Top Rank vs. Golden Boy: 5 Potentially Great Matchups Fans Are Missing Out On
Boxing’s promotional dichotomy has been at the center of attention in recent years. This aspect of the sport has deprived fans of potentially great matchups.
When Floyd Mayweather left for Showtime, he exacerbated the problem between two of the biggest promotional companies in boxing—Top Rank and Golden Boy.
With the cold war still brewing and no end in sight, these fights are about as hypothetical as Marvel vs. DC at the moment. But what if there were no barriers? Here are five potentially crowd-pleasing fights between the best of Golden Boy and the best of Top Rank.
Brandon Rios vs. Lucas Matthysse
Sound the alarms with this one because it would be an all-out war!
Can you imagine these two sluggers stepping into the same ring? Their styles would likely result in fireworks right from the starting bell.
In his last fight, Rios took a 12-round beating from one of the best in the sport in Manny Pacquiao, so he would likely be able to withstand Matthysse’s ferocious punches.
The Argentine slugger is usually able to land crisp, hard punches that break opponents' guards. But he also has a tendency to get caught with big shots in return.
Rios can be a big puncher and is a relentless force when facing another fighter who engages in the action.
This one might play out like Matthysse’s last fight against John Molina. It would be an all-out battle, with both men tasting the canvas at least once. But luckily, both men have chins of steel, which would likely mean the heavy punching would last for some time.
Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Amir Khan
The matchup brings intrigue because it features the more experienced Marquez vs. the quicker Khan.
Marquez, who was dominant in his last fight against Mike Alvarado, would need to use his power and counterpunching abilities to attack Khan. The Mexican legend has shown that his power can be the difference in a fight, which was evident against Pacquiao.
Khan, whose chin is often questioned, would have to withstand hard punches from one of the best in the sport.
The 27-year-old from the United Kingdom would have to use his tactical display of boxing to best Marquez. Khan was able to put on a dominant performance when he recently squared off against Luis Collazo. He would need to repeat that display if he hopes to beat the veteran Marquez.
This one would be an interesting matchup between boxers who are versatile in multiple aspects of the sport.
Marcos Maidana vs. Ruslan Provodnikov
This is another one that would lead to a war.
Maidana is coming off a very competitive majority-decision loss to Floyd Mayweather. But in previous fights, the Argentine has shown that his aggressive style and strength can lead to knockouts, as he has scored 31 of them in 39 fights.
Provodnikov, too, has shown that he has scary power, annihilating Denver native Mike Alvarado in his last fight. The “Siberian Rocky" has proved that he is a versatile fighter who nevertheless loves to brawl.
When he took on Tim Bradley, he was resilient, walking through a barrage of punches to fire his own vicious combinations. It was a fight that tested the will of both men. Provodnikov proved that he has the chin to withstand big punches and the heart to go the distance.
Maidana also has the heart and chin of a warrior. This was on display in his fight against Khan, where he got back up from a devastating body shot. He demonstrated his will against Victor Ortiz as well, when he got up off the canvas several times to come back and win the fight.
Despite both Maidana and Provodnikov's determination to win, it is hard to imagine this one going the distance. They would throw the kitchen sink at each other. Who knows how long it would last, but what a spectacle it would be.
Danny Garcia vs. Timothy Bradley
Both men have the heart of champions, and that is what would determine the outcome of this fight. But the question is, who wants it more?
Garcia is a well-rounded boxer, but doesn’t particularly stand out in any one aspect. His sheer determination has led him through some of his biggest fights with Erik Morales, Khan and Matthysse, among others. He thrives in the role of the underdog, as he has been underestimated in many of his biggest fights.
Bradley, too, doesn't mind being the underdog, which was the case against Manny Pacquiao in both fights. He got the unexpected win in the first fight and then put on a competitive matchup in the second bout.
Bradley beat Provodnikov in one of his toughest bouts to date. He also won a split decision against Juan Manuel Marquez.
Garcia and Bradley have a strong work ethic and the grit to overcome big obstacles. They fight for self-pride, which is why this one would come down to heart and perseverance. It would probably be a close and competitive contest, but who would do more to please the judges?
Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather
This one doesn't need any explaining. It’s been the talk of the boxing world for the last five years, but let’s go over it anyway.
After the devastating knockout loss in 2012 to Marquez, Pacquiao has bounced back with two impressive wins against Rios and Bradley. The 34-year-old has redeemed himself to a degree and appears ready to take on anyone, including Mayweather.
In September Mayweather put on a dominate performance against the much younger Saul Alvarez. Then in his most recent fight, he had some early trouble with Maidana but made the adjustments to win the fight.
Though the fight doesn't hold the same weight it once did, it is still the holy grail in the world of boxing. Fans have desperately craved this fight for years now, but it has been blocked for myriad reasons.
Pacquiao might not be the force he once was, but he is still one of the best on the planet. He holds the best chance of dethroning the pound-for-pound champ because of his quick hands, awkward style and ability to throw power combinations.
Just the thought of this fight not being made makes fans cringe. The bout would break numerous pay-per-view records on name recognition alone.
With Pacquiao signing an extension with Top Rank through 2016, this superfight will remain tough to make.
But come on, guys: Find a way to somehow get this one signed, sealed and delivered before it is too late!