By Jackie Kallen
Now that the Ward/Pavlik fight is off due to Ward’s shoulder injury, what do boxing fans have to look forward to in the first couple of months of 2013? We want the momentum to keep rolling along, but although there are not yet any super-fights on the immediate horizon, there are some entertaining matches.
To start things off, junior middleweight Derek Ennis will be a stepping stone for 23 year old undefeated Jonathan Gonzalez. The December 4 fight in Miami will give fans an idea just how good the 15-0 (13 KOs) Puerto Rican kid is. He has unquestionable punching power and a win against the boxer from Philly would be another notch on his belt. It’s a hot division and fans want to know if Gonzalez is a player.
Another Gonzales–Brandon–is also working his way up the hill. At 16-0, he is putting his undefeated record on the line January 11 in New Mexico against 12-4-1 Don Mouton. This won’t be too much of a test for Brandon, but it’s good to start the year off with some activity. The main event on this card is a face-off between John Molina and Dannie Williams. This will be Molina’s first fight since getting stopped in the first round in September by Antonio DeMarco. He needs a big win here.
Top Rank is putting on a fight card at Madison Square Garden on January 19 that has some good title matches. Seemingly unstoppable Gennady Golovkin from Germany will face Gabriel Rosado for the WBA middleweight title. Considering Golovkin’s almost 90% KO ratio–Rosado will surely be fighting an uphill battle. But miracles do happen and Rosado is a good kid, hoping to shake up the world that night.
On the same card, Roman Martinez and Juan Carlos Burgos face off for the WBO 130-pound belt. Both have only one loss on their records and this could end up being the fight of the night. In the third title fight, Orlando Salido and undefeated Miguel Angel Garcia go to war for the WBO Featherweight title. The 32 year old Salido may be facing an ugly upset when he steps in the ring against Garcia, who knocks out almost everyone who fights him. Look for the belt to end up on Garcia’s waist.
The month winds down with a January 26 fight in Las Vegas between Lucas Martin Matthysse and Henry Lundy for the interim WBC Junior Middleweight belt. Both fighters have two losses. Matthysse lost to both Devon Alexander and Zab Judah by decision. Lundy got stopped in the 11th round when he fought John Molina and was also down in the eighth round. Matthysse can bang so Lundy is in for a real test.
February starts off with a Chicago fight card on the 1st that pits some veterans against each other. Carlos Molina (20-5-2) will go up against Cory Spinks (39-7). Either man could win and the 154 pound scene won’t be effected in any way. But it could be a fun fight to watch. On the same card, Antwone Smith and Jose Louis Castillo battle for welterweight supremacy. Look for Castillo to take the game Smith out. He may be on the old side (39) but Castillo can still punch.
The next night in Albany, New York, two undefeated heavyweights put their 0s on the line. Joe Hanks (21-0) takes on Richard Carmack (12-0) in an NABA title fight. Although the heavyweight division hasn’t been too exciting these past few years, we are all hoping that an American prospect will emerge and take over the title. I am not sure if either of these men will be “the one” but this will give fans an idea of their potential.
On February 9 at Barclay Center in Brooklyn, undefeated Danny Garcia will fight Zab Judah for the WBA and WBC Junior Welterweight belts. This could be one of those “changing of the guard” fights where the 24 year old sensation sends the 35 year-old former champ into retirement. The co-main features undefeated middleweight Peter Quillin against Fernando Guerrero. With only one loss on his record, Guerrero has a chance. This has the potential to be a barn-burner. Also on the card, Dmitri Salita and Danny Jacobs.
On February 16, Adrien Broner steps into the ring again in Atlantic City. Not sure yet who the opponent will be, but Jonathon Banks faces Seth Mitchell for a rematch on the same card at the Boardwalk Hall.
On February 23, championship boxing returns to Detroit as Cornelius (K0) Bundrage faces Ishe Smiith for the IBF Light Middleweight belt and Devon Alexander puts his 24-1 record on the line against undefeated Kelli Brook, who sports a clean 29-0 record. 14-0 J’Leon Love is on the undercard.
So, although there are no names like Mayweather, Alvarez, or Marquez on the marquee, there will be some interesting and pivotal match-ups.
Jackie Kallen is a boxing manager who has been in the business for over three decades. Her life inspired the Meg Ryan film “Against the Ropes” and she was a part of the NBC series “The Contender.” www.JackieKallen.com, www.facebook.com/JackieKallen