Rizwaan Zahid

Arthur Abraham vs. Carl Froch could be a classic

A disappointing year
isn't over yet,
and exciting fights loom

By Rizwaan Zahid

There have been more then a few letdowns this year in the world of boxing. Numerous injuries have occurred, and many super fights have fallen through. But these next four months could be tremendous for fight fans.
It may not be the year we had envisioned, since Mayweather and Pacquiao did not tangle, nor did the Klitsckhos and David Haye. But the sport could salvage so far what has been a disappointing year for boxing fans around the world. Let’s try to be optimistic as we look at the matchups that will take us out of 2010:

Arthur Abraham (31-1, 25 KOs) vs. Carl Froch (26-1, 20 KOs) on October 2 is part of the Super Six tourney, which already makes it an entertaining fight -- even more important now that, with Mikkel Kessler pulling out, it becomes a semifinal. Both guys have heavy hands and solid chins, making for a very interesting fight. Abraham is bouncing back after his disqualification loss to Andre Dirrell and Froch is also coming back from his lone defeat against Kessler. I expect both to fight with urgency. Each man has a very unique style, which means no one knows what to expect in this bout. The WBC has not officially sanctioned the fight, but expect that to happen in the coming days, which adds even more importance.
There haven't been a lot of “fight of the year” candidates so far, and this one has the potential to be great.

Juan Manuel Lopez (29-0, 26 KOs) vs. Rafael Marquez (39-5, 34 KOs) on November 6 figures to be a sure-fire "fight of the year" candidate.
The disappointing thing about Marquez’s fight against Israel Vasquez this was that Israel was pretty worn out and shouldn’t have been in the ring to begin with. With the amount of damage Vasquez’s eyes had taken in his previous fight against unknown Angel Priolo, no one could’ve expected hin to compete on such a high level so quickly.
Meanwhile, Juan Manuel Lopez has continued his dominance over fighters, even when appearing to be vulnerable. In his last fight, Juanma dropped Bernabe Concepcion in the first round, but was caught by a wild hook and went down himself in the opening stanza. He got back up to drop his opponent two more times in the second for an impressive TKO.
Lopez and Marquez both have tremendous power, skill, and both have shown glimpses of vulnerability, which makes their fights that much more entertaining. It’s hard to see, after only three rounds this year, if Marquez is truly back at the top of his game. He may be 35, but if his brother Juan Manuel Marquez is any indication, he has a couple of years left. The two brothers have different styles, though, and we’ll find out against Lopez if Rafael has enough to contend on the top once again..

Juan Manuel Marquez (51-5, 37 KOs) vs. Michael Katsidis (27-2, 21 KOs), on Nov. 27th, features Rafael’s brother -- once again the top lightweight in the world -- fresh off of his superb win over Juan Diaz. Marquez will be 38 at fight time and he could turn old overnight, but he's a great tactician, which makes him an excellent fighter. He can brawl, but he also has great boxing ability, which has contributed to his longevity.
In the opposite corner is one of the most entertaining fighters today. Michael Katsidis is a warrior in every sense of the word and is very heavy handed. After setbacks against Joel Casamayor and Juan Diaz, the Aussie has ripped through his opposition, including a recent third-round destruction of Britain’s highly touted ,previously undefeated Kevin Mitchell. Katsidis fights like he has nothing to lose and everything to gain each time. He only knows how to come forward. This could be his time to shine.
Both men have a never-say-die mentality and have the ability to recover quickly when hurt. This also has "fight of the year" written all over it.

These fights are the fights that have been confirmed, and there are plenty fights that are floating around the rumor mill, or waiting for final details to be tweaked. Rumors first indicated that Paul Williams-Sergio Martinez II was on, however that has taken a step back and both sides are remaining quiet. If that fight does come off, it’ll have a chance again to contend with the other fights for “fight of the year." There’s also Miguel Cotto, who’ll likely take on Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on December 4.
We can’t forget the bantamweight doubleheader on December 4, which is likely to go head to head with the Cotto-Chavez fight. Joseph Agbeko (27-2, 22 KOs) and Yohnny Perez (20-0-1, 14 KOs) will go at it again, as will Vic Darchinyan (35-2-1, 27 KOs) and Abner Mares (20-0, 13 KOs). While I don’t expect either of these to take the "fight of the year" award, I do expect tough, good fights from the best in that division.
The best fighting the best … isn’t that what the real fights of the year are made of?


More columns
by Rizwaan Zahid:

Cunningham's thumb, not his fist, ended fight with Troy Ross

The search for boxing's next 'star'

Monte Barrett: The career of a dedicated fighter

Allan Green was not Super Six material

The mess at junior welterweight

Khan & Ortiz figure to beat savvy vets

Haye and Adamek: A report card after 3 fights

Joan Guzman: Best welterweight in the lightweight division

Devon Alexander/Female Boxing

Impressive U.S. debut for Campillo

Williams ready to punish at 147

Happy birthday, Champ!

Stars to Shine in 2010

The Grinches steal Christmas

Malignaggi-Diaz showed why instant replay is needed

Williams, Martinez show why they're avoided

Lucian Bute impresses America, and the world

James Kirkland: So promising, yet so wasteful

Suspension for foul language? That's bull$#:+!!!

Pacquiao-Cotto: Who wins?

Super Six Will Still Have Controversies

Haye, Angulo proved little

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Rizwaan Zahid

Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Rizwaan Zahid is a recent graduate from Carleton University's School of Journalism and Communication Program, and is currently pursuing his aspiration of becoming a professional sports journalist.
Although relatively young, Rizwaan has shown his passion of writing the beautiful sport of boxing and has worked with Bragging Rights Corner, Boxing Banter, Diamond Boxing,
Fightfan.com, East Side Boxing as well as The Fight Network for over three years. With Fightfan.com, Rizwaan has been awarded the feature article of the month numerous times.
Over these past few years, Rizwaan has interviewed and conducted conferences with fighters and trainers such as Jeff Mayweather, Jermaine Taylor, Kelly Pavlik, Oscar De La Hoya, Roy Jones Jr., Jackie Kallen, Wayne McCullough, Manny Pacquaio, Wladimir Klitsckho and Emmanuel Steward.
  Rizwaan still has a strong passion for many other sports and has covered various sports in The Charlatan, Carleton University's newspaper. Rizwaan has also worked with PHASE 1 Basketball, a camp based out of Toronto which is a showcase for the best basketball Canada has to offer on various levels, as well as the Out of Left Field blog which attracts numerous readers daily.
Rizwaan Zahid hopes to continue his efforts in journalism in the world of sports.

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