Barring a miracle, we all know Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather isn’t going to happen in 2011. In fact, Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez III isn’t likely to happen either. So we won't include the two most obvious fights everyone wants to see.
A few weeks ago the Neutral Corner posted a wish list for fights people would want to see in 2011.
A few readers and colleagues responded with a list of fights they would like to see this year.
Here’s what reader Daniel Vargas had to say:
"I would like to see Zab Judah fight Manny Pacquiao next year. Zab is on a win streak. Forget Amir Khan, Zab has proven himself already and is still a good fighter. That would get Mayweather upset because his rival (Zab) gets the big pay day. So if pacquiao wins. Mayweather would want to get in on the action and fight Pacquiao himself. I bet Zab will come close and make Pacquiao look bad, but Pacuiao will still win. Mayweather will think he can win and want to fight him!"
Here is what some of our other readers and colleagues suggested:
Juan Manuel Lopez vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa – This fight was at the top of the list and there’s no reason why this fight shouldn’t happen. It actually needs to happen now. We’re confident it will happen. Lopez and Gamboa are clearly the best featherweights in the world. The winner would be one step away from being the undisputed featherweight champion. Lopez is the WBO champ, while Gamboa is the WBA and IBF champ. Let’s get this fight on.
Andre Ward vs. Chad Dawson – This fight won’t happen in 2011, because of Ward’s participation in the Showtime Super Six World Boxing Classic. That notwithstanding, it’s a fight that would certainly be worth the price of admission. Of course Dawson would need to beat Jean Pascal in a rematch and Ward, the WBA 168-pound champ, actually has to win the Super Six to make the fight viable.
Andre Ward vs. Lucian Bute – Right now, Ward is regarded as the best 168-pound fighter in the world. As stated previously, Ward has to finish the Super Six first. There were some who believed Bute, the IBF super middleweight champ, should’ve been in the Super Six instead of Jermain Taylor. Barring a strange set of circumstances, this fight certainly won’t happen in 2011. But we can always dream.
Sergio Martinez vs. James Kirkland – We actually mentioned this in our fight wish list post. Well, we aren’t the only ones who would like to see this. Kirkland (25-0, 22 KOs), fresh out of jail, will need a tune up or two before he’s ready for a fighter like Martinez. The hope is that Martinez, the WBA 160-pound champ, will still be boxing when Kirkland is ready. At 35, you have to wonder how much longer Martinez can fight at a high level. Another problem facing Martinez is the lack of star power at 154 and 160 pounds. Most of boxing’s top men are 135 to 147 and 168. Kirkland is a risk, but where else can Martinez go? Miguel Cotto could be an option.
David Haye vs. Tomasz Adamek – This fight may not raise many eye brows nationally, but Adamek has been a great draw at the Prudential Center in Newark. A Haye-Adamek card would certainly pack the place. I don’t see this one happening, at least not any time soon. Haye will have a date with one of the Klitschkos first. Expect an immediate rematch if Haye were to pull off a win.
Andre Berto vs. Floyd Mayweather - Looking for another quick and powerful welterweight? Look no further than Berto. He doesn't have the resume that suggests he could beat Mayweather. But at some point someone will give him a shot. This fight could be interesting. Berto is young with some serious power. Mayweather needs a fight to stay sharp. Berto would be the perfect opponent. Berto isn't a nobody and he has talent. As for Mayweather, he would be able to save face fighting a quality fighter instead or taking on someone he knows for sure he can beat. (See his fight against Juan Manuel Marquez). Marquez is one of the great fighters of this era, but he was way too small for Mayweather.
Andre Berto vs. Shane Mosley - The only reason this fight didn't happen, aside from the terrible earthquake that rocked Haiti, was because Mosley got his wish to fight Floyd Mayweather. Now that Mosley has inked a deal to fight Pacquiao, he may never fight Berto. Fighting Mosley could've been the stepping stone Berto was searching for.
Here are a few other matchups suggested by readers: Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Robert Guerrero; Manny Pacquiao vs. Andre Berto; Chris John vs. Juan Manuel Lopez; Jean Pascal vs. Andre Ward; Mikkel Kessler vs. Arthur Abraham; Amir Khan vs. Juan Manuel Marquez;
There are certainly a lot of other fights worth wishing for. Readers should feel free to send in their suggestions.