10.12.07 - by James Slater: The year is almost over, and fight fans may be feeling a touch anti-climatic right now. With one of the biggest and most brilliantly hyped fights of 2007 now over ( you know which one I mean) there is nothing to look forward to for the coming weeks - super fight-wise, anyway. The new year, however, promises to be another great year for boxing, possibly even better than the last 12 months - as good as they've been..
Article posted on 10.12.2007
Let's recap, then anticipate what we're in for in 2008.
This past year we had big fights involving the likes of Floyd Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, both Marquez brothers and Israel Vazquez. We saw greats such as Bernard Hopkins, Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto and Winky Wright in action. We also saw the arrival of a number of new stars, with Paul Williams, Kelly Pavlik, Edwin Valero and Michael Katsidis having very prominent parts to play over the last 12 months. And over in the U.K, we saw some fine performances from the likes of Joe Calzaghe, David Haye, Amir Khan, Clinton Woods, Junior Witter and, last but not least, Ricky Hatton. Overall it's been a very good year for fight fans. Sure, there were a number of postponed fights here and there, and up at heavyweight there was nothing to really shout about, but overall, 2007 was a good year for the fight game.
But what excitement can we get ready for next year?
Following a trend that seems to match great against great with more and more regularity (can we thank rival sport MMA, and its competition for this?) 2008 will see mouth-watering bouts pitting fighters named Pacquiao and Marquez together, Pavlik and Taylor together (in two rematches that are highly anticipated) Klitschko and Ibragimov up against one another and Katsidis going in with Juan Diaz, Roy Jones taking on Felix Trinidad AND Peter and Maskaev finally getting it on as well. And these fights only take us up to the month of March!
Throw in other potentially hot match-ups like Alfonso Gomez-Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr, David Diaz-Humberto Soto, Chad Dawson-Glen Johnson, and the almost definite ring returns of both De La Hoya and Hatton, plus David Haye's anticipated fulltime invasion of the heavyweight ranks, and it is clear we are in for some year in '08.
Aside from too many postponements, the tragic death of Diego Corrales and the largely mediocre condition of the heavyweight division, 2007 has been a good time for boxing and its, once again increasing, number of fans.
2008, aside from the fact that there is a very real probability boxing's number one pound-for-pound operator in Floyd Mayweather will be taking a backseat, might be even better.