When Juan Manuel Marquez left Manny Pacquiao face down and ass up KO’d this past December, it put the final nail in the coffin of the Pacquiao versus Floyd Mayweather Jr fight. By eliminating the ‘big fight’ that has been talked about for years as a possibility, what does that leave for truly big fights in boxing? The Klitschko brothers continue their stranglehold on a moribund Heavyweight division that no one outside of Germany cares about, and there are few up and coming fighters that have the kind of charisma to cross over and be international stars. Let’s take a look at boxing’s landscape for 2013….
Need Filipino? After Pacquiao, will that boxing hungry country look to embrace another star? Because WBO and IBF Super Bantamweight titleholder Nonito Donaire (31-1) may be the best pound for pound fighter on the planet right now. He went 4-0 in 2012 and in his last outing he sent Mexican legend Jorge Arce into retirement. Donaire has a built in superfight ready to go, as the weight class also features Abner Mares (25-0-1), but the promoters can’t seem to get it done. Should it happen, it would be a highly exciting and anticipated match, however it is unlikely to leave either man a household name world wide.
Heavyweight title holder Vladimir Klitschko will likely fight Britain’s Tyson Fury in a fight with zero appeal to a world wide audience. It is going to look like the school quarterback is beating up a kid from the special education class as Fury is as awful a heavyweight contender as we have seen in a long time. but the big mouthed Brit has a rabid following and remains undefeated fighting carcasses.
Though diminished, there is still a large fan base that wants to see Pacquiao again, and a rematch against Juan Manuel Marquez, marking their 5th engagement, is compelling. It is a fight that would sell well, but it is no longer tops on boxing’s marquee.
Which brings us to Floyd Mayweather Jr. Mayweather is scheduled to fight Robert Guerrero on the Mexican holiday of Cinco de Mayo (May 4th is the Saturday). On the same card is up and coming, undefeated Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, who was supposed to fight Miguel Cotto until Cotto lost to Austin Trout this past month.
It is not out of the realm of possibility that ‘Canelo’ may replace Guerrero, because this is the biggest fight that boxing has to offer in 2013, and Mayweather may want the money. What is more likely however is that ‘Canelo’ will fight a winnable fight on the Mayweather-Guerrero undercard, and that he will face Mayweather in September or October of 2013. The young Mexican (he will be 22 years old) already has a huge following, he has charisma galore, and he has Golden Boy’s full backing. He has never faced anyone in Mayweather’s league, and you can bet Oscar De La Hoya prays every day that ‘Canelo’ does not have the same glass head as Amir Khan, but the money will be too much to leave on the table. There is talk of 1.5 million PPVs, and that makes Alvarez-Mayweather Jr the biggest fight in 2013.