Of course, there is no talking about matchups boxing fans want to see most without first bringing up Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather. The supposed super fight has been talked about for years, yet it seems the dream scenario is as far apart as it has ever been.
Pacquiao versus Mayweather is not the only fight that would make fans happy, however. Here is the run down of that fight, and five others, that would be sure to highlight any fan's' schedule.
Is this matchup in danger of becoming The Greatest Fight There Never Was? Of course, the question remains between fight fans, who is ducking whom? Those in the Pacquaio camp will say Mayweather is afraid of losing his perfect record, and is avoiding the champ.
Those in the Mayweather circle will say the fight was on, all Pacquaio had to do was take a standard drug test. From an objective perspective, the multiple-tattooed Pacquiao’s reasoning that he is afraid of needles does seem odd.
Still, all boxing fans will continue to hope this fight happens for as long as these men are near their peak. Mayweather is 34 years old and is about to have his first fight in 16 months, while Pacquaio turns 33 in December. Time may be running out to see these exceptional fighters at their best.
Amir Khan’s record stands at 26 wins against one loss, with 18 victories coming by way of knockout. Recently, he disposed of former champion Zab Judah in five rounds, took out the previously undefeated Paul McCloskey, and won a unanimous decision over the dangerous Marcos Maidana. At 24 years old, he could be the sport’s next superstar.
Timothy Bradley is undefeated in 27 fights, coming off a victory against the previously unbeaten Devon Alexander, and dominated Lamont Peterson for 12 rounds in true “Mayweatherian” style, an embarrassingly one-sided 120-107 on two of the scorecards in an unanimous decision.
This has quietly been the sport’s most anticipated fight this side of Mayweather-Pacquaio. Khan has the reach and power advantages, while Bradley holds quickness and technique to his credit. Part of the fun of this fight is that they are two distinctly different fighters. There is only one way to find out whose style matches up better against the other.
This re-match would likely only happen if Victor Ortiz is defeated by Floyd Mayweather, as it would be deemed beneath Ortiz if he takes the next step into superstardom. Still, the rematch of this highly entertaining first fight is something boxing fans would love to see.
The Maidana fight is the lone blemish on Ortiz’ young and brilliant career. Ortiz put Maidana on the floor three times, but seemed frustrated when the gutsy young Argentinian kept getting up. When Ortiz seemed all too willing to allow referee Raul Caiz stop the fight due to cuts across both eyes, critics questioned his heart.
Many good boxers have lost fights to boxers less skilled than they, but the great ones come back and avenge those losses: Muhammad Ali to Joe Frazier and Ken Norton, Joe Louis to Max Schmeling, and Lennox Lewis to Hasim Rahman. For Ortiz to be one of the greats, show the loss was a mistake.
On the flip side, if Victor Ortiz does pull off the upset against Floyd Mayweather, there is only one man for Ortiz to fight next: Manny Pacquiao. This writer would make the argument that Ortiz-Pacquaio would be a better fight than Mayweather-Ortiz, or indeed Mayweather-Pacquaio.
Ortiz and Pacquaio are probably the two highest-volume punchers in the sport today. Both men throw every punch with bad intentions, and the best part of their defense may be their chin.
This fight has the makings of an all-out war along the lines of Tommy “the Hit Man” Hearns versus “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler: you know the fight is not going to go the distance.
As David Haye has now proven he is more bark than bite, this is the only heavyweight fight that would generate appeal from the general populous, unless Mike Tyson turns back the clock and comes out of retirement (hey we can dream, right?)
Yes, I know what many of you are thinking: “it is never going to happen,” and “brothers should never fight.” If there were any other options, I would agree with you. However, boxing is continuing to lose fans to MMA, and the best way to bring back fans is a war of a heavyweight fight, something we have not seen since Riddick Bowe and Evander Holyfield were duking it out in the middle of the ring. Unfortunately, the Klitschkos are the only two heavyweights that could provide that type of intrigue.
As far as any brotherly bad blood, I do believe it is possible for the two to fight and move on. My favorite sparring partner is my cousin, and there has never been bad blood, in or outside of the ring, between us. Besides, there is no way anyone can convince me Brothers Drago have not sparred each other repeatedly. It would not be that different, except the whole world would be watching.
Okay, yes, I just called any thoughts of seeing Mike Tyson back in the ring a dream, but as far as dreams go, this one is not that far from reality. Bear with me for a minute:
At 45, Tyson is now the same age as George Foreman when he knocked out Michael Moorer to complete his comeback. Physically, Tyson looks far closer to Young Mike Tyson today than he did when we last saw him in the ring, where there were some ripples of fat on top of those bulging muscles. We know the power has not gone anywhere, but could the quickness have returned with that slimmed-down physique?
Tyson is one of the most introspective men in the planet, and likely knows where he went wrong after the passing of Cus D’Amato: he lost the bob and weave technique that made him nearly impossible to hit. Could that have returned, as well?
Listen, I love Mike Tyson, and seeing how happy he is outside of the ring is amazing. Still, I know Tyson is all about his legacy. However far-fetched the idea is, could you imagine how his legacy would skyrocket if he defeated Holyfield (still a "contender" approaching age 49) on his way to a matchup against a Klitschko? His comeback would not one-up George Foreman’s, it would ten-up it.
A snowball’s chance in hell this happens. But it is fun to think about, isn’t it?
Thanks for reading, and feel free to leave comments. You can follow Alexander on twitter @thesportsdude7, or become a fan on his bleacher report profile.