WBN posted ‘A fight to hope for in 2012’ last January and now is the time to review whether or not some the stated match-ups made it to the ring out the seventeen chosen for each weight category.
Vitali Klitschko v David Haye
There has been much talk of the contest happening this year and next, but it now seems to be down to whether or not WBC champion Vitali is ready to fight one more time before his retirement.
Antonio Tarver v Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Tarver lost his IBO title outside of the ring following a rumoured positive drugs test, whilst Wlodarczyk overcame Francisco Palacios in his solitary defence of the WBC championship last September. A fight between the two was rumoured at one point, but ultimately failed to materialize.
Nathan Cleverly v Enzo Maccarinelli
Former WBO cruiserweight champion Maccarinelli began the year with a chance of facing compatriot Cleverly at some point in the future, although a commonwealth title defeat to Ovill McKenzie has once again put the Swansea fighter’s career in bout.
Andre Ward v Lucian Bute
Injuries have hampered any attempt by WBC and WBA champion Ward to improve on his Super-Six success, whilst Bute travelled to the UK to face former world champion Carl Froch and was resoundingly beaten in one of the shocks on 2012.
*Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. v Sergio Martinez
The contest took place on September 15 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas and turned out to be a real Fight of the Year contender. Although Martinez dominated the vast majority of the contest, Chavez almost produced a stunning knockout in the final round as the Argentinian scrambled to make it through the final three minutes.
Saul Alvarez v Miguel Cotto
Although the fight failed to materialize in 2012, there is persistent talk that it could happen next year – even on the back of Cotto’s second straight defeat. The Puerto Rican lost out to WBA champion Austion Trout after falling earlier in the year to Floyd Mayweather and is now looking to rebuild his career.
Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao
The clash that everyone in boxing has wanted to happen at some point in time has lost some of it’s sparkle after Juan Manuel Marquez pulled off a sensational KO earlier this month to end most of the speculation that it could happen in 2013. The fight was in the running for the first two months of the year as both sides haggled, but was never really in any danger of coming to fruition.
Lamont Peterson v Timothy Bradley
Peterson’s steroid headlines put paid to his rematch with Amir Khan early on in 2012 and after the American’s career stalled, there had been talk of the two fighting on the back of Bradley’s controversial upset win over Manny Pacquiao. A possible for 2013.
Yuriorkis Gamboa v Brandon Rios
Gamboa v Rios was signed at one point in the year, until a contractual dispute between the Cuban and Top Rank led to the cancellation of the April 14 clash. Richard Abril stepped in and lost via a contentious split decision to ‘Bam Bam’ and the American has now moved up to 140.
Adrien Broner v Jhonny Gonzalez
A move up to 130lbs never seemed likely from the outset for WBC featherweight champion Gonzales, who made a successful defence of his title in April before losing his belt to a rejuvenated Daniel Ponce De Leon. The two fighter’s ended the year two divisions apart as Broner claimed the WBC lightweight title.
Chris John v Billy Dib
Chris John v Billy Dib remained a possible unification all year as IBF champion Dib continually stated his desire to face the Indonesian legend. Dib’s decision to sign with 50 Cent midway through the year may have ended any chance of Dib fighting John anywhere other than in the USA and the fight is still a possible for the New Year.
*Nonito Donaire v Toshiaki Nishioka
The two respected warriors clashed on October 13 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California, where Donaire proved once again, as he did all year, that he deserves to be considered one of the world’s best fighters by downing the Japanese fighter twice on his way to a ninth round stoppage and Nishioka’s retirement.
Jorge Arce v Abner Mares
With Mexican compatriots Arce and Mares both moving swiftly into the 122lb division, a battle at bantamweight was never on the cards. Arce went on to lose to Nonito Donaire towards the end of the year and swiftly announced his retirement from fighting.
Hugo Cazares v Tomonobu Shimizu II
Injuries kept Cazares out for most of 2012, whilst Shimizu lost the world title belt he took from the Mexican in his first defence as he went down in nine rounds to Tepparith Kokietgym and is yet to fight since.
Pongsaklek Wonjongkam v Hernan ‘Tyson’ Marquez
A disastrous year for Wonjongkam saw the former WBC Champion of the Decade lose twice and announce his retirement following some bad stoppages. Marquez on the other hand lost a unification to Brian Viloria and is now linked to a rematch.
Donnie Nietes v Roman Gonzalez
Both fighter’s ended the year with world titles, although talk of a unification is yet to gather any real pace.
Kazuto Ioka v Nkosinathi Joyi
Ioka relinquished his world titles following a unification win over Akira Yaegashi in June and now challenges for the WBA light-flyweight title on New Year’s Eve, whilst Joyi is rebuilding following the loss of his IBF title to Mario Rodriguez in September.