December is usually a slow month with little to offer for boxing fans-- But not this year. December of 2011 is full of quality action and meaningful bouts.
Here's a look at the twelve "must see" fights this month:
December 3: Antonio Margarito vs. Miguel Cotto
The grudge match of all grudge matches, tarnished by the debate on whether Margarito, who was found with illegally doctored hand wraps prior to his 2009 bout with Shane Mosley, should be allowed to fight again at all. But the fans at Madison Square Garden won't be pondering such things. Cotto-Margarito II is guaranteed high-drama.
December 3: Pawel Wolak vs. Delvin Rodriguez
A rematch of a leading Fight of the Year candidate, this co-feature on the Cotto-Margarito undercard will surely delivery another phone booth war.
December 3: Brandon Rios vs. John Murray
"Bam Bam" Rios is always a compelling fighter who puts forth a manic, violent effort whenever he steps into the ring. Murray is a tough UK fighter looking to make an impact in the U.S. Rios will likely grind down and take out the Brit, but it will surely be a nice little dust-up while it lasts.
December 3: Mike Jones vs. Sebastian Lujan
Philadelphia's Jones is regarded as the best American prospect at welterweight and already rumored to be in the running for a Manny Pacquiao bout in 2012. First, though, he has to pass the test of the tough and tricky veteran from Argentina, who, in his last fight, knocked out Mark Jason Melligen, another hot-shot welterweight prospect.
December 3: Abner Mares vs. Joseph Agbeko
A rematch of a controversial majority decision win for Mares in August, the bad blood generated in the first contest and subsequent controversy will be the driving force behind this IBF bantamweight title bout between two of the division's very best.
December 3: Vic Darchinyan vs. Anselmo Moreno
Moreno is the long-reigning WBA bantamweight titlist from Panama with a great reputation, but a relatively light resume. Darchinyan is the "Raging Bull" from Armenia with a big mouth, heavy hands, and one of the strangest fighting stances in boxing. Moreno's slick boxing vs. Darchinyan's brawling style should produce an interesting match-up
December 3: Robert Helenius vs. Dereck Chisora
The 6 ft. 7 "Nordic Nightmare" is one of the most intriguing figures to come along in the heavyweight division in a while. Against the UK's Chisora we should get one step closer to seeing if he is the real deal or just another heavyweight pretender.
December 10: Amir Khan vs. Lamont Peterson
This may be Khan's last fight at the 140 lb. limit and he'll be taking on a real, legitimate fighter in defense of his WBA and IBF junior welterweight titles. Peterson is a solid, well-rounded throwback fighter who should put in a good showing against the burgeoning superstar, Khan.
December 11: Brian Viloria vs. Giovani Segura
Whatever Segura does is compelling and this try for Viloria's WBO flyweight title has "Instant Classic" written all over it. Both fighters have earned a reputation as blue collar battlers who give it all in the ring and, barring some crazy accident, this one will not disappoint.
December 17: Andre Ward vs. Carl Froch
Not only is this one the final bout in the well-regarded Super Six super middleweight tournament, it also represents the crowning of the undisputed king of the 168 lb. division. Ward's pedigree will be matched up against Froch's grit and determination-- and the winner will be the fans.
December 31: Tavoris Cloud vs. Zsolt Erdei
The talented, but overlooked IBF light heavyweight titlist, Cloud, continues to fight the best opponents willing to fight him. In this bout, the defending champ will take on the undefeated, long-time former WBO light heavyweight titlist in a rare New Year's Eve card.
December 31: Rico Ramos vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux
The co-feature to the Cloud-Erdei main event will feature 24-year-old WBA junior featherweight titlist, Ramos, against two-time Olympic gold medalist from Cuba, Rigondeaux. Can the young, inexperienced champ handle the crafty 31-year-old, well-seasoned challenger? We shall see
(Also in action this month: Wladimir Klitschko, Alexander Povetkin, David Lemieux, Jermain Taylor, Kell Brook, Hernan Marquez)
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. He is the editor in chief of The Boxing Tribune, the only major boxing news site that refuses to accept promoter or network advertising. He is also a contributor to Fox Sports. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing.
Boxrec, Boxrec Stats and Info, Boxrec
The Boxing Tribune, The Boxing Tribune Fight Reports and Analysis, The Boxing Tribune
- Antonio Margarito
- Vic Darchinyan