By John F. McKenna (McJack)
Ironically the fight that did not happen is the biggest news story in boxing in 2011. There were other top boxing news stories in 2011 such as WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KO’s) being reduced to a mere mortal in his fight with Shane Mosley last May and more so when he won a highly controversial decision against his perennial nemesis WBA/WBO lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez (53-6-1, 39 KO’s) on November 12. Pacquiao’s stock fell significantly after his victory over Marquez to the extent that ESPN no longer considers him to be the Pound for Pound king.
Former WBA heavyweight champion David Haye (25-2, 23 KO’s) also took a big hit after his one sided loss to heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko (56-3, 49 KO’s). It wasn’t just that “The Hayemaker” lost, it was the manner in which he did it. He continually flopped to the canvas whenever “Dr. Steelhammer” came close enough to inflict any damage. The only heavyweight belt Wladimir does not now hold is the WBC belt that his brother Vitali holds.
There were numerous stories in the last few months of 2011 that gave boxing fans hope for the future. WBA/WBC and The Ring super middleweight champion Andre Ward (25-0, 13 KO’s) won the Super Six Tournament that sometimes seemed like it would never end. Ward demonstrated that he is the class of the division by dominating everyone he faced in the tournament.
WBO/WBC bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire (27-1, 18 KO’s) who scored a stunning 2nd round KO over Fernando Montiel last February promises to be around for years as an exciting fighter.
There were many disappointments like the Chad Dawson – Bernard Hopkins controversy. The word controversy seems to be synonymous with the year 2011. When former champion Amir Khan (26-1, 18 KO’s) lost to new WBA/IBF light welterweight champion Lamont Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KO’s) on December 10 the fight was rife with controversy and Golden Boy Promotions CEO plans to appeal the outcome of the fight on January 18 and 19 of 2012.
There were many other top boxing news stories in 2011. But easily the top boxing story is the failure of the powers that be to put together the one fight every boxing fan wants to see. It is an endless saga of stories that the deal is about to be made only to be followed by another denial and one of the fighters saying he is unaware that talks are even going on.
What was most frustrating to fans was that WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. (42-0, 26 KO’s) was sentenced to 90 days in jail for domestic violence yesterday.
The sentence will begin in early January. Given that Floyd has not fought since last September and may need a tune up before facing Pacquiao, the fight could be delayed indefinitely. Pacquiao may very well want to fight another opponent next May or June. The reality is that the Pacquiao – Mayweather fight may never happen.