Pacquiao, Haye, Klitschko, Margarito, Adamek, Ward, Khan, Hopkins and More...
With a record number of can't miss fights coming up in the remaining months of 2010, boxing rings around the world are being prepared for battle. I can't think of another period in boxing when there has been this number of intriguing match ups in such a short space of time.
Each of the following 15 fights either showcases a tremendous talent in their prime, or hosts a match up that is of the highest quality.
Bearing in mind that this means most of these contests will be fought at the highest level of competitiveness, I have decided to not only suggest the outcome, but also predict exactly how each fight will materialise.
Antonio Tarver Vs Nagy Aquilera (15/10/10)
First up is Antonio Tarver's heavyweight debut. After doing what light heavyweight rival Bernard Hopkins had no intention of, Tarver faced the divisions best fighter Chad Dawson, not only once but twice, Tarver decided if he can't be the best at light heavyweight he will look to pastures new.
I consider myself a hardcore boxing fan, but I still had never heard of Aguilera when this fight was announced, which makes sense as this is a big step up after over a year layoff for the soon to be 42 year old Tarver.
As i haven't seen Aguilera fight its hard for me to make an accurate prediction on the outcome, but after one look on boxrec.com I can safely say Tarver won't have too many problems.
Tarver by stoppage.
Vitali Klitschko Vs Shannon Briggs (16/10/10)
Here we have the best and most formidable heavyweight in the world in a mismatch against an over the hill asthmatic. in case anyone reading this has just arrived on earth, Shannon Briggs is the latter of the two.
Briggs has earned this shot with a trio of 1st round wins over weak opposition. It sounds familiar to Samuel Peter's preparation for Wladamir Klitschko a few weeks back. We all know how that turned out.
now the hard part: which round is it going to end in? It really depends on what mood Vitali's in on the night. I'd say, if he was being true to Klitschko form, he will soften Briggs up for too many rounds then finish him around the 9th.
Toshiaki Nishioka Vs Rendall Munroe (24/10/10)
This is the first of the match ups where I just cant split them. Nishioka is currently boxrec.com's number one super bantamweight and hasn't lost a fight in over 6 years, with eight of his last nine ending early. He has good balance, good all round ability and seems to be getting better with each fight.
Munroe on the other hand has been fighting in and around European level for the last few years, and has a loss to Andy Morris who has since been unravelled a couple of times at British level.
This said, I have to give Munroe a good chance in this fight, not only because I told him I think he's going to win it, but also because he has the ability to make it messy and smother Nishioka's cleaner work. Maybe after having to climb off the canvas, Munroe's stamina and head movement will see him through.
I predict a draw, but I'm not saying the hometown judges in Tokyo will.
Glen Johnson Vs Allan Green (06/11/10)
Into November now and we have the two late comers to the Super Six super middleweight tournament facing off.
This could be the battle of the weight drained, although i suspect Green's remarks about his weight were a smoke screen for not being able to get off against Andre Ward in his last bout. Johnson on the other hand hasn't made 168lbs in ten years.
Even so, I see Johnson putting up a consistent effort and claiming a tough unanimous decision.
Juan Manuel Lopez Vs Rafael Marquez (06/11/10)
This one has exciting written all over it. Another boxrec.com number one, this time at featherweight in the form of Juanma, against a true ring warrior from the Marquez family.
both boxers have looked vulnerable at one time or another, which is what makes this such an entertaining prospect.
Don't let Marquez's recent easy revenge win over Israel Vazquez fool you, that was more due to Vazquez's deterioration than an improvement in Marquez.
I'm taking Lopez by stoppage in the second half of an all action fight.
David Haye Vs Audley Harrison (13/11/10)
This is one for the British, and we should keep it to ourselves too. what a sadistic bunch we Brits are, I even find myself getting excited about the prospect of Fraudley A-Farce Harrison being KO'd into retirement.
Yes Harrison won prize fighter, yes he knocked out Micheal Sprott with one good arm to claim European championship honours, but thats not enough for this assignment.
However much Harrison can talk up a good fight, he is just the fluffer before Haye goes into the gallows against Wladimir Klitschko.
Haye KO 3
Manny Pacquiao Vs Antonio Margarito (13/11/10)
This is the man everybody wants to see, against the man everybody wants to see get beaten up (again). I have a feeling the crowd are going to get what they came to see in this one. Pacman is going to be too fast, too powerful and too fresh for the disgraced Margacheato.
After the one sided beating Margarito took from Mosley, and presumably the absence of his decorating gear, I have a feeling his confidence isn't going to be sky rocketing going in. The weight here isn't going to be an issue as Margarito is not a fully fledged light middleweight himself.
If Pacman doesn't blitz him in 2 or 3, he will wear him down in a similar fight as to himself against Miguel Cotto, and get to him in one of the last 3 rounds.
Pacquiao by Knockout
Sergio Gabriel Martinez Vs Paul Williams 2 (20/11/10)
Another one i can't split. Where to start with the praise? okay Williams as he's been at the forefront of pound4pound boxing the longest. Here is a true throwback fighter, he fights the best, he fights often and he fights like its going out of fashion, oh and he doesn't care which weight category it takes place in.
Since losing a razor thin decision in their first fight, Martinez has jumped up a weight and picked up the undisputed middleweight championship with a dominant win over Kelly Pavlik, as ya do.
After what happened in Williams' last rematch against his only conqueror Carlos Quintana (KO 1), it makes you wonder. However, this has to be another barn burner.
To save myself hours of contemplating, I'm predicting a draw, which possibly should have been the outcome of the first fight?
Carl Froch Vs Arthur Abraham (27/11/10)
I love this fight. Both fighters have a point to prove after coming off their first professional losses in the Super Six Tournament. It must be noted that each of their respective loses were highly competitive fights from start to finish.
Froch is going to try and pick holes in the tight Abraham defense using straight shots, screw shots, and hooks around the back of Abraham's gloves, while Abraham will be planning to come on strong in the second half of the fight.
I have the feeling Abraham will leave it all a bit too late as he did against Andre Dirrell, and wind up looking for a late stoppage. However likely that was looking in the Dirrell fight before the disqualification, Froch isn't going to be knocked out.
Froch wins by unanimous decision.
Andre Ward Vs Andre Dirrell (27/11/10)
Another Super Six Classic. Here we have two young Olympic gold medal winning team mates who have really been unsheathed as two of the best in the super middleweight division in the last year.
Despite their friendship, I believe they will both be fighting with all their will and skill, in a fast paced hi-octane bout. But I'm not suggesting there will be a knock out or even a knock down, because its very likely there won't.
I have the feeling that these two could fight ten times and split 5 each. With an abundance of athleticism and talent in the ring, this is one for the purists.
I see it being close, but based on his recent performances I have to go with the undefeated Ward, he just doesn't know how to lose at this stage.
Ward by unanimous decision.
Juan Manuel Marquez Vs Micheal Katsidis (27/11/10)
Three great fights in the same night, we really are being spoilt. This fight involves two of the most focused warriors in boxing.
Both fighters are coming off good solid dominating wins over highly ranked opposition against Juan Diaz for Marquez, and less known but previously undefeated Kevin Michell for Katsidis.
After making the right decision to stay at his natural weight class (lightweight) Marquez will have to box off of the back foot to tame the constant Katsidis onslaught.
Although I see this as a competitive fight, I have to side with the older, more experienced Marquez. Katsidis was a sucker for counters and was too easy to hit while getting knocked down twice in the first round and then out in the 10th round against Joel Cassamayor.
Katsidis has improved since that fight, but Marquez is an even better counter puncher than Cassamayor.
Marquez by unanimous decision, or dare I say stoppage?
Tomasz Adamek Vs Vinny Maddalone (09/12/10)
Into December now and it starts with a disappointing match up. Why is the heavyweight ranked at number 4 in the world by most people, fighting a journeyman level fighter in Maddalone? Adamek should be having useful learning experiences at a stage so close to facing one of the champions.
Up until this point I didn't have a bad word to say about Adamek. Hes been matched very competitively at heavyweight against the likes of Chris Arreola and Jason Estrada, and hes had a taste of what it might be like to face somebody the size of a Klitschko in Micheal Grant, and hes been doing it often. Not to mention winning titles at light heavyweight and cruiserweight, and only losing once in doing so.
Adamek within 5 (sigh)
Amir Khan Vs Marcos Reine Maidana (11/12/10)
Amir Khan fighting an opponent with a 90% knock out ratio? times have changed. Maidana has an excellent record at 29-1, with 27 early. His only loss handed to him via split decision against Andry Kotelnik at championship level.
Maidana has also proved his heart, strength and power in a tough battle with gifted Golden Boy prospect Victor Ortiz, in which both fighters were up and down like yo-yos, until Ortiz quit after six.
All this said, I think this is the perfect fight for Amir at this stage. Khan hasn't faced a puncher since being knocked out in the first round against Columbian banger Breidis Prescott. He needs this win to silence his critics.
Maidana's last outing was less than stellar, when going the distance with a faded Demarcus Corley, and Khan's clear points win over common opponent Kotelnik will give him extra confidence going in.
This opponent is tailor made for Khan. He will make the sluggish Maidana miss, while dazzling him with speed, power and movement.
Khan brings proceedings to a close in impressive fashion, around the 8th.
Wladimir Klitschko Vs Derek Chisora (13/12/10)
What do you get when you put a 14 fight novice in with one of the most dominant heavyweight champions in history, in his prime? Answer: a mismatch.
Unfortunately there just aren't enough credible challengers out there for Wlad to be in a competitive fight anytime soon. What we have here is both Klitschko brothers wiping out all comers, so whereas usually a fighter like Chisora would have to wait another few years, giving him a chance to gain the experience he needs, now the opportunity comes twice as quick. Can you blame him for taking it? He will be going from making a few tens of thousands of pounds a fight, to over a million!
Now that between them the Klitschko's have beaten every worthy opponent, they are having to feast on the next would-be worthy challengers before they get the chance to develop. Teddy Atlas can see this, so he's rightly holding back his heavyweight prospect, Alexander Povetkin, who happens to have much more experience of quality opposition than Chisora.
Still it could be worse, in the old days heavyweight champions like Bob Fitzsimmons, Jim Jefferies and Jack Dempsey simply refused to defend the title until a challenger that they deemed worthy came along.
Chisora is talented and looked great stopping overrated contender Sam Sexton last time out. He has a better chance than most of the heavyweights that haven't fought a Klitschko, but that doesn't mean he has a chance.
Chisora doesn't have the power, and at 6'1.5" doesn't have the size to be effective in this one. I'm sure he will put up a valiant effort but he will be softened up with the jab before being knocked out in the 11th or 12th, if not before.
Bernard Hopkins Vs Jean Pascal (18/12/10)
Bernard Hopkins doesn't just have perfect timing inside the ring, he times his challenges perfectly as well. For a few years now the man to beat at light heavyweight has been chad Dawson, but Hopkins didn't want any part of that, and who can blame him?
Now that the more vulnerable Jean Pascal has beaten Dawson in a lucky yet clear decision, Hopkins is game. pascal has a ton of heart and stamina, but he doesn't have the skills of a Chad Dawson, and this will be his downfall.
Even at 45 Hopkins is a master at neutralising his opponents advantages. He will dictate this fight at his own pace, whilst stealing points and confusing Pascal.
Hopkins will drag Pascal into a dull fight, winning by decision in the process.