A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
The Five Best Fighters For 2007
IOWA CITY, Ia. — The biggest boxing news of 2007 is the emergence of Floyd Mayweather. Mayweather won two of the biggest fights this year and in the process, finally gained the respect that has always been lacking.
Mayweather defeated Oscar De La Hoya by outthinking the Golden Boy. He got in his shots, while deflecting Oscar’s volume of punches through his defensive skills. He did not beat up De La Hoya, he outsmarted him.
Against Hatton, he out fought the tough Britain. Mayweather went toe to toe with Hatton and often beat him on the inside. Hatton’s strategy was to bully Mayweather to tire out the boxer but in the later rounds.
But it was Hatton who ran out of gas and it was Mayweather, who looked the fresher of the two. Mayweather’s left hook that sent Hatton down in the 10th was one of boxing great left hooks in a big event. He can now be mentioned in the same breath as other great boxers just as Sugar Ray Robinson
Another superstar who finally got his due was Joe Calzaghe. In the match up of the two best Super Middleweights, Calzaghe persevered over Mikkel Kessler by adjusting during the fight. He stood more sideways starting in the fifth round; thus giving Kessler a smaller target.
In the eighth round, a Calzaghe right hook sent Kessler reeling to the floor and nearly ended the fight right there. If the referee did not stop and admonish Calzaghe for hitting and holding, he may have stopped Kessler.
From that point, Calzaghe dominated the later rounds. Great fighters find ways to win the big fights. Calzaghe, like Mayweather, never got his full due but like Mayweather, he is still undefeated.
Kelly Pavlik started the year by stopping the tough knockout artist Edison Miranda and then challenged Jermain Taylor for the true Middleweight champion. Whereas Mayweather and Calzaghe used guile and their experience to win, Pavlik attacked and attacked.
Pavlik only knows one way to fight and that straight ahead whlte throwing punch after punch. In the second round, Taylor put Pavlik down and went for the kill but Pavlik survived and in the seventh round, Pavlik snatched victory from the jaws of victory as he stopped the undefeated Taylor.
Behind on cards after six round, Pavlik allowed his power to settle matter. In a fight that featured two young fighters entering their prime, Pavlik took the first match and the rematch is schedule for February.
Chad Dawson stopped the undefeated Polish light heavyweight Tomasz Adamek and since then has defended his title two times. Dawson is the best American light heavyweight and in a division full of talented fighters, Dawson has a chance to become a superstar, Taylor, Pavlik and Dawson have the potential to become superstars over the next few years in the Middleweight through light heavyweights.
Oscar De La Hoya belongs to this list not for what he did in the ring but what he did outside the ring. Golden Boy Promotion had the two biggest PPV boxing events, the first being Mayweather-Oscar De La Hoya and the second one being Hatton-Mayweather.
De La Hoya has parlayed his popularity to start his own promotion company and allying himself with other superstar fighters like Bernard Hopkins, Shane Mosley and Marco Antonio Barrera; he had superstar fighters to build his company around.
De La Hoya is part of new tradition of fighters taking their careers in their hands. Mayweather and Roy Jones have their own promotional companies, joining De La Hoya as combination of fighters and promoters.
The real question is whether these men can translate their successes in the ring to a long term successes after their ring career is finally over.
Dawson, Pavlik, Calzaghe and Mayweather prove to be four of the best fighters in 2007. Mayweather and Calzaghe only confirmed their greatness whereas Dawson and Pavlik showed that they may be the future.
De La Hoya showed a new way for fighters to compete with promoters by forming their promotional careers and compete with the old line promoters.