Not A Second Too Soon – Good News From Showtime Boxing
By: Sean Crose
Let’s not kid ourselves, 2016 has been a slow and painful year for fight fans. Indeed, it looked for a bit as if the sport had literally ground to a halt. On Tuesday, however, Showtime gave fans some very good news. For, on top of an interesting November and December, boxing will have a lively first few months of 2017, thanks in large part to – wait for it – team Al Haymon. December 10th will give the world Jermall Charlo and Julian Williams, a terrific match, along with Abner Mares and Jesus Cuellar, another nice pairing. Added to other fights on the boxing horizon, like Pacquiao-Vargas and Kovalev-Ward, and the end of the year may indeed end up being more bearable that at first thought.
Then there’s early 2017, which also looks promising (courtesy of team Haymon). The first two weeks of January gives us James DeGale and Badou Jack. Then, on the 28th, fans will view the rematch between Leo Santa Cruz and Carl Frampton. Considering their first fight was most likely a fight of the year candidate, the second go round between the two should be well worth looking forward to. That night will also give the world Dejan Zlaticanin versus the ultra talented Mikey Garcia.
February will offer Adrien Broner facing off against Adrian Granados, while March will provide the long awaited welterweight throwdown between Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman…provided, of course, that Garcia defeats Samuel Vargas when they meet next month. To be sure, there is much to like about this lineup. And, make no mistake about it, the news didn’t arrive a moment too soon. I’ve been a boxing fan my entire life and I’ve never seen my fellow fight lovers as distraught as I’ve seen them lately. Yup – morale has been that low.
The question now, of course, is how long will the good times roll. Let’s be honest with ourselves – boxing, and team Haymon, in particular, doesn’t concern itself much with the satisfaction of fans…at least it hasn’t. And while it’s good to see things looking up for the moment, it’s okay to ask what happens next. Still, good news is good news and Tuesday’s announcements are indeed welcome news to a starving fight world. Here’s to a solid winter of boxing. Let’s hope it carries through to the spring and beyond. The fans truly deserve it.