Boxing 2011

December 28, 2010 7:06 AM


It isn’t so much "Happy New Year" as "Good Riddance Old Year."

It’s got to be better, right?

Not so fast, fans. We start out in the same alphabetical disorder that boxing has been in for years. We still have more intramural fights between promoters and networks than bouts in the ring that mean much.

The best is still to come, just maybe not in 2011 either.

We waited a whole year for Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. to settle who’s No. 1 in the game. We’re still waiting. The hall of fame still doesn’t include Freddie Brown. Maybe I’m just a cockeyed pessimist, but the changing of the calendar doesn’t overly elate me.

One thing’s for sure. I’ll still pick a lot of losers. That’s why I’m known as Old Reliable, with the accent on "Old."

The first chance to be wrong comes next week, but I shall refrain from bothering you with a selection on the light-heavyweight partial unification bout in Shymkant, Kazakhstan. It’s between two guys I never heard of, Beibut Shumenov and Jurgen Brahmer. Okay, maybe I’ve heard of them; didn’t Brahmer write a famous lullaby?

Brushing off the first "meaningful" fight of the new year, I go on to bigger stuff – 2011 in its entirety, which means Steve Farhood will be the fighter of the year since I believe that’s the only award from the Boxing Writers Association he hasn’t taken.

The year will get off to a much better start than 2010 did – remember, a January ago, the Sugar Shane Mosley-Andre Berto match was canceled because of an earthquake in Haiti. This year’s first big matchup will take place – even if it’s in Pontiac, Mich.

I would have picked Devon Alexander over Timothy Bradley in this one, but have inside information that Devon may be replaced by his sister, Brandy Alexander. No matter.

Jose Sulaiman will still demand a sanctioning fee for the first title fight between a male and female.

One of the best matchups that can be made in the lighter weights will light up February when Nonito Donaire engages Fernando Montiel. The result will lead to the pound-for-pound list being topped by two Filipinos.

Sergio Martiinez, the 2010 fighter of the year, returns March 12 to duel Miguel Cotto, except not in the ring. They will have dueling dates, right now both against TBA – Farhood’s main rival for 2011 fighter of the year.

The big news in March, though, will be Floyd Mayweather Jr. breaking out of prison, leaving behind a message on his cell wall, "Money Walks."

"Walk to me," says Sulaiman.

The WBA announces Mayweather is now its "champion in flight." The IBF merges with eBay so it can auction off fighter ratings. The WBO moans, "Wish we had thought of that."

Bob Arum is sued by AARP for putting Sugar Shane Mosley into the ring with Manny Pacquiao. "That makes it premeditated," someone argues. After having to get up off the deck a couple of times, Pacquiao announces that, as a Filipino congressman, he has arranged for asylum for Mayweather.

An airport scanner finds metal instead of bones in both hands of Antonio Margocheato, who wants to now be known as Iron Man. Somewhere in Germany, a Klitschko or two defends a heavyweight title against an unknown TBA who is just as unknown after he is announced.

Don King makes a comeback at the age of 80 and says he hopes to make the rematch between George Foreman and Evander Holyfield. Larry Holmes says, "I got next."

Mayweather changes nickname again. Now he’s the "Thrilla in Manila."

Andre Ward wins Showtime’s supermiddleweight confab by outboxing Glen Johnson. Teddy Atlas allows Alexander Povetkin to fight a Klitschko. Povetkin gets knocked out with first punch.

"See, I told you," explains Atlas.

Women’s boxing disappears. Again. A little girl named Dorothy, with a dog named Toto, clicks her ruby red slippers and all the alphabets disappear, too.

"Those are my shoes," complains Jose Sulaiman.

TBA is named fighter of the year.