Subway is offering any sandwich this month and calling it Februany.
The slogan could also be used in reference to any and all confirmed fights as well. In the past week, Danny Garcia, Devon Alexander and Jonathan Banks all pulled out of their upcoming fights. To make matters worse, Floyd Mayweather announced on twitter that Devon Alexander (yes same one who withdrew from his bout with Kell Brook) is the frontrunner to face him in May.
There were rumors that was planning to face Robert Guerrero, a fight that while wasn’t the best fight that could be made was far better than a Devon Alexander fight. As my colleague Mike Maestas wrote “The odds are that Mayweather will again let fans down, and have two meaningless fights in 2013.” and it seems to be shaping up that way.
However, as I have mentioned before, if fans actually care to make a statement about the state of our beloved sport, then they will not support a lackluster fight such as Mayweather-Alexander. If the fight itself is not an insult, knowing that it is on Cinco de Mayo in Las Vegas, NV a date the has been commonly associated with at least one Mexican fighter takes away the excitement the date brings for many Mexicans in Las Vegas. Yes, Mayweather did fight Mosley on the same weekend in 2010, it also had Canelo Alvarez as the co-main event, albeit it was from the staples center and fans got to watch the fight on the big screen in Vegas, it was still a Mexican fighter. I digress, the fact remains, unless Mayweather fights Alvarez, fans will voice their displeasure online, in forums and of course any number of social outlets.
So, instead of being upset or annoyed that some fights are not being made, let’s look towards 5 fights that as of now, are still set to go on.
1. Adrien Broner vs Gavin Reese
You can say what you want about Broner’s attitude and the way he carries himself as person but there is little anyone can say about his skills in he ring. Broner has proved time and time again that he is on the cusp of reigning as the next big boxing sensation. While many believe that Broner needs to step up, the ones he has fought and faced in the ring Broner has dominated. Few if any give the undefeated European Reese much of a chance against Broner. However, its what Broner will do after his win this upcoming weekend that have fans curious. Will he stay at 135lb, perhaps move up to what can be considered the deepest division in boxing at 140lb or just do what Broner does and make rap videos in his spare time while his management team chooses his next step. Because names like Ricky Burns and Miguel Vazquez are not going to move the boxing needle.
2. Lamont Peterson vs Kendall Holt
Lamont Peterson was living the dream,with his win over Amir Khan in December of 2011 for Khan’s title however it was short lived as the immediate rematch in May of 2012 would uncover questionable tactics and recovery methods for Peterson. Peterson was discovered to have spiked testosterone levels which then lead public to be told that Peterson admitted to using testosterone pellets which were prescribed but never admitted to. It also turns out that these pellets were used before then first fight. Any and all goodwill and benefit of the doubt in his win against Khan had been thrown to the wayside.
It will be 14 months since Peterson last stepped into the ring when he faces Holt. Holt who at one time was considered a sure contender has been on a rollercoaster himself. After taking lengthy layoff between his losses to Timothy Bradley (2009) and Kaizer Mabuza (2010) , Holt has went 3-1 with his lone loss coming by way of split decision to Danny Garcia. This is almost a must win for both fighters as Peterson and Holt need a win to keep their stock and name at the forefront of the current champions list. Expect both men to come into fight night with a win at all cost attitude.
3. Timothy Bradley vs Ruslan Provodnikov
Few if any fighters not named Floyd Mayweather act more secretive than Timothy Bradley. Bradley who won his belt against arguably the best fighter at the time Manny Pacquiao in June of 2012 has been relatively quite since the win. He and his team tried to bait Pacquiao into a rematch before Pacquiao chose a fourth fight between he and Juan Manuel Marquez but not much has come out from the Bradley Camp since. That will change as Bradley is back in the ring next month again Ruslan Provodnikov.
Provodnikov has been a ESPN Friday night darling the last couple of years if the name is one you may not be too familiar with. However, he has yet to get over the hump and prove to be an elite fighter as his last step up against Maurico Herrera a fringe contender himself beat Ruslan by unanimous decision in Jan of 2012. Add the fact that Bradley and Herrera have similar aggressive in your face styles and this fight feels more of a tune up for Bradley than an actual fight he can lose.
Bradley, if he does not have a sense of urgency, should. He owns a win over Pacquiao, no matter if it is a questionable win and he is with Top Rank, should be more than enough to warrant the best fighting him.
However, Bradley lacks one punch power and rarely exhibits a diva like attitude. He does however show up to work and gets the job done- it’s usually a trait that get’s appreciated but yet for some reason falls on deaf ears. Perhaps a dominating performance in March will remind fight fans that in a weight class with names such a Mayweather, Marquez and Pacquiao, Bradley should also be in the mix.
4. Mike Alvarado vs Brandon Rios 2
If you have missed the first fight for some reason, then it is a must see fight. It is the type of fight that turn average fighters into folklore. Gatti-Ward come to mind. Both fighters who while had decent careers were never truly elite, however when those two men got in the ring together, few fights displayed the grit, determination and heart as theirs did.
The same thing may be shaping up for Alvarado and Rios. Both fighters have the same characteristics as Ward and Gatti, both are heavy handed and willing to sit and trade favoring brawling over boxing a majority of the time. Many expect their second fight to pick up where both men left off in October. The biggest question is can either of them switch their styles up enough to make it a boxing match and not a war? Chances are probably not and fight fans are hoping for just that.
5. Sergio Martinez vs Martin Murray
Sergio Martinez finally got his wish this past September when Julio Cesar Chavez Jr finally got in the ring with the Argentinean. It was a fight that turned into a one sided beat down for Martinez. That was until the 12th round and Chavez jr finally turned into the hard hitting foe many thought he would be early in the fights. The first 11 rounds was all Martinez but then in the final round Chavez JR dropped Martinez twice as well as helped Martinez get a torn knee in the round from and awkward fall.
In the Martinez earned the 11 round shutout and a knee surgery to his resume.
Martinez is now in full recovery from the knee and subsequent surgery and is now set to face European champion Martin Murray back in his home country of Argentina. While there has never been a question of how hard Martinez and his team works, coming off a knee injury and going through rehab and now getting back in the ring some 7 months later almost feels a bit too soon.
While Murray is not known as a huge puncher and has the typical high european guard similar to that of Arthur Abraham, Murray is dangerous. Add that fact that this will be Sergio’s first fight back in Argentina in over 10 years and Martinez may want to press his luck more than he should. However, his stamina, excitement and health are huge “what ifs” as Martinez is the example of a professional. However this fight still feels almost like a trap fight then anything. A win and a Chavez JR rematch for this fall is what fight fans are holding out for. April will show if Martinez is back or if he pushed too hard too soon.
While boxing fans may only be hearing of fights that are not happening, there is still much to be excited for. These 5 fights are just a handful of fights that fans will get to see over the next couple of months. Add Bernard Hopkins vs Tavoris Cloud, Carl Froch vs Mikkel Kessler in an exciting rematch just to name a couple others and while some fans wait on which no name Mayweather decides to grace his boxing fans with, there is actually fights and fighters boxing fans are actually excited to watch.
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