In the second part of this two-part piece, ThaBoxingVoice takes a look at boxing’s most desired fights for 2016 among bouts that are not yet in the planning stages. If you missed the first part, in which we discussed the five most desired fights for 2016 that are already on the radar, you can find it HERE.
To say that 2015 was a phenomenal year for boxing would be a monumental understatement.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao finally penned their chapter in the history books. Tyson Fury rattled the foundation of the heavyweight division by ending Wladimir Klitschko’s 11-year, 22-fight unbeaten streak. Canelo Alvarez bested Miguel Cotto in a vintage Mexico versus Puerto Rico mega fight. And fighters like Roman Gonzalez, Terence Crawford, Gennady Golovkin, Adonis Stevenson and Sergey Kovalev continued racking up wins and asserting their dominance.
Even if 2016 doesn’t end up reaching the lofty bar set by 2015, there is still reason for optimism with several big fights to fantasize about. Hey, glass half full, right? So, without further ado, here are five fights that we desperately want to see in 2016 that are not yet in the planning stages, ranked from five (desirable) to one (extremely desirable):
5. Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez vs. Juan Francisco Estrada II
Still just 25 years old, Estrada is no doubt eager to exact revenge for the only blemish on his record. The perception of Chocolatito as being virtually unbeatable perhaps takes a tiny bit of intrigue away from this rematch or else it might show up higher on the list. Sometimes being too dominant leads to noncompetitive fights which can actually harm a fighter’s career by zapping casual fan interest (see Rigondeaux, Guillermo). But Estrada has skills for days — and pop, with four of his last five wins coming by way of KO — so these two elite flyweights need to get it on for the second time to please the hardcore fans.
4. Deontay Wilder vs. Alexander Povetkin
Tyson Fury’s unexpected dethroning of Wladimir Klitschko was basically a coup d’etat on the entire heavyweight landscape. With everything in disarray now in the “glamour division,” tons of new deserving faces are knocking at the door, ready to stake their claim as the alpha male. A matchup between Wilder and Povetkin, two decorated Olympians and accomplished pros, is possibly the most interesting fight both importance-wise and style-wise that the division can produce right now.
3. Terence Crawford vs. Viktor Postol
Crawford might have had his heart set on a big payday by taking part in Manny Pacquiao’s farewell tour, but ultimately he lost the Pacquiao sweepstakes to Timothy Bradley. Luckily, a Crawford-Postol fight is more than a solid backup plan; it’s necessary to determine who’s the boss of the junior welterweight division. If the stars align right, we just might be able to witness this gem in late 2016.
2. Guillermo Rigondeaux vs. Vasyl Lomachenko
Yes please. If you like plodders with heavy hands that stand and trade, this might not be the fight for you. If you like fighters with near-perfect footwork, lightning quick hands, more amateur experience than a red-shirted college player and the ring IQ of Albert Einstein and Pernell Whitaker’s lovechild, then you might want to watch this one. Your eyes will be better for it, as will the featherweight division.
1. Gennady Golovkin vs. Danny Jacobs
We chose Golovkin-Canelo as the most anticipated fight for 2016 that’s already on the radar, so can’t we pine for Golovkin-Jacobs as well while we’re at it? Maybe 2017 is more likely, but who knows — with the right timing, this fight could pop up in the summertime. Combined, these two middleweights boast a staggering 89% knockout ratio across 66 fights. ‘Nuff said.