It’s been a while since boxing has seen a true megafight.
For those who have forgotten, a megafight is a bout in which the two opponents are at the top of their profession and in their prime years. We're not talking about simple name dropping. We're talking about talent. When the best are fighting the best.
We could finally see one. And we're not talking about Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao.
If Top Rank boss Bob Arum is finally ready to pit two of his top fighters –Yuriorkis Gamboa (20-0) and Juan Manuel Lopez (30-0)– against each other, boxing may finally get the type of fight that could draw the casual fan.
It may not be a heavyweight bout, but Arum is a master promoter who could sell any fight to the public. And we’re talking about two fighters in Gamboa, 29, and Lopez, 27, who have titles and are in the prime of their careers. Gamboa is the WBA and IBF featherweight champ, while Lopez is the WBO champ.
Too often we see promoters hold back their fighters in an effort to build up their records. It’s a perfectly understandable business practice, because the more a fighter loses the more his earning potential suffers. This especially happens when fighters lose early in their careers.
You think Devon Alexander losing to Tim Bradley in January was a good thing? It was great to see two young fighters mix it up, but it was a set back for Alexander, who won’t get another shot at Bradley for a while. He won’t get a shot at Amir Khan anytime soon either.
Alexander is going to have to fight his way back into the title mix. This means he may have to fight the likes of Zab Judah, Victor Ortiz or even Marcos Maidana. All three are dangerous fighters who could delay or even derail Alexander’s attempt to rise to the top.
Some will point to Mayweather vs. Oscar de la Hoya as a megafight. Others will make reference to Mayweather’s bout with Shane Mosley. Although those fights bought in big dollars and pay-per-view numbers and were successful mainstream bouts, Mayweather was clearly the superior boxer. And it showed.
Gamboa and Lopez are clearly the top two featherweights in the world. We could be seeing the reincarnation of Roberto Duran vs. Sugar Ray Leonard or the Erik Morales-Marco Antonio Barrera trilogy.
No matter how you draw it up, Gamboa-Lopez is a bout that must happen.