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Boxing to bring its best this spring

FILE - This Aug. 1, 2009 file photo

FILE - This Aug. 1, 2009 file photo shows Timothy Bradley celebrating a TKO over Nate Campbell after a WBO Junior Welterweight Championship boxing match in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Bradley signed with promoter Top Rank this week, putting the undefeated fighter from the Palm Springs area in position for major bouts, including a possible shot at Manny Pacquiao next year. (AP Photo/Mark Avery) Credit: AP

Just when everyone thought boxing was hitting the skids. We aren’t going to see Floyd Mayweather Jr. square off against Manny Pacquiao anytime soon, but box fans can rest assured they will be satisfied with everything the sport is offering this spring.

Everything kicks off this Saturday on as WBC Vitali Klitschko (43-2, 40 KOs) champ takes on Dereck Chisora (15-2, 9 KOs) from Munich, Germany. WBA champion Alexander Povetkin (23-0, 16 KOs) will face Marco Huck (34-1, 25 KOs) a week later from Porsche-Arena in Stuttgard, Germany. Wladimir Klitschko (56-3, 49 KOs) will defend his WBO, IBF and WBA super heavyweight titles against Jean Marc Mormeck (36-4, 22 KOs) in Dusseldorf, Germany. All three fights will be broadcast live on EPIX.

We can’t forget what should be an interesting heavyweight battle on Saturday night between Eric Molina (18-1, 14 KOs) and Chris Arreola (33-2, 29 KOs) from the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. This one will be broadcast on Showtime Extreme. IBF light heavyweight champion Tavoris Cloud (23-0, 19 KOs) will take on former WBA light heavyweight champion Gabriel Campillo (21-3-1, 7 KOs) on the same card.

Next up is a St. Patrick’s Day battle between Sergio Martinez (48-2-2, 27 KOs) and Matthew Macklin at Madison Square Garden. This is a particularly important bout, because a win for Martinez could mean a future date with Julio Cesar Chavez jr. or perhaps even Miguel Cotto.

Things get even better on April 14 when Brandon Rios (29-0-1, 22 KOs) and Yuriorkis Gamboa (21-0, 16 KOs) fight for the vacant WBA lightweight championship live on HBO’s Championship Boxing. Rios and Gamboa, both former champions have electrified crowds everywhere and are expected to put on a great show.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. is getting back into the fray on May 5 when he takes on Miguel Cotto on HBO PPV. The ramifications of this fight are pretty obvious. But just in case anyone has forgotten, a loss for Mayweather would likely put the kibosh on a potential record-breaking fight with Manny Pacquiao. Oh, the two could still fight each other, but the interest would surely be diminished.

A win (or close loss) for Cotto could certainly set up a bout with Martinez, Chavez Jr. or perhaps Canelo Alvarez. The possibilities for Cotto are endless if he can pull of the upset.

The Lamont Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KOs) rematch with Amir Khan (26-2, 18 KOs) is set for May 19 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas live on HBO’s Championship Boxing.

Another intriguing matchup is the Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KOs)-Timothy Bradley (28-0, 12 KOs) fight set for June 9 from the MGM Grand. The sky will be the limit with the winner of this fight. Bradley will be able to punch is own ticket, while Pacquiao remains on course for a clash with Mayweather.

Another bout of note is the Jessie Vargas (17-0, 9 KOs)-Lanardo Tyner (25-6-2, 15 KOs) fight from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on February 24 on Showtime.


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