After an exciting three-plus months of boxing in 2011, including Saturday’s big-time fight between Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto and Orlando Salido’s upset of Juan Manuel Lopez, the Neutral Corner has put together a special boxing wish list we would like granted.
1. Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather: Can these two please stop messing around and step into the ring against each other? In a perfect world, Pacquiao’s May 7 bout against Shane Mosley would actually be his second against Mayweather. Boxing fans won’t wait around forever. Mayweather is 34 and Pacquiao is 32. At some point these two will get to an age where the fight won’t matter. Does anyone really think that Pacquiao is unbeatable? Just ask Juan Manuel Lopez, one of Top Rank’s best fighters. We all thought he was on a collision course with Yuriorkis Gamboa, another of Top Rank’s best boxers. No one told that to Orlando Salido, who stopped Lopez in the eighth round on Saturday. Counting out Mosley would be a mistake, especially after what he did to Antonio Margarito. No one thought he had a shot in that fight.
2. A Golden Boy-Top Rank truce: It’s a shame that the two biggest promotional companies in the sport can’t get along. The idea that none of their fighters is good match against each other is a joke. How about Chris John (Golden Boy) against Gamboa (Top Rank)? What’s wrong with that? Now that Lopez has a loss, Gamboa should be free to fight the next best guy. Watching Golden Boy and Top Rank boxers face each other is starting to get a little old. Assuming Pacquiao doesn’t fight Mayweather, there’s no reason why the Filipino congressman couldn’t square off against Marcos Maidana or Amir Khan at some point. How about Nonito Donaire (Top Rank) against Abner Mares (Golden Boy)? Even if Mares loses to Joseph Agbeko on the Showtime card on Saturday, seeing him fight Donaire wouldn’t be a bad thing for boxing. But it is worth noting that Top Rank’s recent legal victory, which allowed it to keep promoting Donaire, didn’t likely do anything to sooth the relationship between the two promotional giants.
3. Zab Judah against anyone of note: Judah seems to have turned to a new page in his career. And so far the results have been positive. Armed with the IBF 140-pound championship belt, it would be nice to see him square off against any of the top junior welterweights in the world, including Tim Bradley and Amir Khan. A matchup with Victor Ortiz is probably out of the question now that Ortiz moved up a division. Unfortunately for Judah, he may have to wait for Bradley and Khan, because the two are almost certain to hook up this summer. Judah against Maidana could also be a possibility.
4. Zab Judah vs. Paulie Malignaggi: Yes, Zab is on this list twice, but this is strictly a New York thing. Both are Brooklyn kids and both have a large enough following to draw 15,000-plus to the Garden or the Prudential Center.
5. More dual main event cards on regular cable: HBO televising the Amir Khan-Paul McCloskey bout and then the Andre Berto-Victor Ortiz fight shortly after was a thing of beauty. Showtime will do the same thing on Saturday with their Bantamweight tournament, which features Mares vs. Agbeko and Vic Darchinynan vs. Yonnhy Perez. We’d love to see more of that.
6. Sergio Martinez getting a well-deserved payday: Is there any boxer more deserving a big payday than Sergio Martinez? He dominated Kelly Pavlik, scored a devastating knockout of Paul Williams and recently stopped Serhiy Dzinziruk. The linear WBC middleweight champ deserves to have his name in lights. A showdown with Miguel Cotto perhaps? That is certainly a bout Lou DiBella wouldn't mind co-promoting with Top Rank.