By Sean Crose
Admit it, this has been an epic year for boxing. Yeah, Manny-Floyd was a disappointment and the PBC isn’t always the crowd pleaser everyone had at least hoped it would be, but this has been a year of major movement in the world of boxing, one that will reverberate for quite some time to come. The fight everyone wanted to see went down, bouts returned to prime time network television and – wait for it – the sweet science inserted itself back into American popular culture for the first time since the age of Tyson.
So yeah, for better or worse, 2015 has been a year of great consequence. Say whatever you will of the previous nine months, but the next few weeks are looking about as hot as Texarkana in July. We’ve got Lucas Matthysse fighting Viktor Postol this weekend. We’ve got Gennady Golovkin fighting David Lemieux a few weeks later. In November, we’ve got the superfight that is Saul Canelo Alvarez – Miguel Cotto. And yet, there’s more. We’ve got Broner. We’ve got Brook. We may even have Wladimir Klitshcko fighting Tyson Fury before the year finally winds down.
What the sport needs, though, in order to end things on a truly high note, is a good welterweight showdown, PBC style. That’s right, Al Haymon can put a nice bow on 2015 if he arranges a fight between some of those talented welterweights he has in his stable. What could possibly be better than a Keith Thurman – Shawn Porter bout in early December? Or how about Thurman-Garcia? Or Garcia-Porter? Such a fight would be a big deal and – guess what? – would most likely be very easy to make.
After all, the fighters mentioned above are Haymon fighters. It’s hard to imagine any of them saying no if he indicated his desire to pit on against another, too. Besides, Thurman and Porter appear eager and willing to prove themselves (sadly, Garcia has appeared passive at best, indifferent at worst, when it comes to such matters). If these men are as good as their words, they’d be happy to make a terrific fight happen.
Will Haymon make fans’ late-year dreams come true, however? It’s impossible to tell, really. That may sound insane, but in many ways it’s an insane time for boxing. Haymon doesn’t talk to the media. What’s more, those connected to him refuse to give an inch to the media, themselves (I’ve tried to open that vein and it’s impenetrable). Therefore, fans, analysts and journalists alike are left completely in the dark. It’s frustrating. Perhaps it’s even unfair, but it is what it is.
Indeed, one of the biggest criticisms of the PBC is that there’s no rhyme nor reason to the matchmaking, at least not on the surface. Perhaps Haymon and company truly are handling their foray into (generally) free television haphazardly, perhaps not. Frankly, I feel the PBC is criticized a bit too harshly at the moment. More evidence has to come in before the entire endeavor can be condemned out of hand. And there’s those accessible fights on network television, don’t forget.
One of the things Haymon can do to earn some good publicity, of course, is to work on making a good matchup for one of those networks before the years wraps up. And what could be a better match than one highlighting two of Haymon’s top welterweights?
Time, as always, will tell the tale on this one.