Boxing


Ten Most Exciting Fighters Going into 2007

lamon brewster03.01.07 - By Ted Sares: Listed alphabetically. These guys make Friday go by faster knowing that you will see them fight on Saturday.

Jorge "Travieso" Arce, 44 (35) -3-1, "With blood flowing from a wound that made him look like a second-place finisher in a machete war, relentless Jorge "Travieso" Arce scored a brutal 10th round TKO over Hussein "Hussy" Hussein to win a classic battle in a WBC flyweight title eliminator." A typical headline for an Arce fight. And his recent blow out of Hawk Makepula took less time than the Hawk's walk in. Enters the ring on a horse to the adulation of his Mexican fans! What's not to like?

Jorge "La Hiena" Barrios, 46 (33 ko's)-3-1-1. He always comes to fight and like most of the others on this list, would rather die in the ring than quit on his own. His fight with "Popo" Frietas was pure courage as was his recent set-to with Joan Guzman. No trips to the refrigerator during one of his savage brawls.

Alejandro "Naco" Berrio, a 30 year old Colombian bomber who has Ko'd 24 opponents in 25 wins and is an extremely dangerous fighter with one punch knockout power, but the downside is that he does not take a punch very well he was stopped in all four of his losses. And that makes him super exciting....and my personal favorite as well. Just don't blink or you might miss the end. If I listed these in order of excitement, "Naco" would be no lower than second.

Lamon "Relentless" Brewster, 33 (29 ko's)-3, Aside from Wladimir Klitchko, the only exciting heavyweight out there. His fights with Wlad, Golata, and Lyakhovich were all barn burners for as long as they lasted. In September 2005, he survived a severe beating by Luan Krasniqi only to ice Krasniqi in the 9th round, while behind on all cards.

Vic Darchinyan, very tough, fearless and in possession of great power. Always in great shape and very determined. Want excitement? How about Arce vs. Darchinyan: A mini-Raging Bull throwing punishing lead rights vs an incoming brawler throwing menacing Mexican type-hooks. Don't leave the room. These two guys bring pure entertainment and excitement into the ring. Both have heavy hands and this could be one of the most explosive fights of 2007. It has the potential to be another Garza-Meza. Too close to call in one for the ages.

David Diaz, 32 (17)-1-1, one of the best kept secrets in boxing. This former Olympian has been delighting his hardcore Chicago fans since 1996. His sensational 10th round ko of Jose Armando Santa Cruz for the WBC Lightweight Interim Title on August 12 put him on everyone's radar sceen. And as ring magazine pointed out in its latest edition, "we haven't heard the HBO team so shocked into silence since Mickey Ward vs. Alfonso Sanchez." That in itself made me a big fan of this exciting "never say die" warrior.

Ricky "Hit Man" Hatton, 41 (30 ko's) - 0, Non-stop, incoming brawling and lethal body punching make me a watcher and a fan. A loveable and humble chap outside the ring, he changes once inside the ropes and becomes a cold, merciless and relentless warrior. His so-so performance with Collazo only adds to the mix.

Wladimir Klitchko, 46 (41ko's) - 3, You never know what can happen at any time and that makes him exciting enough for inclusion on my list. Against Peter, he was down 3 times though he prevailed. Against any heavy hitter, he may be in danger and issues about stamina linger. Yet, like Gatti and Hatton, his fights fill arenas to capacity and there is a reason for that....a sledgehammer right set up by a series of jackhammer jabs......and matters can end just like that.

Manny "PacMan" Pacquiao, 41 (33 ko's) -3-2, Simply put, the most exciting fighter in the sport of boxing today. Rarely in a boring fight, this tough crowd pleasing warrior has knocked out both future hall of Famers Erik Morales (twice) and Marco Antonio Barrera. If he stays focused and continues to train hard, his chances for induction into the Hall will be high, indeed. In and out, back and forth, non-stop movement. A whirling dervish of excitement? A modern day Aaron "The Hawk" Pryor.

Tie between Daniel Ponce De Leon, 30-1 with 28 ko's, and Edwin Valero, 21-0-with 21 ko's, These two have great knockout records which make them extremely exciting. WBO junior featherweight world champion Daniel Ponce De Leon is proving not only to be an exciting attraction for his local Mexican fans, but for the whole boxing world. His ko of Sod Looknongyangtoy was knockout of the year in my book. Aside from his awesome power, there is his vulnerability. He is not the most disciplined or focused boxer and wings his shots from all angles. I can see him trading hooks with a hooker and if his opponent is savvy enough to step inside and get there first, who knows what could happen.

Japan-based Valero (from Venezuela) needs more international exposure. Medical issues keep him from fighting in the US, but the number of his first round knockout is making that somewhat academic. Nineteen of his icings have come in the first round! The fact he can go down also adds even more excitement when he fights.

Article posted on 03.01.2007



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