As we approach the end of another fantastic year of boxing it is only natural to look back at the high points of the year however, boxing fans were once again served up a piece of stale turkey which was hard swallow this week.
Leo Santa Cruz is set to face Abner Mares which we should greet with open arms however, it’s not the fight we want to see (at the moment anyway).
We want to see the best face the best which means we wanted to see Santa Cruz challenge (arguably) the most talented pure boxer in the world today, Guillermo Rigondeaux.
‘Rigo’ has been linked with Santa Cruz a lot through 2014 and Santa Cruz even called out Rigo in his most recent post fight interview but the fight has fell by the wayside.
This problem has been more widespread in 2014 than just Rigo v Santa Cruz – in the same division Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg are still finding ways to avoid the best pay day of their careers and get in the ring.
Moving up through the weights: Danny Garcia had a forgettable year of opponents, Floyd Mayweather versus anyone of significance didn’t happen, Sergio Martinez continued to ignore Gennady Golovkin and opted to fight Miguel Cotto.
Carl Froch has been linked to all manner of super middleweights but no further progress with making a rematch happen with Andre Ward (granted he has contractual issues).
Sergey Kovalev versus Adonis Stevenson failed to materialise and Wladimir Klitschko again spent twelve months at the top of the tree without a notable challenge.
There are likely to be many reasons why these fights didn’t happen, such as: timing, money, right opponent, risk versus reward etc.
However, a recent interview with Roy Jones Jnr got me thinking that it was only a decade ago when the mentality of elite level fighters was completely different. Jones Jnr, who fought a who’s who of challengers during his tenure as pound-for-pound number one, stated: “If you told me that there was someone around my weight who you thought might be able to beat me, I was finding out whether they could.”
So, my Christmas (boxing) wish is that a similar mentality to RJJ is adopted by the modern day elite fighters and the following fights materialise in 2015:
Santa Cruz v Rigondeaux
Mares v Gonzalez 2
Frampton v Quigg
Crawford v Garcia (140lbs)
Mayweather v Khan
Canelo v Cotto (154lbs)
Golovkin v Lemieux
Froch v Ward 2
Kovalev v Stevenson
Klitschko v Wilder
HAPPY NEW YEAR!