Five intriguing potential welterweight boxing matches below for next year. If there is a boxing God we hope he’s listening.
With 2016 slowly but surely drawing to a close and a plethora of potentially landscape-shifting challenges on the way for 2017 it’s time to look towards the future.
More specifically, the future of the welterweight division.
It’s been a year of ups and downs for the most lucrative division in boxing.
There have been plenty of cracking contests to choose from, but this year’s potential for epic welterweight encounters has been somewhat marred by non-fan friendly matchmaking and big names jumping ship to other divisions.
Here’s 5 possible welterweight boxing matches that most certainly would be worth tuning into next year should they happen:
Amir Khan v Kell Brook
These two names have been supposedly gunning for each other for years now and, to be honest, it’s getting a little tiresome.
With Khan pushing but failing to secure a match with the now retired Floyd Mayweather Jr, boxing only once in the calendar year wouldn’t have looked so bad had he not suffered one of the most brutal knockouts of 2016 at the hands of Canelo Alvarez at Middleweight.
While Brook was certainly the more active of the two, his eventual TKO defeat to Gennady Golovkin at middleweight created an eerie mirror-image of the two rivals’ choices of opposition.
With talks of a mega-fight at Wembley Stadium lost in the past and with Brook looking to move up to light-middleweight, chances are these two might never meet. Don’t hold your breath. If it’s going to happen, it needs to happen soon.
Pacquiao v Marquez V
One of the greatest rivalries in the history of all sport, Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez have shared the ring four times over the past fifteen years and perfectly embody everything about the famous phrase “two fighters who are made for each other” – they really are.
Pacquiao might be on the comeback trail, but Marquez has insisted he wishes to fight only once in 2017 before finally calling it a day.
Considering the history these two share and the undeniable possibility that Pacquiao may also leave the ring forever next year, it isn’t a crazy thought to consider these two legends might tear it up one last time.
Pacquiao might be leading in wins v losses, but has a devastatingly masterful one-punch KO loss that needs avenging. What better way to say goodbye?
Danny Garcia v Keith Thurman
Two of the biggest stars of the division today, both Garcia and Thurman hold versions of the welterweight belt and boast undefeated records to boot.
Garcia’s choice of opponents in recent years hasn’t impressed the boxing faithful one bit, leading to a recent media spat between the two which appears to have ignited the fire and, if reports are to be believed, has laid the foundation for a HUGE showdown in the new year.
Don’t you love it when a plan comes together.
Timothy Bradley v Ruslan Provodnikov II
“Dear Santa. Remember back in 2013 when Tim Bradley and Ruslan Provodnikov almost killed each other? Well…”
Yeah, this is definitely one for my Christmas list. Bradley and Provodnikov gave us one of the most thrillingly destructive battles of the past decade, a fight which went on to win Ring Magazine’s Fight of the Year 2013.
Bradley put on a boxing clinic for the most part, utilizing superior skill, but the rest of the time he was struggling to find which way was up.
It was the ultimate display of ability versus power and none of us knew how it was going to end right up to the last bell. If you haven’t seen the fight, I implore you to watch it on YouTube.
Who wouldn’t want to see that again? With both men suffering hard losses in their last outings, this rematch of epic proportions makes sense now more than ever.
Errol Spence Jr vs a top ranked fighter / world champion
Possibly the future face of the welterweight division, Errol Spence’s freakish power and attractive, fan-friendly style can simply be ignored no longer.
Ploughing through respectable opposition in the form of Chris Algieri and Leonard Bundu, he is currently ranked pound-for-pound #7 in the world at welterweight by Ring Magazine, behind only the biggest names in the division and some of the biggest names in the sport.
Now mandatory for the IBF world title, surely some massive fights and international exposure are on the way. I’m confident he could hold his own with any of the names mentioned above.
He’s proven he can play with the big boys so it’s time to give credit where credit is due, and this man is due some in spades.
If even two of these welterweight boxing matches above happen I’ll be happy. Bring on 2017.
(Top image source and credit: Sky Sports)
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