2012 finally gave us Sergio Martinez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., but failed to deliver any of the other dream fights usually mentioned by hardcore fans.
So, let's give this another try and see if the boxing power brokers would be so kind as to grant us most (or, hopefully, all) of the following dream fights on an updated fan wish list of quality scraps.
Adrien Broner vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa
This is a newcomer on the dream fight wish list, but it's no less interesting than any of the other contests about to be mentioned. The 23-year-old Broner is quickly earning a name for himself as one of the sport's brightest young stars and a future pound for pound great. His recent total destruction of defending WBC lightweight champ, Antonio DeMarco, has affirmed his place among the sport's best fighters. Gamboa, just returning after an extended layoff stemming from promotional issues, is eager to get back in the main stage mix. Now promoted by 50 Cent's SMS Promotions, the Cuban former world champ now just needs the right opponent in order pass to the next level.
Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Brandon Rios
Marquez-Rios would be a case of the old master looking to fend off the attacks of the young lion. The 39-year-old Marquez is coming off the performance of his career in his sixth round knockout victory over arch-rival Manny Pacquiao. Rios is also coming off a career-defining win with his TKO 7 victory over Mike Alvarado in a hellacious Fight of the Year clash last October. Marquez would have to dig deep to overcome the relentless pressure of the 26-year-old "Bam Bam," while Rios would have to deal with, by far, the best, most disciplined fighter he has ever faced.
Nonito Donaire vs. Abner Mares
It's Top Rank vs. Golden Boy-- and that, right there, may make this fight nearly as impossible as Mayweather-Pacquiao. However, if either fighter wants to truly establish his dominance in the junior featherweight division, they need to put the pressure on their promoters to make this fight. In Donaire-Mares, fans would get two prime, elite fighters clashing at the exact perfect moment in both careers. As fans have seen before, matching two offense-minded, elite-level fighters usually produces memorable battles and, often, a legendary series.
Vitali Klitschko vs. David Haye
Maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment after Haye completely flaked out during his long-awaited bout with Wladimir Klitschko in 2011. In that bout, Haye fought timidly and tepidly for the full twelve rounds, never really putting forth much of an effort, and then blaming an injured pinky toe for the miserable title bid. So, why match him against the elder Klitschko brother? First, Vitali is a more aggressive fighter than Wladimir and would pursue Haye in an effort to force the fight. Wladimir, as his is nature, was content on simply outpointing the back-peddling Brit. Second, the negative publicity dumped on Haye was so tremendous and career-defining that Haye's ego may simply not permit another such poor performance. Memories of the Wladimir fiasco may push him to a more offensive mindset.
Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao
Yeah, this one no longer has the luster it once did and probably wouldn't be as good of an actual fight as it might've been two years ago, but Mayweather-Pacquiao would still do major business and serve to bring plenty of mainstream attention to the sport. This is such a legacy and era-defining fight that it's worth listing on every year's fan wish list. Let Pacquiao recuperate from his recent knockout loss, let Mayweather have his May 4 fight with Saul Alvarez or Robert Guerrero, but then aim for one more try at this mega-fight by year's end.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and as Editor-in-Chief of The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing. For breaking news, additional analysis, and assorted crazy commentary, follow him on Facebook, @TheBoxingTribune or on Twitter, @BoxingBTBC.
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- Manny Pacquiao
- Wladimir Klitschko
- Yuriorkis Gamboa
- Brandon Rios