Convicted Artist Magazine

Feb 23rd
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upcoming-boxing-fightsHere's to Rigo and Santa Cruz hopefully fighting in 2015.  Sadly it will only happen if Rigo signs with Al Haymon, but given the couple of years he has had, I don't see why he would not.  Rigo was left on the shelf by Top Rank, and does not have a localized fan base anywhere.  Maybe the reopening of Cuba to some capitalism will give Rigo a chance to fight at home.  I cannot see him selling many tickets in any other scenario.
Speaking of why not... why not Shannon Briggs against Klitschko in Brooklyn?  I'd rather he face Jennings, but Jennings' people know they have better odds at the Wilder-Stiverne winner, and why would they risk their ranking for a certain beat-down, if they are not even going to make the Germany money for doing so.  I never believed that fight was going to take place.  Briggs has not earned his shot, but he is usually exciting (except in losses to Ibragimov and Vitali), is from Brooklyn, and it would be an excuse for HBO to cover a Klitschko fight again.  Briggs should beat a ranked fighter by February to "earn" it officially, but as side-shows go, this one may not be bad.
Speaking of bad... the entrance of new promoters and TV deals could go one of two ways.  Jay-Z is now signing fighters, including potentially Andre Ward.  Anything that gets the 2nd best fighter on the planet back in the ring is good, but a new association is rarely celebrated by a risky fight.  Ward may dip his toe in slowly, meaning we will be waiting until 2016 for Ward-GGG.  If you thought Al Haymon was careful with Showtime... imagine if he has the chance to build network stars.
Speaking of waiting until 2016, don't hold your breath for a Wlad-WBC unification, or Mayweather-Pacquiao matchup happening this year, either.  2014 was disappointing enough, but I think this year will be even more so.  Too many of the sports big fights are being planned as swan-songs, or career-deaths.  therefore, the management of the fighters in question are not at all going to risk it, until they have milked every last penny out of them.  they need to fail badly at the box office for one more year, before they realize they have no other choice but to give the fans the fights they have been waiting for.

Chris Strait

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