New Top Welterweights in Boxing, Post Mayweather-Pacquiao Era Beginning
As we now enter the new post Mayweather-Pacquiao era at welterweight, the weight class still proves to have a wealth of talent (along with new stars breaking through). Lets look at some of the big names at 147lbs that are now starting to take the limelight at the top of the pile.
After Manny Pacquiao’s recent win over Timothy Bradley in their third fight, it is now finally looking like one of the best from his era, is joining the other best from his era (Floyd Mayweather) in retirement.
But the division is wide open – with plenty to look forward to.
Current champions Kell Brook, Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia are all outstanding in their own right, all undefeated and all with plenty of work ahead of them if they’re to remain at the top.
Jesse Vargas is the other champion in the division with an also impressive 27-1 record, having captured the vacant WBO title with a stoppage win over the previously undefeated Sadam Ali.
(Highlights via HBO):
But despite Vargas’ impressive record and possession of a belt, he would find himself well down the pecking order in terms of big money fights at the moment.
Kell Brook knows all too well how difficult it can be to get the big money fights in boxing these days, world title holder or not.
Brook has seen himself miss out on potential fights with Pacquaio, Keith Thurman, Shaun Porter and most notably British rival Amir Khan.
The Sheffield man is certainly worthy of the big fights in the division though, in fact he has already dished out a loss to one of the division’s top men in Porter, the only blemish on ‘Showtime’s’ otherwise perfect record.
Porter will face off against Thurman in June in what promises to be a classic and one of the most anticipated fights this year.
Keith Thurman’s last two performances have been particularly outstanding as he showed two clinical sides of his game with a durable dominant decision win against Robert Guererro and a vicious stoppage over tough veteran Luiz Collazo.
(Highlights via PBC):
Meanwhile usually welterweight based Amir Khan is taking the very brave and controversial hiatus up to Light-Middleweight to face Mexican golden boy and king pin Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
Canelo deservedly heads into this massive bout as a big favourite, and presuming the bookmakers have got it right and Khan doesn’t cut the mustard, it’s likely we will see him back down in the welterweight division in the not so distant future.
The big fight for Khan would surely be that monster showdown with fierce British rival Brook. The two have been exchanging un-pleasantries back and forth through the media for years now and there’s only one way to settle the score.
This is a fight that would fill London’s Wembley Stadium easily, and a win for either man would go a long way to opening doors to more big money unification fights in America.
One of them unification bouts could be potentially with Danny Garcia, who already has his eye on unifying the division – if reports are to be believed he is close to agreeing a fight with fellow champion Jesse Vargas.
If the Philadelphia native could acquire himself the possession of two belts, he would find himself in a very comfortable position when it comes to negotiating the big mega fights in the division.
On Saturday night past, Errol Spence Jr demolished Chris Algieri with a dazzling performance capped off with an incredible fifth round knockout.
Spence was a class above Allegri in every aspect of the contest, having him on the canvas numerous times, and doing so with an incredible coolness and assured confidence.
Sammy Vasquez, the war veteran who survived two tours of Iraq, is another undefeated fighter who is potentially only one fight away from a world title fight.
(Good short feature on Vasquez via Showtime):
A bout with yet another unbeaten up and comer at 147lbs in Omar Figueroa would go a long way to straightening out the WBC rankings, and leave a clear number one contender for that belt.
This division even has a wildcard in the shape of the ever improving and incredibly talented Light-Welterweight champion Terrance ‘Bud’ Crawford.
The WBO champion is already making a lot of noise in boxing, being touted as a future pound for pound number one due to his fast, hard hitting and technically flawless style, with the ability to switch from orthodox to southpaw at any time.
Crawford has indicated his intention to move up to 147lbs at some point, and it’s fair to say that move would definitely be setting a cat among some pigeons, such is his precocious talent.
The Nebraska local is more than capable of beating anyone in the division on his night, but a true test of his capabilities would be to clean the division out entirely.
Cleaning up the division seems unlikely for any man at this stage though, given the quality of the boxers involved in the welterweight mix at the moment.
But after watching them give it a good go over the next couple of years is something that boxing fans all over the world should be very excited about.
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