By Rasec Rinba
Two things are quite popular in boxing forums these days: Fantasy Fights and Boxing Tournaments. Put the two together and you can have one of the best slugfests imaginable in boxing – a Dream Tournament.
And what better tournament is there than to pit four of the most exciting, elite boxers of the last 40 years. Coincidentally, each one is from a different decade and country. ROBERTO “Hands of Stone” DURAN of Panama, from the 70’s. AARON “The Hawk” PRYOR of USA, from the 80’s. JULIO CESAR CHAVEZ of Mexico, from the 90’s. And MANNY “Pacman” PACQUIAO of the Philippines, from the 2000’s.
So why these four? Shouldn’t Sugar Ray Leonard be included? Isn’t Floyd Mayweather’s 42-0 record enough to make it? While there are some (very few, actually) who deserve to be in this tournament, I have placed a criteria that will keep it more balanced yet extremely exciting – The Three S’s. SIZE, STYLE and STATURE.
SIZE – The best years of these four were fought within the Lightweight to Welterweight divisions. Their height is almost identical at 5’6½” to 5’7” while their body frame is also very similar. Their reach is just within 66-68 inches.
STYLE – All four were known for their aggressiveness, their relentlessness. Their style exhibited pure excitement in the ring. They loved fighting toe-to-toe. In fact, they just loved to fight. Each one also displayed terrific knock-out power.
STATURE – Of course, we couldn’t put just about any guy with an excellent record. Otherwise, Edwin Valero would be in the mix. No, a tournament such as this has to have special fighters. They have to be elite, which these four are.
Now let’s set the conditions. The fights will NOT be fought at a specific division since we will pluck the fighters out of time when they were in their very prime. The weight difference, however, should not be significant. Their primes would be:
DURAN – the one who defeated Sugar Ray Leonard. Age: 31 Weight: 145 lbs. Record : 72-1-0 (60 KO)
PRYOR – the one who knocked-out Alexis Arguello in their second fight. Age: 28 Weight: 140 lbs. Record: 34-0-0 (32 KO)
CHAVEZ – The one who dominated Hector Camacho. Age 31 Weight: 140 lbs. Record: 82-0-0 (68 KO)
PACQUIAO – The one who battered Miguel Cotto. Age: 31 Weight: 144 lbs. Record: 50-3-2 (38 KO)
With all the fighters set, below is how I believe things will turn out. So as Michael Buffer would say, “Let’s get ready to RUMMBBLE!”
ROBERTO DURAN vs. JULIO CESAR CHAVEZ
Both are come forward fighters. However, Duran has better defense and good counter-punching skills. While it will be a brutal slugfest with momentum changing every now and then, I believe Roberto will be hitting more frequently, maybe even cut Chavez mid-way.
RESULT: Duran by late TKO.
MANNY PACQUIAO vs. AARON PRYOR
This will be very fast-paced. Compubox will probably set a new record for punches thrown. Pryor will swarm while Pacquiao will fire his combinations. The tendency of Pryor to swing wildly and be careless, however, will be his undoing. Pacquiao’s accurate punching and awkward angles, plus his lateral movement, will come into play. This will cause more damage, maybe even a knock-down.
RESULT: Pacquiao by close UD
ROBERTO DURAN vs. AARON PRYOR
Pryor will try to out hustle Duran and will probably win some early rounds. But Duran’s solid chin and sound technical style would slowly bring him in for some serious body-punching. Pryor has been known to be dropped several times in the first round by average fighters. With Duran’s power, it will only be a matter of time before he breaks down Pryor.
RESULT: Duran by late KO
MANNY PACQUIAO vs. JULIO CESAR CHAVEZ
Chavez is a terrific pressure fighter but has had problems with fast opponents. JC will connect with his left hook and right straight many times but Pacquiao’s fast hands and movement will hit a lot more. Chavez’s granite chin and sturdy determination will prevent any knock-down in this match-up.
RESULT: Pacquiao by UD
JULIO CESAR CHAVEZ vs. AARON PRYOR
Pryor will be all over Chavez from the get-go but JC will push forward, closing the gap for some serious hooks to the body. Chavez might even drop Pryor but speed will once again play a major role in this match-up. Chavez will be hit more times and the Hawk will capitalize in the latter rounds.
RESULT: Pryor by late TKO
ROBERTO DURAN vs. MANNY PACQUIAO
Pacquiao’s speed and combinations will be a problem for Duran. However, Pacquiao’s tendency to go toe-to-toe will be a big mistake against an opponent who can brawl and counter-punch as well as Duran. Crunching body punches will take its toll and cause Manny to slow down.
RESULT: Duran by late KO
At the end of the tournament, the results would be:
Duran 3 wins (3 KO), 0 losses
Pacquiao 2 wins (0 KO), 1 loss
Pryor 1 win (1 KO), 2 losses
Chavez 0 wins, 3 losses
DURAN WINS THE TOURNAMENT!
However, I would note that if every fight above had a rematch, I believe all the result s would be the same except for the Duran-Pacquiao match. You see, Manny Pacquiao has a great trainer in Freddie Roach. Although Manny sometimes goes out of his game-plan, like fighting toe-to-toe when he shouldn’t, in a loss, he would listen fully to his trainer. Evidence of this is the Eric Morales trilogy. What’s more, Roach would come in with a better game-plan while Duran will probably fight the same, just like in his second bout with Sugar Ray Leonard the “No Mas” fight. For the rematch, Pacquiao would most likely fight the way he did against Oscar De La Hoya- cautious, using his speed and movement to out punch his opponent and get out of the way. He won’t fight toe-to-toe that much and this will frustrate Duran. While Duran can cut off the ring well, Manny’s constant movement and work-rate will still be enough to do more damage. In a rematch, I believe the outcome will be a close UD or SD for Pacquiao.
I could be completely wrong or completely right. Who knows? But in the end, I think everyone would agree this would be the tournament to end all tournaments.
This is my opinion. What’s your take on it?
Got an Opinion? Submit Your Articles and Press Releases to be posted on NowBoxing.com
*Please refrain from leaving any Racist, Profane or Derogatory comments*