BOXERS TO WATCH OUT FOR IN 2015
By Mark Kirwan
Now that 2015 is well under way, the time has come to discuss the fighters that this year may make or break.
Outside the obvious super fight that is on everyone’s mind of Pacquiao/Mayweather, who both need this year to cement their legacy in boxing. This article will instead look at 5 boxers and their journey that 2015 may hold, documenting the risks that may lie ahead this year for them in order to reach the top of the boxing world.
So, here it is, here is my 5 for 2015. A year that could truly define the boxing world.
(Record: 31-0, 28 KO)
The 2013’s RING magazine boxer of the year is one of the most explosive fighters on the planet. With a 90% knockout rate, Golovkin still has to add a marquee name to his list to cement his place as one of the best pound for pound fighters.
If you watch a GGG match, there is no doubt that he likes to fight. He is one of the most exciting boxers out there. After steamrolling both Daniel Geale, in a third round KO, and Marco Antonio Rubio in the second round, Golovkin has set his sights on a rejuvenated Miguel Cotto.
Cotto’s career has been re-energized since he began to train with Freddie Roach. He destroyed Sergio Martinez last year to win his third world title in a third different weight class, respectively.
GGG fights Martin Murray in Monaco on February 21st, which could prove to be his sternest test to date, against the two time world title challenger. The winner then becomes the mandatory challenger to Cotto’s belt.
Other big names popping up on the Kazakh’s radar include Andre Ward and Carl Froch.
The time is now to get GGG a big-name fight.
(31-1, 12 KO)
Former two-division world champion Tim Bradley has been on a roller coaster ride the past 2 years. In Tim’s last four fights, he went toe to toe and brawled with slugger Ruslan Provodnikov in the fight of the year, boxed Juan Manuel Marquez, and did a little bit of both in his return bout with Manny Pacquiao, and most recently, brawled with Diego Chavez yet again.
2015 will truly be the defining year for Bradley as he attempts to rebound from his hard fought draw with Chavez to reclaim the top spot in one of the most difficult divisions. A fight that has been suggested is one against Britain’s Kell Brook, whom also has an important year ahead of him. At first glance, a dangerous fight for Bradley, as Brook with the advantage of power, could cause problems for the fearless Bradley.
Bradley gets criticized for not having a big fan base, being able to attract big fights or have high ratings but prides himself on having pulsating fights such as the Provodnikov and Chavez fights. Although, a loss in 2015 could send Bradley spiraling down the pecking order and possibly even out of the top 10 in this incredibly competitive weight class. We will just have to wait and see what 2015 holds for Timothy Bradley.
(29-1, 22 KO)
Adrian Broner, in my opinion, is like one of them fireworks you get at Halloween. You get excited to see it but on the 31st of October when Halloween comes around, it makes a lot of noise, but no real finish product, or bang. Tipped to be Mayweather’s successor, Broner has so far, not lived up to the extraordinary hype, comprehensively been beaten my Marcos Maidana in 2013.
Since then however, Broner has racked up two unimpressive wins against welterweight Carlos Molina and Emmanuel Taylor. A possible match suggested for 2015 would be against that of the Argentinean Lucas Matthysse. On one hand, Matthysse would pose a credible threat and be a big name for Broner but on the other, Broner’s laid back, flashy, on the ropes fighting style would suit Matthysse’s come forward dogged approach. Would a fight like this be too risky for Broner who would find it hard to recover from another loss, especially with the critics that have built up against him?
What is for certain is that 2015 will be a defining year in Broner’s boxing career.
(30-3, 19 KO)
Amir Khan, in my opinion, is the marmite of the boxing world; you either love him or hate him. But what nobody can deny is Khan’s perseverance at the top of the game.
The saying goes ‘speed kills’ and Amir Khan has the speed to threaten any fighter. After his loss to Danny Garcia back in 2012, Khan switched trainers from Freddy Roach and the Wild Card Gym to Virgil Hunter, known for training another great, Andre Ward. This change seemed to stand Khan in good stead as he picked up four consecutive wins, most noticeably, his dominant performance over Devon Alexander.
Not only did this win put his name back among the elites again and prove to many he deserved to be there but it also opened the door for the ultimate prize in boxing, the chance to fight Floyd Mayweather.
Strangely enough, if the Pacquiao/Mayweather super fight did not happen this year, could Khan provide the toughest test to date for the ageing Mayweather?.
After all, ‘Speed kills’, or so they say.
(44-1-1, 31 KO)
Widely tipped to take over the mantle from Miguel Cotto this year, Canelo Alvarez, the fiery haired Mexican, may have to put his ambitions of dethroning the Puerto Rican aside for a while as a deal could not be formulated for a May fight.
However, somewhat of an embarrassment of riches, such is the fan following of Alvarez is that he could fight anywhere, against anyone and still generate huge numbers. At only 24 years of age, Canelo was coming off a well deserved split-decision victory over Erislandy Lara in July when a reoccurring ankle injury forced him to cancel his planned December 6th bout against former welterweight champion Joshua Clottey.
2015 will prove to be an important year for Canelo as he hopes to get his career back on track with other possible fights against middleweight contender James Kirkland or David Lemieux lined up.
What is for certain though, is no matter where Canelo goes in the coming year, the whole of Mexico will be behind him.
These are my 5 fighters that have all to prove but a lot to gain also this year. Let me know what or who you think on twitter @markkirwan94.
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