Boxing had a pretty quiet weekend. There were a few bouts, most notably Ryota Murata (14-1 11KO) successfully defended his (Junior Varsity) WBA Middleweight Championship against tough, but limited Emanuele Blandamura (27-2 5KO). While no fight should be labeled as easy, Murata was the heavy favorite to win, and he did just that. However, the reason we’re here today is to go over my list of dream fights for the remainder of the year! If all promotional teams could just get along for once, these are the fights I’d like to be treated to. (Wilder vs. Joshua is obvious, so it’s implied and doesn’t need yet another article)
Ryota Murata (14-1 11KO) vs. Demetrius Andrade (25-0 16KO): While we’re on the Murata subject, this fight makes a lot of sense on a few different levels. First off, Andrade has a following, but I wouldn’t call him a household name. He wants to be in the big fights against the big names, but doesn’t carry the star power or a World Title, so he’s often left by the wayside. At thirty-years old, it would be a shame for his talent to fall victim to inactivity. Enter Murata, an Olympic Gold Medalist, currently a World Champion (albeit not THE Champion, that belongs to Golovkin) and also needing exposure in the US to reach the big fights himself. A win for Murata would give him that clout in the States, and a win for Andrade would give him a mandatory crack at middleweight kingpin Gennady Golovkin (37-0-1 33KO). Style wise, the fight seems pretty intriguing. Both have a strong amateur pedigree, both have faced similar level opposition and both are at or near their physical peaks. Andrade is the more elusive and faster of the two while Murata brings more power and stalking ability. The fight makes sense and a win for either fighter puts them in a pretty lucrative position. Make it happen!
Vasyl Lomachenko (10-1 8KO) vs. Mikey Garcia (38-0 30KO): What’s not to love about this fight? Two of the pound-for–pound best boxers in the world battling for World Title(s) and more importantly, gunning for the P4P number one spot. Garcia has been on a tear following his two year layoff, which he broke July 2016. He has claimed wins over then undefeated Dejan Zlaticanin for the WBC Lightweight Title, scored a unanimous decision victory of Adrien Broner and thoroughly beat Sergey Lipinets to claim a Championship Belt in a fourth division. Mikey is a beast. Lomachenko is a machine and a blast to watch. The angles he creates and movement he uses to beat his opponents are something we don’t often get to see. He’s coming off a win of the then undefeated, and highly touted Guillermo Rigondeaux and is scheduled to fight Jorge Linares for his WBA Lightweight Title. A fight between these two could possibly be the highest level boxing we can currently witness in the sport, between two competitors that are close in weight.
Dmitry Bivol (13-0 11KO) vs. Sergey Kovalev (32-2-1 28KO): The light heavyweight division is pretty stacked all of the sudden. The is about a half-dozen fighters in the weight class that looks like they could all beat each other on any given night. The two that I have the most questions about though are Kovalev and Bivol, and the best way to answer the questions is to put them in the ring against each other! Kovalev seems to have recovered well from his (I’ll say controversial) back to back losses to Andre Ward. He has reclaimed his WBO Light Heavyweight World Title, but something doesn’t seem the same to me. I’m curious if the fights against Ward left a little less of Kovalev than before. If that’s the case, Bivol will expose it. The current WBA Light Heavyweight Champion (Bivol), has been nothing but impressive every time I watch. His explosive, methodical approach backed by his knockout power will make him a difficult test for anybody in the division, even on their best day. The fight almost certainly ends before the final bell, it makes sense financially for both sides and is a unification bout! What more do you need?
I’ll be back in the next day or two with the rest of my wish list, but let me know what you think about these first few in the comments below, via email PugilistsParadise@columnist.com or on Twitter @TheGreatToddman.