all the action to come this weekend.
We'll set you up right and arm you with all the information you need. These are the top storylines in boxing for the week of October 28.
What's Next for Bernard Hopkins?
Bernard Hopkins continues to defy Father Time, and at this point, it seems that his goal of continuing to fight until he's 50 years old is not only attainable but likely.
Hopkins entered the ring at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, on Saturday night closer to 49 than 48, and he turned in yet another impressive performance against a much younger foe. Karo Murat didn't have the name recognition or pedigree of many recent Hopkins foes, but he was 18 years younger and presumably fresher than the living legend.
The inevitable question—as always—becomes: What is left for Bernard Hopkins to prove in the sport of boxing?
The obvious answer is absolutely nothing. His legacy and Hall of Fame credentials have been secure for over a decade now, and there aren't a ton of compelling fights available.
But Hopkins is as much a businessman as he is a fighter. And there are two names out there that could draw the type of box office success that will allow him to finally ride off into the sunset with a fair bit more coin in his pocket.
Those names are Andre Ward and—seemingly no longer completely out of the question—Floyd Mayweather. Granted, a Ward fight makes more sense from basically every perspective, but Mayweather guarantees the most money by far.
Is Peter Quillin a Legitimate Contender at Middleweight?
"Kid Chocolate" Peter Quillin successfully defended his WBO Middleweight Championship with a 10th round stoppage of Gabriel Rosado on Saturday night on the undercard of Hopkins vs. Murat. He dropped the gutsy Puerto Rican challenger in the second round and opened a nasty cut in the ninth that ultimately ended the night.
Overall, the fight was highly competitive. The scores at the time of the stoppage indicated a blowout (we'll deal with that later) but anyone watching could see a pretty close fight at the time of the stoppage.
The problem with that—if you're Quillin—is that Rosado is a lot of things. He's gutsy, tough and never quits on a fight. But he isn't a true middleweight, and that takes something away from an otherwise impressive performance.
Even before the fight, Quillin was considered by most to be a step below the top dogs at 160 pounds, and this will do nothing to change that.
Who Trains These Judges?
You'd never know it if you just looked at the scorecards, but Peter Quillin and Gabriel Rosado put on a pretty entertaining and competitive fight on Saturday night. And while inept judges didn't have the opportunity to ruin a good fight, that doesn't make them any less inept.
Quillin seemed to be narrowly ahead at the time the fight ended due to a bad cut, but it turned out not to matter. Judges Kason Cheeks had the champion up by an inexplicable 90-80 score, Waleska Roldan had it 89-81 and Ron McNair had it a more reasonable 87-84.
Rosado—who has come up short in his biggest fights—was understandably annoyed by the wide scores at the post-fight presser.
Obviously it didn't impact the end result of their bout, but it begs the question: Who trains these judges? And how can we improve them?
Can Anyone Derail GGG?
Pretty much everyone knows the book on Gennady Golovkin at this point. He's a lethal power puncher, virtually nobody wants to fight him and some are already willing to rank him above longtime division kingpin Sergio Martinez.
The Kazakh wrecking ball is undefeated in 27 professional fights, has an absurd knockout rate of just under 90 percent and has stopped his last 14 foes inside the distance. Next up in line for a chance to crack the code will be Brooklyn born middleweight contender Curtis Stevens.
The 28-year-old Stevens is himself known for having excellent punching power, and, in the lead up to the fight, he's said all the right things. He refuses to be intimidated, and he'll be fighting in front of a hometown crowd at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.
But he'll also enter as a massive underdog.
Golovkin is a scary physical specimen and he has an almost mythical boogeyman reputation. Stevens can punch, and we've never truly seen GGG's chin get checked, but it's hard to see how this train gets derailed on Saturday night.
Isn't It About Time That Deontay Wilder Fight Somebody?
OK. We get it. Deontay Wilder can punch.
The 28-year-old "Bronze Bomber" has faced 30 men inside a professional boxing ring and he's knocked all of them out. He has devastating power, and he's rapidly embodied the hopes of fight fans in the United States who hope he can be the country's next big heavyweight star.
But there's only so long you can beat up the Nicolai Firtha's of the world.
No disrespect to Firtha—he's a tough SOB—but he's not a contender, and while he's been in the ring with some top heavyweight names, he hasn't beaten any of them.
Wilder's long awaited step up in class could be coming sooner rather than later. Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer said after the fight with Firtha that he hopes to match him with Bermane Stiverne for the WBC Heavyweight Championship, should it become vacant.
There have been rumblings that the belt will indeed be up for grabs, as current champion Vitali Klitschko has been inactive for nearly a year and has recently announced plans to run for President in his native Ukraine.
Should Wilder get by Stiverne, a matchup with unified heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko could be in the offing, and that would be the biggest heavyweight fight in quite some time.
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