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My 2014 Wish List – Boxing News

 wladimir klitschko By Olly Campbell: Since starting to publish on BN24, I ve asked for and received many comments and suggestions with regards to my articles, most of which are warmly received. Just yesterday, after my piece on Wladimir Klitschko, I received an email from a reader asking me to draw up a list of the top ten British.fights I d like to see in 2014. Now, mentioning comments, I have also been asked to write about international boxing a little bit more.

So without ignoring our American cousins in particular, I have drawn up a top 5 list of fights that I personally would love to see this year.

Of the five, I believe ALL could potentially be made, and some however are a little more serious than others, yet I hope you would agree that should they come off, they would be amongst the best of the scraps that could be put together this year. With almost a month behind us already, I wonder what our chances are?

In no particular order, here is my list:

At number one I m pitching THE must see match of the 175lb light-heavyweight division. That is of course, Adonis Superman Stevenson vs Sergey Kovalev, aka The Krusher .

Now I can t imagine that there is a genuine boxing fan on the planet who doesn t want to see this mouth-watering unification clash take place soon. Canada s late bloomer, Adonis (36) against the 30 year old Russian is a genuine clash of knockout proportions. The obvious appeal is just that; both guys have dynamite in their gloves.

Kovalev had the slightly busier 2013, the highlight of which was his brutal destruction of Welshman Nathan Cleverly to win the WBO strap.

Any Brits watching that fight who had not heard of Kovalev before, went away remembering his name. In the toughest of his defenses to date, Cleverly abandoned any so called plans to box and move the moment he tasted the Russians power. The beating Kovalev administered was so clinical and comprehensive, no return to the ring for Nathan, at light-heavy or cruiserweight has yet materialized.

In what could be a confidence shattering defeat, fights have been announced and then cancelled, showcasing just how severe the battering Kovalev dished out was. With 21 early finishes from 23 fights, the big punching Russian also dismantled Gabriel Campillo, Cornelius White and supposed up and comer Ismayl Sillakh last year. There can be no doubt the WBO king is one of the 175lb divisions brightest stars.

And his opposite number must be the Superman, Stevenson. Equally powerful and arguably the superior technician, the counter punching leftie also had a big 2013. We saw the destruction of Bad Chad Dawson inside a round and then a seven round beating of Tavoris Cloud.

Capping off his year with a beat-down of a very cagey Tony Bellew, Adonis already has a defense scheduled for May against Andrzej Fontara (25-2) before he could even consider Kovalev. Despite both old man Hopkins and Jean Pascal waiting in the wings, I think yhe fight for the fans has to be Kovalev vs Stevenson, and boy is it a tough one to call. The Russian is a real pressure fighting bully who hits often and hard, yet Stevenson, who loves to counter, could potentially be made for him.with that devastating left hand of his.

Either way, I think this fight is truly one for the fans, and with two such noted punchers, your money would have to be on someone getting knocked out.

My number two is a fight I ve already speculated on in recent articles, but nonetheless it still deserves its place in my top 5. It is of course the UK super-fight between George Groves and Carl Froch, in a score settling sizzler of a rematch.

So much has been made of the controversial nature of the stoppage. It s the kind of topic that quickly becomes repetitive as there is no definitive answer as to whether Howard Foster jumped in too soon.

The best we have in terms of supporting evidence is the recent IBF ruling in response to a Groves appeal, ordering a rematch. Froch has 90 days; defend or vacate. Now I ve been accused, quite unfairly, of being anti-Froch by some of the commentators on here.

I consider this quite unfair as I m a long time supporter of Carl. As I ve stated many times, he is a tough, proud warrior who has represented us Brits time and again on the world stage at the very highest level. Yet the facts cannot be dressed up.

Groves gave him.a boxing lesson back in November, and the Carl Froch in the ring that night had aged badly. Maybe, as die hard Froch fans keep reminding me, it was just a bad night. Perhaps it was, though let s not forget that Carl is far nearer 40 than 30 now and age slows a fighter down.

When you couple that with the toll the wars he has been in must have taken, you are skirting dangerously close to past his best territory. Carl has never been great against slick fighters. Dirrell was a hometown decision victim, Ward outclassed him and Groves boxes slickly as well.

Yes, they say. Never count Carl out. He drags fighters into deep water and finishes them then.

Look at the Taylor fight they tell me. But he was behind in that fight and was well on the way to a points loss before THAT knockout, which WAS spectacular. I don t hate Froch, far from it.

I simply don t think he wants anymore of Groves. If you believe Eddie Hearn that Groves wants more money, fine. I believe it too, but we don t REALLY know if he was offered more or less than the 15% he should get under IBF rules.

Carl Froch is nearing the end, and is looking for the easiest fight for the best money, hence Chavez Jr. PPV in the States wouldn t pay SO much more than a Groves 2. The fact is, Froch got outclassed by a fighter who was 11yrs younger, faster, slicker and more talented than he though he was.

Not to mention the power. Groves wasn t the only one in there with power that night and Carl Froch knows it. Arrogance and underestimating his challenger were Carl s downfalls, and I believe he wants no part of that for a second time.

Number three is a fight that perhaps shouldn t or won t be made just yet, though is one I ve written about before.

However, for this choice I m introducing a third option, someone both men could fight to get a bonafide world level name on their resumes. They are Kell Brook, from.Sheffield, England and Keith Thurman, Florida boxing s hottest property. The man that both could face, as I ve again said before, is pillow handed, feather-fisted, yet talented, experienced New York fighter, Paulie Malignaggi.

I know American readers aren t sold on Brook.

Ex world title holder and Malignaggi victim Vyaschlev Senchenko is the main name on his resume. Senchenko being the man who also cruelly ended Ricky Hatton s comeback plans. But who is the best on Thurman s record?

Chavez? or Soto Karass? the man who finished Andre Berto?

My point is both men are highly talented and would make for a great little contest in my opinion as I rate both of them highly. It s sad that Brook has been hampered by injury and had to pull out of facing Devon Alexander. The idea peddled by some of the comment trolls that he was scared is absurd!.

However we all know Shawn Porter upset the applecart by beating Devon last year to change that situation. So Kell should ideally be his first defence.

As Thurman and Malignaggi have been heated in the past, I would say Paulie is the best foot forward for GBP and Thurman. Here in the UK it seems Golden Boy fighters are often the most hyped, however, equally it seems not all of them are the best.

This is perhaps evidenced by another young American star who is part of my number four on the wish list. This is another fight I ve been shouting from the rooftops about.

Of course, its Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury. If you follow my articles on BN24, you will know that I m a big fan of getting these two in the ring.

If I were a promoter, my heart would tell me this is a great fight, the kind of match where somebody is going to likely get found out . My head would sadly say that its not best for business however and most probably leave it alone for now, though that won t stop its appeal to.the proper fan and hopefully it could be one for the future.

Fury, after a routine fight next month to get the springs oiled looks set to face Dereck Chisora in the summer in a rehash, or should I say, rematch, of their 2011 British title fight. Don t get me wrong, that was an enjoyable contest that saw Del Boy lose his 0 in the first of a series of defeats over the coming years, falling also to Robert Helenius, Vitali Klitschko and David Haye.

Helenius aside; quality opposition. But for both Fury and him, it seems pointless. As does this proposed match up between Wilder and a man who doesn t understand the nature of a count when down, Malik Scott.

Two massive guys, wide open styles.

Wilder with a punchers chance and Fury with a lions (or gypsy s) heart, US vs UK, what could be more of an exciting kick start for heavyweight boxing? Its a division that is screaming out for excitement, and with a character like Tyson Fury, such a usually boring event like a press conference can become a spectacle. By signing to fight David Haye, Fury proved he is no coward, so some of the talk from Camp Wilder is ridiculous.

He may end up one day being too game for his own good, but I say Fury fights anybody. That includes Deontay Wilder, and for as long as Wilder is pegged as a serious American contender, this fight can only do good for heavyweight boxing.

My last choice is just a bit of fun. It won t happen, probably ever, and certainly not this year, but its a match I ve been thinking about for a while.

Well, at least since one of the fighters, Amir Khan, faced Zab Judah anyway. I m not even going to break it down like the others as I don t really want the discussion for/against it overlooking the more serious choices that I ve made above. But seeing as Khan v Mayweather and all the speculation surrounding it has kicked off, I ve been wondering more and more how Khan vs Pacquiao would stand up against it?

I ve probably signed my own death warrant there, but stylistically its a better fight than Khan and Mayweather. As a commited non comment chaser like some writers who only deal in TMT and Pac, I m going to leave it there with that one. Probably best left unsolved, really, as they said in the legendary movie This is Spinal Tap.

I hope you have enjoyed my wishlist choices, and limiting myself for brevity, five was enough.

As you can imagine.

I could have written for hours and hours on potentials, so I shall leave that up to you, friends of the comment section.

As always, your time reading and sharing thoughts through comments, Facebook or email is warmly welcomed.

Olly Campbell, Olly.Campbell666

Thanks as always.

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