Fights to look forward to in 2014?

Note: I’ve kept this list to fights that can realistically happen next year, hence why you won’t see any fights like Mayweather-Bradley or Quigg-Frampton on this list that are prevented by promotional/TV differences.

 

1. Wladimir Klitschko-Pulev

With David Haye’s career in limbo, Pulev, a mandatory challenger for one of Klitschko’s belts, stands alone as the undisputed number 1 contender to the world’s heavyweight championship.

This fight is set to happen in the middle of next year, and while Klitschko would be prohibitive favourite as always, Pulev has some tools which could make the fight interesting in spots.

 

2. Stevenson-Kovalev

The top two light heavyweights in the world. Two of the biggest pound for pound punchers in the sport. Two of the best fighters of 2013.

One of the best fights that can be made in the sport.

 

3. Ward-Golovkin

In my view, probably the most compelling matchup that can realistically be made in the entire sport.

The ultimate boxer, dominant champion at 168lbs., vs. the ultimate come-forward destroyer, clearly the best at 160lbs.

With a Martinez-Golovkin showdown looking unlikely to ever take place, and Ward in no rush to move to 175, let’s hope these two can meet in the middle late next year.

 

4. Froch-Groves II

This rematch looms for May as the biggest UK fight of the year.

It brings a number of compelling elements: huge controversy, genuine enmity, domestic turf war, a potential passing of the torch, and, most importantly of all, $$$ for everyone involved.

 

5. Martinez-Cotto

This fight appears to be almost finalized for a June date in New York, and figures to be a fascinating battle.

‘Sexy’ Sergio will enter as the favourite, but appears to be fading fast, and Cotto looked rejuvinated in his last win, but will be the much smaller man.

It is a compelling matchup historically also, with Cotto looking to become the first Puerto Rican to win titles at 4 weights.

For the record, I predict Cotto will pull off the upset by razor thin decision.

 

6. Macklin-Lee

For many years now, fans in Britain and Ireland have been calling for a round robin between the cream of the domestic 160lb. crop: Darren Barker (whose career is now in jeopardy), Matthew Macklin, Martin Murray and Andy Lee.

Talk is now rife that Macklin vs. Lee could belatedly kick things off next March, although Macklin’s stated preference is a world title rematch with Felix Sturm.

If the fight takes place in Dublin’s O2 Arena, I will be there for sure.

 

7. Canelo-Lara

This fight is more of a hope than an expectation.

Lara has been calling out Canelo for years, but been ignored because he appears to have the style to give the young Mexican star fits. It is arguably the most meaningful fight than can be made at 154.

After his excellent (but horribly boring) domination of Austin Trout, could Lara get a shot at Canelo on one of his three scheduled PPV dates of 2014?

I wouldn’t bet on it, but fingers crossed.

 

8. Pacquiao-Provodnikov

While Pacquiao-Marquez V or Pacquiao-Bradley II would be perfectly good fights, and seem more realistic from a PPV point of view, Pacquiao vs. red-hot Siberian mauler Ruslan Provodnikov is my pick for the fight I’d like to see Pacquiao take next year.

It would be action all the way, and you can bet Provodnikov wouldn’t show the same reluctance to go headlong into the perilous ‘devil’s mouth’ that Brandon Rios seemingly did.

Could the older, more skilled Pacquiao, hold off the incredible will of the Provodnikov?

 

9. Broner-Garcia

Broner has rushed up (some would say eaten his way up) to 147, and Garcia, having cleaned out 140, is set to join him next year.

This seems a natural PPV showdown between two young unbeaten stars in the making, with the winner positioned to move into the upper echelons of the pound for pound ratings and a superfight with Floyd Mayweather.

Plus, can you imagine the trash talk that would take place between Broner and Danny’s volatile father, Angel Garcia?!

 

10. Matthysse-Maidana

This battle of Argentine brawlers has long been mooted, and would undoubtedly be a ‘can’t miss’ action fight for as long as it lasts.

 

11. Alvarado-Rios III

A trilogy fight is inevitable, after their first two wars both earned fight of the year contention, and widespread acclaim amongst the best handful of fights of recent years.

After a series of punishing fights, both men need a rest and maybe a ‘gimme’ win or two, but hopefully late next year we can see the conclusion to this savage rivalry.

 

12. Rigondeaux-Lomachenko

This fight gives me a boxing erection.

That’s right.

I said it.

Lomachenko is set to fight for a featherweight title against Orlando Salido early next year, in just his 2nd pro fight, an attempt to break the world record.

Should he come through, Bob Arum has stated that he intends to match Rigondeaux and Lomachenko later in the year, in a battle of ex-amateur all-time greats, with 4 world amateur titles and 4 Olympic gold medals between them.

 

 

What fights would you like to see happen in 2014?

Comment and let me know!

14 thoughts on “Fights to look forward to in 2014?

  1. Guillermo Rigondeaux v Carl Frampton would be a good fight too.
    Bradley v Provodnikov II would be great.

    • There isnt a chance in hell that Frampton’s team will put him anywhere near Rigo next year. They likely never will.

      Bradley-Provod II would be terrific, but it doesnt quite make the cut for this list, as I think Bradley boxes more carefully and wins a far less dramatic fight if they rematch

  2. Tasty list, Jeremy!

    I’m keen on Broner-Garcia where I think Mini-Money is outgunned and outmaneuvered. He’s more stationary and no harder hitting than Mathysse, and we saw how Garcia did his thing gracefully there. Main lingering question is what Garcia carries up to 147.

    Also keen on Stevenson-Kovalev — maybe keener than Stevenson is, judging from his recent post-fight talk about vacationing.

    Keenest on Ward-Golovkin. As you say: best card in town. And, importantly, occurring at the right time in their respective careers with development very advanced and no luster yet taken off. Not quite prime Mayweather-Pacquiao but it will do!

    Great job on the blog and best wishes for the holidays. 🙂

    • All 3 of those fights would be something very special!

      Thanks for the kind words, I sincerely appreciate them, and it’s great to have a loyal reader who really knows the sport

      Same to you and your family!

  3. Great list. I’m not sure Pacman-Provo is realistic though, given they are both with same coach at same gym.

    Anyway I wanted to say your blog is awesome please keep up the good work 🙂

    • Thanks very much for the kind words!

      I think it’s doable and Arum says the same, though Provodnikov would obviously have to leave the Wild Card and Roach/Somodio

      • I see.

        On another note, I am also looking forward to the Mayweather-Khan fight, despite what many Khan “haters” think of him. I really like his style and have been following him since his fight against Paulie. I agree that his last two tuneup fights/opponents and recent layoff are playing against him, but I still think it’s an intriguing boxing matchup (hand speed and footwork vs overall boxing mastery, questionable chin vs questionable punching power) and a different kind of challenge to Floyd.

        I perfectly understand if other fans are not so keen on this fight and on Khan. Just my opinion.

      • Fair enough, but I cant say I agree at all.

        Khan is one of the most exciting fighters in boxing, rarely in a bad fight, but he hasnt had a good win since mid 2011, when he beat Judah.

        Since then he’s gone 2-2: losing to Peterson (even with controversial scorecards, refereeing and Peterson’s PED use, it was still a mediocre performance from Khan); getting knocked out in 4 rds. by Garcia; beating a fringe 135 contender moving up in weight; and then getting dropped, and hurt on multiple occasions, on the way to winning a razor thin decision at a 143 catchweight to faded, light punching ex-135lb. titlist Julio Diaz.

        And after what will be a 13 month layoff, and a further move up in weight by 4lbs., we are supposed to believe he merits a fight with, and stands a chance of being competitive with, an all-time great in Mayweather?

        I don’t think so…

      • yeah I know. I still want to watch that fight.

        So which 2014 Mayweather fight would deserve honorable mention though not making it to the list ?

      • Mayweather-Garcia.

        I wouldnt expect it to be competitive but Garcia has already earned the fight (and may be the only deserving guy out there that Mayweather would realistically fight — fights with GGG, Martinez and Lara arent happening).

  4. Pingback: December 19th’s Random Boxing Rants | pound 4 pound ireland

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s