Convicted Artist Magazine

Apr 25th
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Home Boxing WHO IS LEFT OUT?
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professional-boxing-matchIt looks like our spring of avoidance is shaping up.  Neither Klitschko is really threatened, and neither is Povetkin.  The cruisers are all doing their own thing, and not even forcing mandatories.  the Light Heavies are all posturing and waiting for Hopkins to leave.  Only Tavoris Cloud looks interested in fighting anyone with a pulse.

Super Middle is delaying us our big Bute-Ward fight, ditto at Middleweight with Martinez-Chavez.  The ones with the belts at 154 seem least likely to get any real shots, and at 147 the biggest threats are avoiding one another, or delayed by injury.  I won't bother going any lower, because I'm sure you get the point.

With Floyd looking much better against Ortiz than Pacquiao did against Marquez, it seems they are switching karma.  Now Floyd is the favorite, and taking a soft one in Cotto, while Pacquiao is taking on the only real threat in Bradley.  This also leaves Lamont Peterson with his big fight against Juan Manuel Marquez.  This leaves out two men who've been looking for a fight.  Amir Khan and Robert Guerrero.  I say they should face each other.  

Lamont Peterson knows he was lucky to escape D.C. with a controversial decision over Khan.  Given that he was a mandatory, he is not exactly going to be chomping at the bit to get Khan in the ring again.  Further proof is that as soon as it became apparent that the boxing world was not satisfied, and that the rematch with Khan was the best moneymaker for Peterson, his people went looking for more money.  Enter Marquez.  It is a risky fight for Juan Manuel, and if he loses, he is finished.  At least in the Pacquiao sweepstakes.  However, what choice does he have?  Pacquiao won't fight him again, so he is going for belts in a new division, in order to add to his legacy.

Again, this attitude also explains Manny's behavior.  Lucky to escape last time out, so taking on as big a threat, that will gain him respect.  Victor Ortiz is also without a dance partner, as Andre Berto is injured, but Ortiz' people have made it clear that they will wait for Berto.  Khan-Guerrero is an interesting fight between two men who have shown vulnerabilities, but also resiliency.  Both men can box, and have stunk out the joint, but also may slug, and make it interesting.  It is not a PPV match, but is about as good as non-PPV events get lately.

The waiting game kills interest, wastes time during valuable prime years, and happens enough because of legitimate injuries and managerial difficulties.  It doesn't need to be made worse by stalling.  Guerrero has been looking hard for a major fight, yet was injured out of his last one, and has gotten more desperate.  Khan should take a page from Marquez, and take a risky fight.  It makes a statement, and prevents the boxing public from forgetting about him.  There are a lot of names out there.  Waiting puts you in the back of the line.  Just ask Guerrero himself.

Chris Strait

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