The dethroned WBO champion must throw his hat in the ring to face the returning ‘Gypsy King’ before the year is out if he wants to return to the top.
Let’s face it, 2016 has hardly been a vintage year for boxing. Fight fans have been left frustrated over the past 12 months as promotional spats, poor matchmaking and blatant ducking has prevented the best from facing the best. But it hasn’t been all bad. Here is our top three tear-ups of the year.
In years gone by, you could spend hours or even days debating who deserves the accolade of ‘fighter of the year’. Not so in 2016. In a dire year for the sport, there was a consensus among journalists and fans over who should get the nod for their efforts in the last 12 months.
What makes a great round? A memorable three minutes of fighting usually contains several knockdowns, back-and-forth action, or a dramatic shift in momentum between the two fighters in the ring. With that in mind, Knockoutpunch picks out the best three rounds of the last 12 months.
The Filipino legend enjoyed a stellar 2016, with quality wins over Timothy Bradley Jr in April and the unbeaten Jesse Vargas in November to regain a portion of the welterweight world title. But who should the 38-year-old fight next time he steps inside the square circle? Have your say in our poll.
In an age of catchweight clashes, boxing fans have become accustomed to fighters jumping weight classes to take on bigger foes for larger pay cheques. But when it becomes apparent that the smaller fighter has little chance of bridging the gap in size and power, the paying public can be left feeling a bit shortchanged.
When Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez stepped up to face Floyd Mayweather Jr in the most lucrative fight in boxing history last September, the 23-year-old was cruelly exposed over 12 one-sided rounds. His next opponent, Cuba’s Erislandy Lara, is confident he can do the same in Las Vegas on July 12.
Earlier this month, Floyd Mayweather was pushed to the limit by Argentine slugger Marcos Maidana, winning a close majority decision. Did ‘El Chino’ do enough to earn a rematch or should Mayweather face a new opponent on his return to the ring in September? Share your thoughts in our poll.