The Top 5 Boxing Fights of 2011 (So Far)
We're almost 24 hours away from Klitschko vs Haye -- a fight that has been three years in the making. Pending any upsets against Mayweather or Pacquiao, this is the fight that's going to define 2011.
So, whether Klitschko vs Haye lives up to expectations, or is a tremendous bust, I'd like to highlight the fights this year that have been barn burners.
Here's the fights that have made 2011 a great year (so far) in boxing.
Maidana vs. Morales
No one thought that Morales had any more fuel in the gas tank to continue his career. And for the first round, this looked to be the case. However, Morales came to fight.
For the next 11 rounds, that's exactly what he did -- with one eye. Ultimately, he lost. But that night, he won new fans.
Sturm vs. Macklin
This was ultimately a controversial match -- with many fans believing Macklin was robbed by judges. Yet, from the opening bell, both fighters went nose to nose delivering bodyshot hooks and uppercuts that are seldom seen nowadays.
They may have been in a ring, but the fight might as well have been in a phone booth.
Donaire vs. Montiel
Nonito Donaire has been overshadowed by fellow Filipino Pacquiao. There is a reason, though, he's ranked the #3 pound-fo-pound fighter in the world. Part of this reason was his fight against Montiel.
Here Donaire note only blew away Montiel -- a man previously deemed Donaire's equal -- he knocked him down and caused Montiel to twitch spastically. TKO for Donaire. It was impressive Montiel even got up.
Berto vs. Ortiz
Based on previous performances, most people wrote off Ortiz as a disappointment. Previously hyped as Oscar de la Hoya's heir apparent, his last fight was a yawning draw against Lamont Peterson. This was Ortiz' first fight as welterweight, though -- it looked like the weight class he should have been at all along -- because when he showed up, he looked like a monster.
At opening bell, Ortiz came roaring out. He disassembled the previously undefeated Berto -- becoming the WBC welterweight champion in the process. At least for this night, Ortiz lived up to the hype.
Pascal vs Hopkins II
In this rematch, Hopkins was out to prove the impossible -- that a 46-year-old man could fight what was previously regarded as the best Light Heavyweight in the world and win. In doing so, he became the oldest man ever to win a championship belt.
It became clear that this fight was about brains vs brawn, of psychological warfare. This culminated in Hopkins doing push-ups in the middle of the ring before Round 7 to taunt Pascal. Hopkins not only won, he did so with flawless execution against a man 18 years his junior.
P-Will getting knocked unconcious with his eyes open was my favorite... Or was that last year, I can't remember... I keep forgeting this is July 2011...