2015 brought us an improved year in match-ups including the long overdue Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, more Triple G action, and a sensational pairing of Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez. 2016 has the potential to build on that momentum and score big with fans by making some nice fights. Here’s the No Sparring 2016 fight wish list:
Sergey Kovalev vs Adonis Stevenson
Most Overdue Fight
This fight has never been closer to being made than it is right now. Kovalev defends his title later this month in Montreal against Jean Pascal while Stevenson and WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman are waiting on the result, wanting to pair the boxers for a summer clash. The winner would be the undisputed light heavyweight champion and hold all four alphabet belts.
Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin
There’s probably no bigger fight that could happen in all of boxing right now. As it stands, Triple G, the IBF and WBA champion, is the mandatory opponent in line for Canelo’s WBC championship. The WBC has said each fighter will be allowed one optional fight before a matchup between the two of them will be forced. If all holds true, look for a massive PPV in September between these two monsters for the undisputed middleweight crown.
Takashi Uchiyama vs Nicholas Walters
Early Candidate for Fight of the Year
Uchiyama is the undefeated, number one super featherweight in the world and has not only expressed his desire to fight in the U.S. in 2016, but also wants to face the top contenders, including Nicholas Walters. Walters is a big puncher and exciting fighter. A showdown between the two would create some major fireworks.
Naoya Inoue vs Carlos Cuadras
Most Likely to End in KO
Inoue is a name on the rise in boxing. After a long layoff due to injury, Inoue returned to the ring with a 2nd rd KO, his 8th in 9 professional fights. A step-up in competition will only raise his profile in 2016 and no better way to do that then unifying the division titles with WBC champion Carlos Cuadras. Cuadras has said he’d like to unify the division while Inoue told me “Cuadras” is the fighter he’d most like to face next.
Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez vs Juan Estrada
Another division unifying matchup possibility, this time with WBC champ Roman Gonzalez who’s gaining fans by the loads with his exciting uptempo fights and recent HBO exposure. No matchup in the flyweight division offers more fan favorability than a rematch between Gonzalez and WBO/WBA champ Juan Estrada. Mr. Honda of Teiken told me he’d like to make the fight this summer while Tom Loeffler of K2 said “I think it makes a lot of sense to make it for sometime in 2016.” So there you go. Make this fight!
Shawn Porter vs Keith Thurman
The recently announced trilogy fight between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley has not been received well by the fans, even with both fighter’s ranked high in the division. The top two welterweight contenders of the future, Porter and Thurman, are being rumored to have a fight in the works for early March. We’ve heard this story before, but it should come off. The winner could be the heir apparent to the Mayweather throne. This is the welterweight showdown the people want to see!
Carl Frampton vs Scott Quigg
Best Foreign Fight
A rare pair of undefeated British junior featherweight champions are about to square up in a unification match inside Manchester for the right to claim “the best in the British Kingdom.” Of course both fighters are playing second fiddle to undisputed champion (with or without belts) Guillermo Rigondeaux. While everyone else in the division has ducked and dodged Rigondeaux, or lost (Donaire), the winner of this one is actually due to defend against the Cuban phenom. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves because Frampton and Quigg should be a war and has the potential to produce a rematch if it lives up to its potential. This is a fan favorite fight that we’re lucky is already signed and made.