The fight game used to deliver the fights we wanted to see. It's the greatest thing about boxing. As soon as the "supposed" best beats a highly touted opponent fans could always say, "Well what about so and so!" There's little sense in doing that now because you're only setting yourself up for disappointment.
The cries for Manny Pacquiao versus Floyd Mayweather started back in the middle of 2008 when Pacman dismantled the same Oscar De La Hoya that "Money" fought to a decision against. Two years later, we still don't have the fight we want and really don't appear any closer to getting those guys in the same ring. But they're not the only fighters frustrating fans right now. Here are eight more fights we won't see before the calendar changes to 2011.
8. Wladimir Klitschko vs. Vitali Klitschko
We know it's not fair to ask brothers to square off but we can always hope. After all, these are the two best heavyweights in the world. They've combined for 20 straight wins and there's just a few fighters on the horizon worth watching the giants square off against.
7. Sergio Martinez vs. Paul Williams
This isn't a big deal for the casual fan but for the hardcore it's a rematch that needs to happen. Martinez took apart Kelly Pavlik last time out and lost an oddly scored fight against Williams at the end of 2009. Martinez's mix of craftiness and volume may be tough for Williams to overcome next time around.
6. Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley
Instead of having Pacman face the guy recognized by most as the best 140-pounder in the world, Top Rank is going to force Antonio Margarito or Miguel Cotto down our throats. Because he's not under the Top Rank or Golden Boy banner, Bradley is viewed as an outsider and hasn't been exposed enough to the public. So instead we get to see Pacquiao face Cotto, whom he destroyed last time around, or Margarito, who can't legally fight in the U.S. and was mauled by Shane Mosley, who was just wrecked by Mayweather.
5. Andre Ward vs. Lucian Bute
Showtime's Super Six middleweight tournament has been a fight fan's dream come true. All of the matchmaking politics have been eliminated in squaring off guys like Ward, Andre Dirrell, Mikkel Kessler, Arthur Abraham and Carl Froch. One problem, because Bute is an HBO guy, he wasn't invited to the party. When this thing is over, if Ward rolls to a win, Bute needs to be the next guy in line. He's already filling up arenas in Canada. He's a highly marketable guy to go against America's next great hope.
4. David Haye vs. Wladimir Klitschko
What's the problem here? Haye's big mouth will make this fight into a blockbuster internationally and possibly win back the adulation of Ross Greenburg and HBO. Klitschko reported offered a 50-50 split and got no response from Haye, who is now fighting something called Audley Harrison. Time's a wastin'. Haye better get in there with one of the Klitschkos before no one really cares.
3. Bernard Hopkins vs. Chad Dawson
This is ridiculous on both sides. Hopkins, 46, is quickly falling from the consciousness of many fight fans. He looked old at times against an even older Roy Jones Jr. Dawson, 28, is the guy at light heavyweight and has been for a while, but he's losing luster booking fights like Glen Johnson-Dawson IX. They better get this one done by the middle of 2011 or it's never going to happen.
2. Carl Froch vs. Joe Calzaghe
Calzaghe wants to come back, but why is he targeting bums? After having cleared out the 168-pound division, the 38-year-old walked away with an unblemished 46-0 mark. Well, it took less than two years for the super middleweight class to rebound and produce some highly marketable guys. Froch may not be the best of the lot but he's British and has a big trap. A Brit versus Welshman fight anywhere in the U.K. would draw 50,000 fans in a soccer stadium. Plus the fight could be a classic.
1. Floyd Mayweather vs. Paul Williams
Williams deserves the shot. He's a matchup nightmare at 6-foot-2, but his promoter Dan Goossen put it perfectly last week saying the greats take on all comers. Who wanted to face the gangly, tall Tommy Hearns in the '80's? No one. But Sugar Ray Leonard did it. Williams is recognized by many as No. 3 pound-for-pound, so if Floyd won't fight the No. 1, why can't we see No. 2 versus No. 3? You know why and that's why there are this many fights we want to see but won't in 2010.