It will be the year of fighting dangerously for the famously. New president-elect Donald Trump, a fight fan, signifies aggressive business for industries as boxing goes for the knockout, to make you see new stars.
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1. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. Gennady “GGG” Golovkin
This one is obvious, but for good reason– it'll be an epic fight.
Golden Boy did well with Canelo in 2016 despite cries of duckery. Oscar De La Hoya managed to increase the red-headed assassin's exposure around the globe, matching him with two popular fighters from the booming overseas market in Amir Khan and Liam Smith.
Canelo broke in the spectacular new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas by breaking Khan, then chewed up “Beefy” Smith at the gaudy home of the Dallas Cowboys. Now, the prelims are up and its time to go superstar for real.
The perfect scenario for Canelo and De La Hoya would be a rematch with a comebacking Floyd Mayweather in May. I just can't fathom Floyd never fighting in the 400 million dollar T-Mobile, but, I can imagine Canelo beating him this time.
A win over “TBE”, would be the perfect way to set up the tentatively scheduled September 2017 superfight with GGG.
2. Danny “Swift” Garcia vs. Keith “One-Time” Thurman
This is a grudge match which pits two of Al Haymon's biggest performers on Premier Boxing Champions together in March. It should be a primetime ratings bonanza, and will probably be even better than Thurman vs. Porter at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
After hearing all of the “Daddy's Boy” talk and thrashing Sammy Vargas last month, “Swift” quickly got in the face of a ringside “One-Time” for the first time. These two do NOT like each other, and somebody's getting KTFO.
3. Kell Brook vs. Errol Spence
Kell no bells in 3_like I got ESP_but I don't see da N_Sportscenter tell a friend
Errol Spence has the true look of the heir apparent to Floyd Mayweather at 147, and the sports world should take notice. He is Liston reborn in the sport's glamour division. Kell Brook, the world's best welterweight, already knows that distinction ends when he faces ESP.
4. Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev II
If this fight does happen again (I doubt it will), it would probably be a lot like Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Thomas Hearns II, which is great for us– but not Ward. It would also be shown on HBO, given the public's now firm disdain for PPV (as evidenced by terrible figures for this fight).
Fighters get older before they get younger in the ring, to a far greater affect than athletes in other sports. Physically robbed of special speed, the question is, would Ward be willing to take a more difficult rematch for far less money and glory? It is a better fight than the first if it happens, but Ward may decide to simply retire an undefeated all-time great.
5. Deontay Wilder vs. Anthony Joshua
The fight Gods always give us a generational heavyweight great, Anthony Joshua appears to be that. He will destructively close the Klitschko era while paving the way for supremacy with the powerful Wilder.
Boxing desperately needs a massive heavyweight title fight of this magnitude in 2017. We hope it is at Madison Square Garden in New York City, where regulators opt to put aside the ridiculous insurance situation for a U.K. vs. USA classic.
6. Roman Gonzalez vs. Naoya Inoue
“I will fight Naoya with pleasure.” —Chocolatito
This is the very best fight that can be made in 2017. It'll be not only very possibly spectacular, but one that truly defines the greatness of a legend, or gives birth to a new one.
Arguably, the best fighter in the world, Gonzalez was never grittier in victory than he was in the win over Carlos Cuadras– but he definitely wasn't prettier, after. At an old 29 (given his years in combat), and in a weight class where he doesn't appear as strong, can he get past the 23 year-old destroyer Inoue?
We want to know, and so does HBO. Hopefully.
7. Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux
Cognitive science says human beings do things for a simple reason: to satisfy needs. Optic purveyors of the sweet science, i.e. “purists”, watch to see artistry and skill at its very best, and this fight– between two fighters straight out of sci-fiction, would be an ode to purists. They matter. Because if a purist doesn't need to watch boxing, then a casual won't want to.
Bob Arum clearly wants to see the best from Lomachenko, and might quietly relish the chance to “Finally!” get an entertaining fight out of Rigo for his rising superstar. They are the greatest amateur fighters of all-time, and someone should figure out a way to make this fight in 2017.
It's like Beethoven vs. Mozart in boxing.
8. Terence “Bud” Crawford vs. Mikey Garcia
There's not a better fight for either fighter, at this stage of their careers. They're both 29, and unbeaten finishers with unfinished amateur business. It's a different, modern Hearns vs. Duran. These are great fighters very deserving of each other stylistically.
I wonder where this fight would be now, without the legal issues between Garcia and Top Rank? “Bud” just smoked John Molina with no Pacquiao in sight, so, who else?
After Mikey processes Dejan Zlaticanin (whose name sounds like a no-no drug sold on late night infomercials) for the WBC lightweight belt, the next thing to do would be a megafight for Crawford's belts. If Bob was serious about negotiating with Al Haymon about Pacquiao facing Adrien Broner, then perhaps they can make this action fight happen.
9. Gennady “GGG” Golovkin vs. Floyd “Money” Mayweather
Just seeing his name placed behind Triple G's in any way – ways perceived small or imagined big – is enough to piss off Floyd; enough to risk his precious 49-0 in pursuit of 50 shades of glory against the Kazakhstani enforcer.
In every calendar year, the announcement of a particular fight shocks you– and Mayweather vs. Golovkin would shock the shit out of fans.
Sounds like a good idea and good business at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Plus, if you believe in the Illuminati, they'll force this fight to happen. It'll be under the slogan: “Make Boxing Great Again.”
10. Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez V
Pacquiao's legend was built around the style of an impossibly brave mongoose that struck like a cobra. Today, he's a wiser and more reluctant edition; in a field of younger, 147 lb cobras he needs to outwit for far less money.
That makes no sense.
When Marquez electrocuted Pacquiao at the end of the 6th and shocked us all in December 2012, Pacquiao had already been put together by Nevada judges, losing the WBO welterweight title (which he regained, yet again, over Jesse Vargas) in Timothy Bradley I.
This fight is unlikely, but would be good for boxing worldwide. Marquez desperately wanted to become the first Mexican to win a 5th world title when he lost to Bradley in summer 2013. Pacquiao V could lure him back for the same reason in 2017, as it is one of the few lucrative action fights that remain for both fighters under Top Rank.
What fights would you like to see in 2017? Drop some comments below and let us know.