Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez and the Top 10 Fights Left in 2011
The last quarter of 2011 is set to feature some of the biggest bouts of the year, and they may turn out to be the year's best.
There has been a lot of hype going into the following 10 bouts, and after Floyd Mayweather's victory over Victor Ortiz in September, everyone is anxious to see what happens in the November showdown between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez. They will be fighting for the third time.
Other rematches on schedule for the remaining months include Pawel Wolak vs. Delvin Rodriguez, Abner Mares vs. Joseph Agbeko and Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito.
Along with those, these are the biggest bouts left in 2011.
Notable Mention: Nonito Donaire vs. Omar Chavez (Oct. 22)
If the Philippines didn't have a big enough star in Manny Pacquiao, right behind him is bantamweight Nonito Donaire (26-1, 18 KO), who will be taking on Omar Andres Narvaez (35-0-2, 19 KO) on Oct. 22.
Donaire is coming off his incredible second round TKO over Fernando Montiel, while Narvaez beat his last five opponents by decision.
With the ability to box a full 12 rounds and pull out the victories, expect Narvaez to give Donaire all he can handle over the course of their 12-round bout.
The winner will move on to fight other standout bantamweights, including Abner Mares and Joseph Agbeko.
No. 10: Saul Alvarez vs. Kermit Cintron (Nov. 26)
WBC light middleweight champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (38-0-1, 28 KO) will look to extend his unbeaten record when he takes on Kermit Cintron (33-4-1, 28 KO) on Nov. 26.
The bout, which will go down on HBO, will be the fourth this year for Alvarez, who is 21 years old and already considered a superstar.
Cintron had a tough 2011 going 1-1 after being out of the ring for over a year. He has the experience to test Alvarez, and that is what people are looking for.
No. 9: Abner Mares vs Joseph Agbeko II (Dec. 3)
IBF bantamweight champion Abner Mares (23-0-1, 13 KO) had a very controversial fight with Joseph Agbeko (28-3, 22 KO) in August, but he did come out with the majority decision victory in the finals of the Showtime Bantamweight Tournament.
After referee Russell Mora ignored Mares' low blows throughout the bout, Agbeko appeared to be in a fight with more than one person. Mora also counted a knockdown when Agbeko took a knee after being hit low.
Showtime commentator Al Bernstein called it the worst officiating he had seen in over 15 years.
They will get to do it again in December, and hopefully with a new referee.
No. 8: Amir Khan vs. Lamont Peterson (Dec. 10)
IBF and WBA light welterweight champion Amir "King" Khan (26-1, 18 KO) hopes to move one step further to a fight with Manny Pacquiao when he takes on Lamont Peterson (29-1-1, 15 KO) in December on HBO.
Peterson's only career loss was to Timothy Bradley, who is considered by many to be the No. 2 boxer in the division. Some even consider him the No. 1.
Khan is coming off his victory over Zab Judah, but he also picked up a win over Paul McCloskey earlier this year.
Peterson is coming off a victory over Victor Cayo, which came after his competitive draw with Victor Ortiz.
No. 7: Lucian Bute vs. Glen Johnson (Nov. 5)
Romanian boxer and IBF super middleweight champion, Lucian Bute, (29-0, 24 KO) is set to face journeyman Glen Johnson (51-15-2, 35 KO) on Showtime on Nov. 5.
Johnson has faced almost every big name opponent in the light heavyweight and super middleweight divisions, and this includes Roy Jones Jr., Antonio Tarver, Chad Dawson, Tavoris Cloud and Carl Froch.
Bute has picked up many standout victories over the past two years, including knockout victories over Librado Andrade, Jean Paul Mendy, Edison Miranda and William Joppy. In face, he has knocked out his last six opponents.
Johnson has only been stopped once in 15 losses. Can Bute be the only other one to do it?
No. 6: Delvin Rodriguez vs. Pawel Wolak II (Dec. 3)
Light middleweight's Pawel Wolak (29-1-1, 19 KO) and Delvin Rodriguez (25-5-3, 14 KO) last fought in July in one of this year's leading candidates for fight of the year. It resulted in draw, and they will get to do it again on the undercard of the Cotto vs. Margarito pay-per-view.
Wolak has had a very successful year with his win over Yuri Foreman in March. The Rodriguez fight didn't give him the victory he wanted, but it did show what he is all about. With his right eye completely swollen shut, he continued to pressure Rodriguez throughout the 10-round bout.
Many though Rodriguez, who is 1-3-1 in his last five, deserved the victory.
No. 5: Bernard Hopkins vs. Chad Dawson (Oct. 15)
Bernard Hopkins will enter his Oct. 15 bout with former light heavyweight champion, Chad Dawson, (31-1, 17 KO) as the oldest man to ever win a major world boxing title.
At 46 years old, Hopkins brings enough interest to the ring with his age alone, and he will look to prove that father time has not caught up to him.
His victory over Jean Pascal showcased a Hopkins that looked better than he had in years.
Dawson's only loss is to Pascal, but he does hold victories over Antonio Tarver, Glen Johnson and Tomasz Adamek, while looking flawless in beating them. His natural boxing ability accounts for much of his success, but it has also been what holds him back by having a lack of passion and energy when it's necessary.
Hopkins will bring the best out of Dawson, and it should turn out to be a very competitive fight.
No. 4: Alfredo Angulo vs. James Kirkland (Nov. 5)
Heavy-handed boxers Alfredo Angulo (20-1, 17 KO) and James Kirkland (29-1, 26 KO) pack a lot of power in their punchers, and they are not prone to taking punishment. Fans will find out just how much each can take when they meet in November on HBO.
Kirkland suffered the first loss of his career this year, and it came in a bout with Nobuhiro Ishida in April. After coming back from a two-year absence from boxing, Kirkland picked up two victories, before being knocked out by the light-punching Ishida in the very first round.
Now, it's Angulo who is coming off the extensive absence. He did fight once since July of 2010, but he beat an overmatched opponent in the very first round.
This has the potential to be an all-out slugfest, and what else could anyone expect with these two?
No. 3: Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito II (Dec. 3)
Miguel Cotto (36-2, 29 KO) has had the devastating loss to Antonio Margarito (38-7, 27 KO) in his head for over three years, but he will finally get the chance to avenge it, when he takes on the Mexican boxer on a Dec. 3 pay-per-view event.
It was the first loss of Cotto's career when he suffered a TKO loss to Margarito in 2008. In Margarito's next fight versus Shane Mosley, he was caught trying to cheat with plaster in his gloves before the match started.
Many speculated that may have been used in the victory over Cotto.
Cotto recently moved into the junior middleweight division where he beat Ricardo Mayorga and Yuri Foreman, both of which came by TKO.
Margarito came out of a year-long suspension to beat an overmatched opponent before suffering another loss to Manny Pacquiao in November of 2010. He hasn't fought since.
The fight will be previewed in a 24/7 series before the bout.
No. 2: Andre Ward vs. Carl Froch (Dec. 17)
WBA super world middleweight champion Andre Ward (24-0, 13 KO) is one of the top-10 pound-for-pound boxers in the world. He will get the chance to prove he deserves to be there when he takes on Carl Froch (28-1, 20 KO) in the finals of the Showtime Super Middleweight Grand Prix.
In Ward's past three bouts versus Arthur Abraham, Saki Bika and Allan Green, he defeated each with dominating decision wins.
Froch rebounded from his first career loss to Mikkel Kessler to beat Arthur Abraham and Glen Johnson.
The bout is set to go down two weeks before 2012, and it will be a great one to end the year. It should live up to the hype and more.
No. 1: Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez III (Nov. 12)
Filipino superstar and pound-for-pound leader Manny Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KO) will make his return to the ring on Nov. 12 versus a familiar foe in Juan Manuel Marquez (52-5-1, 38 KO), who is jumping in weight to face an opponent he has come close to defeating on two different occasions.
Their first two meetings were memorable bouts with two very different results. What will the third bring us?
In 2004, the first bout saw Pacquiao making a statement early, dropping the Mexican fighter three times in the first round. Marquez showcased the heart of a champion and fought back to earn himself a draw over 12 rounds.
The rematch took place in 2008. Had it not been for a single knockdown suffered by Marquez in round three, he may have come away with the victory. Marquez out-landed Pacquiao in the bout, but it was not enough to earn the win, losing a split-decision many had thought he won.
This is Marquez's last chance to prove he should have won the first two fights. Expect him to be looking for the decisive finish.