Well, it's almost here: The New Year is around the corner. I have a feeling it will be a great year of boxing. 2008 was the year that stirred the dust, but I have a feeling that in 2009 we will see that dust settle in most divisions.
We will get most of the answers to the questions we've been looking for. I, for one, think boxing is strong and is not at risk of dying out. Here are 10 reasons that tell me boxing is as strong as ever.
This is a list of some hot fights that will and or should happen in 2009. Some are made, some are in talks and some are just wishes. It's not a prediction on who will win but a forum on fights that will excite more then the die hard boxing fan. Let's begin.
1. Antonio Margarito vs Shane Mosley: Exciting fight, could prove to be fight of the year. This fight will show exactly where the welterweight division stands. Will Toney's pressure make Mosley wilt? Will Shane turn back the clock?
2. Vic Darchinyan vs Jorge Arce: This fight is dynamite in every way. This fight should attract the casual boxing fan. Lots of punching and very little respect. This will not settle who is the best in this division but should shrink the list.
3. Fernando Montiel vs Nonito Donaire: These guys are not in the same division but this fight can be made. This fight is better than any heavyweight fight I can think of. Slick moves and sharp crisp punching. This is the class of boxing.
4. Manny Pacquiao vs Ricky Hatton: Again, this is a fan's dream. I know, what about Mayweather? NOT! Hatton and Pacquiao will be like two train on the same rail. Manny will not box like he did against De la Hoya. He will go straight at Ricky, and we all know Ricky loves to dance like that.
5. Paul Williams vs Kermit Cintron: I think this fight is key to settle the mess in the welterweight division. Most people don't think Cintron has a chance but Mr. Williams does get hit with a lot of rights. For me, this fight is way overdue.
6. Arther Abraham vs Kelly Pavlik: Who is king? Let's get this fight done to see who the real middleweight champion is. Pavlik is an amazingly skilled fighter, Abraham a very underrated boxer. Should a be a classic. The winner should fight Sterm
7. David Haye vs Vitali Klitschko: Careful of what you wish for; you just might get it. David Haye has been wanting a piece of at least one of the two brothers and talks are in the works to make his Christmas wish come true.
8. Juan Manuel Marquez vs Juan Diaz: This fight will happen in February. Looks to be exciting and kind of surreal. A few years ago, I would have picked Juan to win easy on youth and size but in this past month we can throw size out the door. This is a good fight for all boxing fans, not just Hispanic fans. The winner should fight Nate Campbell.
9. Bernard Hopkins vs Chad Johnson: Expect the unexpected in this one. Hopkins looks to never grow old, and Chad seems to make them look that way. This can be the passing of the torch, but don't tell Bernard. The winner should fight Calzaghe.
10. Israel Vazquez vs Juan Manuel Lopez: With all the noise Lopez has made in this last year we forget how explosive Vazquez can be. This is Lopez's fight early and Vazquez fight late. Another great Puerto Rican/Mexican rivalry.
This is just a small sample of what could and should happen in 2009. Is there better matchups, maybe? All these fights have intrigue and could lead up to better matchups later as most of the divisions clear up.
As we have seen big names don't always give us the best fights. Here are some matchups that are not talked about but should be. These are fights I want to see no matter who wins, there is no bias in any of these matchups.
Manny Pacquiao vs Ricardo Torres
Juan Manuel Marquez vs Nate Campbell
Ricky Hatton vs Tim Bradley
Miguel Cotto vs Joshua Clottey
Paul Williams vs Antonio Margarito 2
Joe Calzaghe vs Glen Johnson
Kelly Pavlik vs Felix Sterm
Vernon Forrest vs Danial Santos
Andres Berto vs Floyd Mayweather (maybe Berto is still green enough to attract Floyd)
Well thanks for reading and lets hope 2009 gives us all these matchups and more.
Gilbert Vasquez (a.k.a. quezvas)