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Your 5 fights that dont need marinating

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Wrote an article for leave-it-in-the-ring.com discussing the overkill on building certain fights into major attractions and the negative things that can happen as in the case of Juan Manuel Lopez and Yuriorkis Gamboa, in which Lopez lost to Orlando Salido which put a fork in those plans for now.


When David Tua and Ike Ibeabuchi fought each other in 1997, the loser didn't lose any stock in defeat as Tua was still regarded as a tough out. The fans also got a fight they otherwise would not have if they tried building it into a bigger fight down the road, as Ibeabuchi went nuts and is rotting in jail while Tua lost to Lennox Lewis and has since not faced a Top 10 opponent in more than ten years.


It's just the way that we should have gotten James Kirkland against Alfred Angulo, which was a dumb fight to try and build as it was easy to see that both guys had styles which could be picked apart. I never thought the names that would do it would be fragile Kermit Cintron or unknown Nobuhiro Ishida, but its a shame we didn't see these two square off at the height of their hype. The loser probably would not have lost much steam and we could have gotten a really good action fight.


Anyways, off topic. What five fights would you most like to see that don't need any extra buildup to take place right now, and could logistically be put together [ie no Top Rank-Golden Boy cross promos].


Click here to read "From marinated to overcooked: Lopez-Gamboa and the overbuilding of fights"


Here is a list of five fights I would like to see right now and that stand a good chance of falling apart if not put together today. More on the fringe side of things than the megafight.


5. James DeGale vs. George Groves at 168 - This fight is unbelievably scheduled for next month but I will believe it is taking place when the opening bell rings. A fight that is more on the regional level, sure, but one that features tons of legitimate bad blood, not the kind where Ricardo Mayorga apologizes to you after the fight and says he only called your sister a slut to build the pay-per-view numbers. The two were rivals at Dale Youth Amateur Boxing in the UK where Groves beat DeGale four years ago. DeGale then went onto Olympic Gold in Beijing and the much more anticipated pro career thus far. Groves has made a splash himself but is not quite on as many radars. This fight is as well marinated as things get. Groves may not be fit enough for the world level while many think DeGale is. Both have regional titles, DeGale the British super middleweight champ, Groves the Commonwealth one. British fight fans have been clamoring for it since the two turned pro and the participants will be getting money you don't usually see at this level of the sport, making it all worthwhile. Their beef rivals that of the one between Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera, so it would be hard not to assume there will be some good action. Lots of good words flying from both sides. "James was Olympic champion but number two in his own gym," shot Groves upon announcement of this fight. DeGale has been equally antagonizing with his words, and it has been a fun thing to follow in the media. Make sure to catch this May 21st.


4. Chris John vs. Jhonny Gonzalez at 126 - In his fourth try at gaining another world title, Gonzalez found fellow former bantamweight titlist Hozumi Hasegawa with some heavy fire and abruptly stopped him in the fourth round. Gonzalez' early fight power is scary good but was perceived as being on the way out following a loss to 122-pound king Toshiaki Nishioka in May of 2009. Gonzalez was rebuilt on mostly handpicked opposition before finding this big opportunity and now can be had for a big fight in one of boxing's deepest divisions. In losses to Israel Vazquez and Gerry Penalosa, Gonzalez was in control for much of both fights and let them slip away. John is coming off a big win against fellow countryman Daud Yordan in an Indonesian showdown just this month. A Gonzalez win would signify perhaps his most legitimate since beating Juan Manuel Marquez controversially in 2006. John's best win to date is over Rocky Juarez, a guy he drew with prior to. Juarez has looked awful in all other fights since and John's credentials have taken a hit as a result. A unification bout at 126 would be huge for the 31-year old John and nearly 30-year old Gonzalez and would establish the winner as perhaps the most decorated at featherweight.


3. Giovanni Segura vs. Roman Martinez at 108 - American fight fans may not yet be familiar with Martinez while having been just introduced to Segura through his two standout stoppages of formerly undefeated pound-for-pound little man Ivan Calderon in his past two. Segura showed flashes of being an action packed junior fly in his development on Telefutura's Solo Boxeo. Segura took advantage of a Margarito-Cotto pay-per-view co-feature in July of 2008 and fought an exciting fight with Cesar Canchila, ultimately losing a decision when he gassed in his first bid for a title. The loss didn't slow Segura down who earned redemption in a controversial return bout that took place eight months later. Martinez, or "Chocolatito" as he has become known in his home of Nicaragua, may be one of the heaviest fisted fighters below the featherweight division. 28-0 at just 23 years old, Gonzalez stands not 5'3" but should be a participant in some firefights south of 115 for the next few years if his 23 knockouts are any indication. The over/under on a fight between Segura and Martinez couldn't possibly be 5 rounds, and there is no doubt in my mind this could be a Fight of the Year candidate that rivals Michael Carbajal-Humberto Gonzalez as the best in the weight class over the past few decades.


2. Sergio Martinez vs. Felix Sturm at 160 - This fight would be the complete opposite of a Segura-Martinez bout, with two of the sport's most skilled technicians operating for middleweight supremacy. It seems as though HBO would just never make a big enough offer for a fight between these two to make it worth it, specifically to Sturm who is his own promoter and can fill nearly six digits worth of seats in Europe against the likes of Giovanni Lorenzo and Ronald Hearns. Hard to blame the guy when, in his one trek across the pond to Las Vegas against Oscar De La Hoya in 2004, he was robbed horribly and disappeared back home to fight non-descript opposition. Martinez seems like he would be ballsy enough to travel to Germany for the right price but I am not so sure Sturm is looking for real challenges at this point of his career. For the record, HBO's alleged offer for a Kelly Pavlik-Sturm bout when both occupied the top of the division was a low $2 million.


1. Zab Judah vs. Erik Morales at 140 - It's a fight that ten years ago never seemed it could happen. Zab Judah was a 140-pound world champion and Erik Morales had just scored a close win over Marco Antonio Barrera four divisions below for a super bantamweight title. Judah's speed is exactly what would be all wrong for Erik, but if he could make it out of the first four rounds Erik's display of resilience could ultimately break Zab down. Even in his recent run Judah has not been strong in finishing fights while Morales got things going against Marcos Maidana in the middle rounds. It gives Morales a chance to earn a fourth world title, it gives Zab a chance to add a legend to his record. The build-up for this fight just seems like it would be unreal. Despite the depth of the junior welterweight division, it would be hard to argue that there are two bigger ticket sellers and attractions than Judah or Morales, and really that's what boxing needs now more than anything.

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Juan Manuel Marquez vs Robert Guerrero - there isn't a better time for this fight to take place than now.They've both recently fought Michael Katsidis,and both men looked brilliant in picking him apart. Guerrero looks big for the weight and has mentioned moving up,so this fight should take place no later than the end of the year.
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  • 2 weeks later...

Good points Mark. Sometimes it's best to just get the fighters in the ring and get the fight done now.


My five would probably be:


1. Pongsaklek Wonjongkam vs Giovani Segura

2. Nonito Donaire vs Mares/Agebko (winner)

3. Denis Lebedev vs Alexander Frenkel

4. Juan Manuel Marquez vs Robert Guerrero

5. Brandon Rios vs Michael Katsidis (in fact, any fight at 135lbs involving Marquez, Guerrero, Rios, Vazquez, Katsidis, Soto)


I didn't include Froch vs Ward for example as the fight will happen if they both win their next fights.

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