Seventeen Fights for 2015: Did they happen?
WBN’s gathering of fights in each weight-class that should happen in 2015 produced just three of the contests from the wishlist published last January.
Each year, World Boxing News pick out the one fight that would be a standout clash in each of the divisions and see two of the best square off against each other for the good of the sport.
Here’s a run-down of which encounters made the 2015 list and also which ones made it over the finish line:
Heavyweight – Wladimir Klitschko v Deontay Wilder
It was hoped that Deontay Wilder’s victory over Bermane Stiverne in their WBC title clash would set up an undisputed unification with Wladimir Klitschko in the summer. That failed to come to fruition due to Klitschko’s mandatory obligation to Tyson Fury, who eventually took the Ukrainian’s four belts ahead of a 2016 rematch.
Cruiserweight – Marco Huck v Tony Bellew
A WBO title clash between long-time belt holder Marco Huck and Tony Bellew had been talked about for Goodison Park in the summer of 2015, although never looked likely all year and Huck was dethroned by Krzystof Glowacki when opting to take his career to the United States.
Light heavyweight – Sergey Kovalev v Adonis Stevenson
Everybody wanted to see 175lb champions Sergey Kovalev and Adonis Stevenson trade punches in 2015 to find out once and for all who is the best in the division. A WBC ordered purse bid ended up paling into insignificance as Kovalev and Stevenson continued to move in opposite directions. The addition of Andre Ward to the weight class though has now made the light-heavyweight ranks far more interesting for the coming year.
Super middleweight – Andre Ward v Gennady Golovkin
Andre Ward v Gennady Golovkin was reportedly in talks at one point during the year, but never made it to fruition and is now further away than ever as a 15 pound weight difference has opened up between them.
Middleweight – Miguel Cotto v Canelo Alvarez
The fight took place in November with Canelo Alvarez winning a unanimous decision in Las Vegas.
Light middleweight – Erislandy Lara v Jermell Charlo
WBA ‘regular’ champion Erislandy Lara has struggled to nail down a big name opponent as an established member of the ‘Who Needs Him Club’, whilst Jermell Charlo is attempting to catch up with his now world title holder brother Jermall.
Welterweight – Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao
As we all know, Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao happened on May 2 breaking all pay-per-view records previously. Winner Mayweather later retired under a cloud on 49-0 with a routine win over Andre Berto.
Light welterweight – Terence Crawford v Adrien Broner
Terence Crawford hadn’t yet moved up to 140 pounds when named on the list to face Adrien Broner at light welterweight, but did so successfully in April and is firmly established at the weight despite a fight against ‘The Problem’ being off the menu. ‘Bud’ currently waits on a possible fight with Manny Pacquiao in April.
Lightweight – Richar Abril v Anthony Crolla
Anthony Crolla was handed a place on this year’s list due to the unfortunate way he was ruled of a world title challenge with Richar Abril towards the back end of 2014. Crolla eventually faced Darleys Perez for the WBA title twice this year, drawing one and winning the other and is gearing up for a world title defense in 2016.
Super featherweight – Takashi Miura v Jhonny Gonzalez
Both fighters suffered damaging defeats in 2015 and will be aiming to get back in the world title hunt in the New Year.
Featherweight – Nicholas Walters v Vasyl Lomachenko
A massive battle to decide the number featherweight in the world remains a possibility as both are signed to Top Rank.
Super bantamweight – Guillermo Rigondeaux v Carl Frampton
As Guillermo Rigondeaux found himself without a world championship at the end of 2015, Carl Frampton is gearing up to battle UK rival Scott Quigg in a 2016 unification.
Bantamweight – Tomoki Kameda v Jamie McDonnell
The pair met twice in 2015 in May and September with Jamie McDonnell coming out on top on both occasions.
Super flyweight – Naoya Inoue v Carlos Cuadras
With both holding world titles at the weight, it is hoped a fight can still happen in 2016.
Flyweight – Roman Gonzalez v Juan Carlos Reveco
Juan Carlos Reveco was busy tied up to two fights with Kazuto Ioka in 2015, whilst Roman Gonzalez is widely regarded as the new successor to pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Light flyweight – Pedro Guevara v Donnie Nietes
Donnie Nietes continues his reign as WBO champion, although Pedro Guevara eventually lost his WBC version in November.
Minimumweight – Katsunari Takayama v Hekkie Budler
Despite both fighters wanting to defend their respective world titles against each other, the fight remains on hold for the time being.