Last Saturday night, Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado put on the show of a lifetime and engaged in a Fight of the Year brawl. While the combined purse of the fighters hasn't been released, it's likely to be significantly lower than many of the year's biggest fights.
With that in mind, here are 10 other realistic, budget-friendly fights that could deliver big action for a modest purse:
Marcos Maidana vs. Lucas Matthysse (Junior Welterweight)
This clash between two heavy-handed, brawl-minded contenders from Argentina is already being billed as a dream fight by many fans. Matthysse has a bit tighter technique and Maidana may be physically stronger, but this match-up has war written all over it. Best of all, with both fighters signed to Golden Boy Promotions, there are no promotional conflicts to stop it from happening.
Gennady Golovkin vs. Marco Antonio Rubio (Middleweight)
Golovkin, the well-regarded offense machine from Kazakhstan, is just starting to up the level of his opposition. Mexico's Rubio has failed on two occasions to beat an elite-level middleweight, but is never short on heart and desire. While Golovkin would be a huge favorite coming into this bout, the stylistic match-up would provide plenty of memorable action.
Gabriel Rosado vs. Delvin Rodriguez (Junior Middleweight)
Rosado is building his star the old-fashioned way-- by fighting frequently and against consistently solid opposition. Rodriguez is an underrated boxer with a blue collar fight sensibility and at least one Fight of the Year bout on his resume (vs. Pawel Wolak). Rosado-Rodriguez may begin as a boxing match, but it would eventually develop into a real, crowd-pleasing fight.
Ruslan Provodnikov vs. Mercito Gesta (Junior Welterweight)
Russia's all-action Provodnikov has been on the verge of breaking through to the next level, but has yet to become a true top ten contender. Gesta, from the Philippines, is a prospect on the rise with an aggressive mindset and supreme confidence. Provodnikov-Gesta would be 100% aggression from the very moment the bell rings.
David Lemieux vs. Fernando Guerrero (Middleweight)
Lemieux-Guerrero is a battle of middleweight prospects who have recently suffered setbacks during their rise. It would also be a clash between two heavy-handed aggressive 20-something fighters with a lot to prove.
Henry Lundy vs. Gavin Rees (Lightweight)
The Wales native, Rees, has been around the block and is a former world champ. He has also never failed to put on an entertaining scrap. Lundy is all bluster and one of the sport's more entertaining characters, but he's also a compelling competitor. Together, there's no doubt that they'd put on a truly memorable bout.
Vic Darchinyan vs. Fernando Montiel (Junior Featherweight)
The heavy-handed Darchinyan recently revitalized his career with a solid win over Luis Orlando Del Valle at the 122 lb. limit. Montiel would be looking to do the same against Darchinyan. With both fighters in possession of heavy hands and aggressive mindsets, Darchinyan-Montiel could be explosive.
Roman Gonzalez vs. Adrian Hernandez (Junior Flyweight)
"El Chocolatito" Gonzalez, from Nicaragua, is WBA champ and one of the sport's best pound for pound offensive fighters. Hernandez is the tenacious WBC junior flyweight champ beginning his second reign as world titlist. Gonzalez-Hernandez would be a unification between the two best fighters in the 108 lb. division in the primes of their career.
Mike Perez vs. Tor Hamer (Heavyweight)
The undefeated 26-year-old Perez came from Cuba to Ireland and is currently a well-regarded prospect on the Euro-circuit. New York's 29-year-old Hamer hit a bump in the road on his rise to contender status, but is currently back on that track. Both aggressive battlers are also winners of the UK's Prizefighter Tournament. Perez-Hamer is the type of fight heavyweight enthusiasts would love.
Carson Jones vs. Shawn Porter (Welterweight)
Jones is a throwback, old school fighter who makes up for a lack of world class ability with solid fundamentals and dogged determination. In July he nearly pulled off the upset of the year when he battered and bloodied prospect, Kell Brook, but came up on the losing end of a majority decision. Porter has world class ability, but is still developing the skills to go along with his talent. Together, they would produce something memorable.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico, and a close follower of the sport for more than 30 years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and The BoxingTribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing.
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- Lucas Matthysse