COMMENTARY | October features several old pros returning to the ring, some looking to affirm their greatness (Klitschko, Marquez, Bradley, Hopkins) and others looking to reclaim greatness (Cotto, Mosley). Fight fans will also see young stars like Deontay Wilder, Kell Brook, and Peter Quillin featured, as well as a true Fight of the Year candidate in Alvarado vs. Provodnikov.
Here's a look at October's ten "must-see" fights:
Wladimir Klitschko (60-3, 51 KOs) vs. Alexander Povetkin (26-0, 18 KOs)
This battle of Olympic Super Heavyweight gold medalists just may turn into the longest-awaited mismatch in boxing history as dominant world champ, Klitschko, puts his WBA, IBF, and WBO belts on the line against long-time top contender, Povetkin.
Miguel Cotto (37-4, 30 KOs) vs. Delvin Rodriguez (28-6-3, 16 KOs)
Cotto has been through the wringer in his career, but he's looking to quit the business on top and under his own terms. A win over tough fringe contender Rodriguez is no gimme, but it's a necessary first step in the Puerto Rican battler's efforts to have just one more world title run.
Juan Manuel Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KOs) vs. Timothy Bradley (30-0, 12 KOs)
This is an even-money fight between two very different boxers. Marquez, the counter-puncher will be looking to tame the aggressive, but sloppy charges of the doggedly determined Bradley. Does the 40-year-old Marquez have the energy to deal with a fighter like Bradley? Is Bradley fully recovered from his March war with Ruslan Provodnikov? Answers will be provided on October 12.
Television: HBO PPV
Orlando Salido (39-12-2, 27 KOs) vs. Orlando Cruz (20-2-1, 10 KOs)
Hardcore Mexican battler, Salido, will be taking on Puerto Rican top contender, Cruz, in a battle for the vacant WBO featherweight title on the Bradley-Marquez undercard. With a victory, Cruz would become the first openly gay active world champ in boxing. Salido, however, wants his second run as world champ by recapturing the belt he lost to Mikey Garcia last January.
Television: HBO PPV
Mike Alvarado (34-1, 23 KOs) vs. Ruslan Provodnikov (22-2, 15 KOs)
This one has Fight of the Year written all over it as the hard-charging Russian, Provodnikov, takes on tough-as-nails Alvarado for the interim WBO junior welterweight title. Expect nothing short of all-out war from opening to closing bell.
Anthony Mundine (44-5, 26 KOs) vs. Shane Mosley (47-8-1, 39 KOs)
Former three-division world champ, Mosley, goes to Australia to face former two-time world titlist, Mundine in a junior middleweight battle of veterans well beyond their best years. The winner may get to delay the inevitable a bit longer and position himself for one more big payday.
Television: No U.S. TV announced yet
Bernard Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KOs) vs. Karo Murat (25-1-1, 15 KOs)
The 48-year-old Hopkins makes the first defense of his IBF light heavyweight title against former European super middleweight champ, Murat, as a prelude to, perhaps, one more major fight against one of the other reigning light heavyweight titlists. Murat, however, is a solid fighter and may surprise if taken too lightly.
Peter Quillin (29-0, 21 KOs) vs. Gabriel Rosado (21-6, 13 KOs)
"Kid Chocolate" will be looking to make the second defense of his WBO middleweight belt against the ultra-tough Rosado as an undercard feature for the Hopkins-Murat card. While Quillin may have his hands full with Rosado, the real question is whether a victorious "Kid Chocolate" will make any steps towards unifying the fragmented middleweight title.
Deontay Wilder (29-0, 29 KOs) vs. Nicolai Firtha (21-10-1, 8 KOs)
The heavy-handed Wilder continues on his road to the heavyweight main stage with this bout against the tough, but likely overmatched native of Akron, Ohio, Firtha. Wilder-Firtha will also be featured on the Hopkins-Murat undercard in Atlantic City.
Kell Brook (30-0, 20 KOs) vs. Vyacheslav Senchenko (34-1, 23 KOs)
Injuries forced UK welterweight sensation Brook out of his first world title fight earlier this year, but this upcoming bout with the former WBA welterweight titlist looks as though it may be a springboard to a return to the title picture in early 2014.
Television: AWE (Formerly Wealth TV)
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and is the author of Notes from the Boxing Underground. 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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