The welterweight division is arguably boxing's premier division. Since the retirement of Lennox Lewis (and probably much before) the heavyweight division has been parched of great matchups, dynamic fighters and excitement in general. The cruel illusion of it as the measuring stick of the sport has long been debunked. Really, when was the last time you saw a legitimately great heavyweight stoush? If your answer contained Lewis and either the names Holyfied or Tyson then you need to get your head checked out. Watching Lewis beat up on faded names does not a good bout make.
I could complain about the heavies all day long but the bottom line is that 147 is stacked with fighters, all of whom want a crack at each other. Not only that, but it epitomises the spirit of the sport. The art of hitting someone and not being hit. Most boxing bogans (or sports bogans in general) only want to see the brutish elements. Crushing knockouts, crashes in motorsport, rugby league. Sure these elements may be visually appealing but in all instances they are not in the real essence of what is trying to be accomplished. Cheap thrills for the great unwashed and those too ignorant to appreciate the finer points. This is where the 'real' divisions come in. I mean, what kind of division is 'heavyweight' anyways? " Oh...I'm big and my fights are three rounds of winging awkward punches and seven rounds of clinching". At least that is the way it is these days....
Aside, with the huge movements in the welterweight division within the last year only too apparent, I have compiled a list of fights that have to happen. I realise my tastes aren't for everyone (they're better! ROFLcopter) so I have divided them into;
Have to Happen: Big names, great matchups and, in a sport with three major sanctioning bodies, help to clear the picture a little
I'd like to see: Matchups that satisfy my morbid curiosity for such bouts (and Paul Williams).
Certain fights: Bouts that are bound to happen, and are good matchups, but are missing something
Have to Happen
Their first fight was an instant classic. After boxing strongly in the first six rounds, Margarito seemingly got stronger as the fight progressed and chased Cotto round the ring banging him like a drum on his way to an 11 round TKO win. After Margarito's glove loading came to light, and the way this fight played out, it is entirely probable that he did load his gloves for this fight. The other side of the coin is that we have seen Cotto fade severely also in his fights with Mosley and Clottey which could mean that the rematch will play out exactly the same. This is unlikely due to the fact that I believe Cotto will be fairly enraged by the supposed glove loading of their first fight and would probably triumph in the return.
The fight the world wants to see. Pacquiao, after career defining stoppage wins of De La Hoya and Hatton, is now the king of the sport, a title Mayweather used to hold. Mayweather, in signalling his return to the ring, says he wants Pacquiao, Cotto and Mosley however the latter is unlikely to happen soon as he would want a tune-up bout and probably to wait for Mosley to get a little older. Both fighters are stupid quick however Pacquiao is out there to sling leather whilst Mayweather boxes from the outside and uses his astounding defence when in tight. In my eyes, a Pacquaio win and very possibly a stoppage.
The fight I really wanna see and probably the biggest fight in the game as far as legit fight fans are concerned. Mosley has done everything to make this happen; said he would drop weight, gave Pacquiao 60 percent of the purse and even went so far as to give him a rematch clause. You gotta love Sugar Shane, for he wants to fight everyone and will do what it takes to make it happen. Unfortuantely he seems to be too big, too small or too good for his contemporaries. God I hope Pacquiao just sucks it up and fights him at 147. Sugar Shane FTW!
This fight has been brewing since the late 90's when Mosley was lightweight champ and Mayweather ruled the junior-lightweights. Mayweather talks, and cries..then does some more talking but the bottom line is that he knows he is in for a 'L' on his record. If Mayweather cared about actually being the best rather than just maintaining an unbeaten record (so he can pose as the best) then this fight would have happened some time ago.
I'd Like to See
Williams is an absolute anomaly. This huge welter has a reach longer than the Klitchko's and throws more shots than a lightweight. So good is Williams - that no one from 147 to 160 wants a bar of him. Bring in Clottey, who has two gritty and disputed losses to both Cotto and Margarito and needs someone who will want to take the big risk-small reward payoff of meeting him, and this is definitely a fighters fight between two guys no one wants to face. Williams should really dominate anyone from 147-160 (how he lost to Cintron is beyond me).
Berto, the heir apparent of the welterweight division, owns a close and highly disputed win over Luis Collazo. Before he gets in with the big names of the division he needs to dominate the contenders. A rematch should see him do so more convincingly.
I just want this to shut Mayweather up. It would never happen (and not because of Williams).
I know - this is not a welterweight fight. This, at 160, would be awesome. Both are huge guys with long arms who look to throw shots. The clinches would resemble some kind of spaghetti dinner and I'm sure each fighter could still land jabs from the other side of the ring. Williams to outhustle.
Berto-another undersized welter
Step up and face an adult Andre! Dominating Steve Forbes at 147 isn't quite the accomplishment Oscar De La Hoya makes it out to be. If you want to be a force in the division then you are gonna have to collect the scalp of someone reputable.
This fight is now being slated for November and looks to be a very good fight however better could be made. Whilst Pacquiao has looked mercurial in despatching De La Hoya and Hatton, Cotto has looked uncertain in crushing the overmatched Michael Jennings and barely outlasting Joshua Clottey. The loss to Margarito clearly did something to Cotto's head and, unless he can fix it, he looks to suffer a mid round KO at the hands of the PacMan. If Cotto had never lost to Margarito then it could go either way.
Originally scheduled for July, Mayweather’s injury has now pushed this back to September. Originally seen as a comeback fight and a warmup for Mayweather, durable counterpuncher Marquez may just prove to be too stiff a challenge for “Money” who has set this bout at 144 (the highest Marquez would have ever weighed). As great as this fight should be, both are counterpunchers and this fight could become a grindfest if both revert to it. Mayweather will get the decision regardless of who deserves it.