The year is now half gone and we’ve been treated to some outstanding fights so far. Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao finally fought, too, but that was mostly a treat for Floyd’s bank account.
The rest of the year should be even better. Especially if we get to seee these five fights:
1. Nicholas Walters vs. Vasyl Lomachenko
There’s no reason Top Rank shouldn’t be able to put this fight together. The Ukrainian Olympic hero has made it clear he doesn’t want to waste time climbing to the top of the sport. Well, a showdown with an exciting young puncher like Walters is exactly the kind of fight he needs to really be a star.
The Axe Man failed to make weight for his last bout and lost his WBA belt on the scales. But I have to think Walters would make an honest attempt at 126 again, in order to get a fight this big.
2. Roman Gonzalez vs. Naoya Inoue
This would be a blockbuster below bantamweight. One of two things will happen if these two mini-dynamos meet up. Either Gonzalez will become an undefeated, four-division world champion, a dominant force from 105 to 115 pounds. Or else the unbelievably precocious Inoue hands a pound-for-pound superstar his first loss in just Inoue’s ninth fight.
They share a promoter in Japan. I have to think this fight will happen in December. I only hope HBO broadcasts it in the United States.
3. Sergey Kovalev vs. Adonis Stevenson
This fight would yield a true, undisputed world champion, as it would be a unification bout for Kovalev’s WBO, WBA and IBF light heavyweight titles with Stevenson’s WBC and lineal crowns. This fight should already be signed.
From the outside, it certainly looks like Stevenson is the one hesitant to pull the trigger and make the fight. Kovalev even went to Stevenson’s hometown of Montreal to knock out Jean Pascal. This fight would do huge numbers in Montreal. It just doesn’t add up if this fight doesn’t take place. Kovalev has a mandatatory first, against a guy from Egypt who isn’t even top 30 in the world.
4. Miguel Cotto vs. Saul Alvarez
This fight should have happened in the first part of the year. Cotto was amazing against Daniel Geale, but frankly, so what? He’s the lineal champion at middleweight. What’s he doing fighting a guy who was just knocked out by Gennady Golovkin, the true No. 1 contender to Cotto’s lineal crown.
If Cotto steps around GGG to fight Alvarez, it’s entirely understandable. This will be a huge financial fight, as both Canelo and Cotto enjoy massive fan support. It will be an exciting fight, too, with true historic significance.
5. Gennady Golovkin vs. Floyd Mayweather
I’ll concede right off that I don’t really think Mayweather even should make this fight. Mayweather is a small welterweight. Golovkin is the most dangerous middleweight puncher in a generation. But Golovkin does not have a massive frame for a middleweight and I do believe he could get down to a catchweight of 154 pounds. I’ve shook hands with him and he’s no bigger than some 155-pound MMA fighters I’ve known.
For Mayweather, this would be a legitimately dangerous fight, at a point in his life where he doesn’t have any reason to take one, aside from his desire to test himself and thrill fans. After the let down that was the Pacquiao fight, he’s going to have to reach a bit to get fans truly excited for his next performance.