With Showtime's "Super Six" middleweight boxing tournament ready to kick off next week, one of the most unknown boxing divisions is ready to make history, and a lot of money. To the average person,the tournament consists of a who's who of "who?" in boxing. But this is a very special event indeed, for this tournament consist of the best in this division: Arthur Abraham (30-0), Carl Froch (25-0) ,Andre Ward (20-0), Andre Dirrell (18-0),Mikkel Kessler (42-1), and Jermain Taylor (28-3-1) going head up in a series to determine who is the best at 168 lbs. Although the championship, I feel, lies in one of the first opening matches (Ward vs. Kessler, Nov. 7, I'm picking Ward), the round robin style and great athletes make this tourney a must see. If only all divisions would be so adamant on proving superiority.If so, the true boxing fans, and anyone else for that matter,would witness a resurgence of the sport unlike any other. The promotional companies and cable television empires make it so that events like this are as rare as an under cooked steak. But of course, me being the boxing junkie that I am, have devised a list of tournaments from five weight classes. This article is for the true boxing fan.(I skipped heavyweights and junior middleweights, because no one cares.) Please leave comments and opinions!
Light Heavyweights: Bernard Hopkins (49-5-1), Thomas Adamek (38-1),Chad Dawson (28-0),Glen Johnson (49-12-2),Roy Jones Jr. (54-5), Tavaris Cloud (20-0)
Must See: Bernard Hopkins vs. Chad Dawson; Thomas Adamek vs. Glen Johnson Overall Winner: Chad Dawson
With Bernard Hopkins now officially the Kanye West of boxing (jumping in the middle of the argument between Floyd Mayweather and Shane Mosley), it would be interesting to see if he could handle this pressure of the new young champions of his division. Thomas Adamek, who is a cruiserweight right now, is a virtual U.S unknown. But he can sure punch. He'd be in there until the end. I see Dawson having too much speed for just about everyone. I wouldn't sleep on RJJ either, unless he runs into Glen Johnson again. The he might be the one sleeping again.
Middleweights: Kelly Pavlik (35-1), Arthur Abraham (30-0), Felix Sturm (33-2-1), Winky Wright (51-5-1), Paul Williams (37-1), Sergio Martinez (44-1-2)
Must See: Kelly Pavlik vs. Arthur Abraham Overall Winner: Paul Williams
Kelly Pavlik is the Middleweight champion, but I see Paul Williams taking that crown in a few weeks (if Paul boxes and doesn't try to slug it out). Pavlik loves to brawl, which is why the Arthur Abraham fight would be sure to rock the tv sets. I put Winky in there for old time sake, but I wouldn't see him giving too many people past Felix Sturm a headache. Abraham is my sleeper, but in the end Williams will be too awkward for anyone to handle without landing a lucky hay-maker.
Welterweights: Shane Mosley (46-5), Miguel Cotto (34-1), Floyd Mayweather Jr. (40-0), Joshua Clottey (35-3), Andre Berto (25-0), Manny Pacquiao (49-3-2)
Must See: The whole damn tournament Overall winner: Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The NCAA tournament of boxing. This would re-vitalize the sport and bring it back to the level it was circa late 1970's. The who's who not only in the division but in the sport. Every fight would be destined (besides Berto-Clottey) for PPV. This will feature Shane "please fight me" Mosley finally getting his shot at "Money" (Mayweather), as well as an exciting Cotto-Berto fight which I think would be one of the better fights in the tourney. I pick Floyd to win it all. Cotto is my sleeper.Paul Williams I didn't have in the tourney because I don't see him fighting another fight at 147. But he and Floyd Mayweather would be a toss-up.
Jr. Welterweights: Manny Pacquiao (49-3-2), Timothy Bradley Jr. (24-0), Zab Judah (37-6), Amir Khan (21-1), Devon Alexander (19-0), Paulie Malinaggi (26-3)
Must See: Pacquiao-Bradley Jr., Alexander-Khan Overall Winner: Manny Pacquiao
This would be a great one as well. Bradley Jr. is a Showtime star, which means half the world doesn't know who he is. But you should expect him in the finals with Pacquiao. Its yet to be seen if "Pac'Man" can handle a savvy (black) boxer, but Bradley Jr. has been down before, so his chin is a little suspect. I put Zab Judah back down to 140 because I feel thats his best weight (and he might snuff me if I ever met him didn't include him).My sleeper is Devon Alexander, another showtime prodigy who can really fight. In the end, I think Pacquaio can knock anyone of the other guys out, so he gets the nod for winner.
I'm sure these tournaments will remain a figment of my overactive imagination. But if boxing ever in need of an resurgence (which seems to be ever present), these tournaments would send the sport I love, and its participants, to the stratosphere of sports revenue and popularity. Until then..well, a man can dream, can't he?