5 fights you didn’t know you wanted…until I mentioned them

By Paul Magno on January 19, 2018
5 fights you didn’t know you wanted…until I mentioned them
The IBF junior middleweight titlist is strong and determined but has some vulnerabilities.

When was the last time that fans were buzzing over a high stakes heavyweight bout pitting two American fighters against one another?

There are some really obvious big fights out there—ones that are so clearly evident that everyone picks up on them. Match-ups like Anthony Joshua-Deontay Wilder and Keith Thurman-Errol Spence are no-brainers, for instance.

Some other fights, however, are not so obvious. They require a bit of a matchmaker’s eye and some degree of creativity.

Here’s a look at five match-ups that could be every bit as compelling and entertaining as any of the ‘big’ bouts:

David Benavidez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Chavez Jr. may have burned lots of bridges with his high-profile non-performance against Canelo Alvarez last year, but, given the right opponent and right opportunity, he may still be watch-worthy. And that right opponent/opportunity might be the 21-year-old WBC super middleweight champ Benavidez, who is big and strong, but also rough around the edges and vulnerable. In a year or two this could be a blow-out in Benavidez’s favor, so the time to make it would be ASAP.

Marcus Browne vs. Joe Smith Jr.

Smith has fight-changing one-punch power and Browne is a bulldozer. Put the two together and you’d have a guaranteed kill or be killed kind of showdown. Neither is currently ranked among the elite of the light heavyweight division, but the winner of this war would get plenty of boxing street cred and move one step closer to challenging the division kingpins.

Leo Santa Cruz vs. Gary Russell Jr.

This featherweight clash has the makings of a mini Julio Cesar Chavez-Meldrick Taylor clash. The contrasting styles and mindsets could spark a hellacious and intriguing battle of wills between the pressure fighter, Santa Cruz, and the slicker, more athletic Russell. Honestly, it’s odd that these two haven’t been linked in the past as potential foes, given that both share a spot under the Al Haymon/PBC banner. Regardless, get Russell out of semi-retirement and make this one now.

Jarrett Hurd vs. Kell Brook

Could Brook be more than a bit worn from back-to-back beatings at the hands of Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence? Maybe so, but Hurd, as strong and as determined as he is, has some vulnerabilities that even a battle-weary Brook can take advantage of. Hurd, the IBF junior middleweight titlist, has been linked to a potential unification bout with WBA champ Erislandy Lara, but the risk-reward factor might make a bout in the UK with Brook a more appealing option.

Jarrell Miller vs. Bryant Jennings

When was the last time that fans were buzzing over a high stakes heavyweight bout pitting two American fighters against one another? Well, Miller-Jennings may not be Holyfield-Tyson, but with the right build-up and right promotion, it could whip up some real fan buzz and, at the very least, deliver a good, solid heavyweight bout to the masses. The winner would likely move on to challenge either Anthony Joshua or Deontay Wilder and would enter that title opportunity as a significantly bigger name than before this All-American battle of big men.

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  1. Alfonso Bedoya 11:41am, 01/19/2018

    @Fan-Another great comment…...keep’em coming! I agree with you….I think…one fight on this list that makes sense and just might get made is Miller/Jennings.The other that should be made but never will is Santa Cruz/Russell.  Meanwhile it looks like the author is trying to sign up Smith and Brook for more facial fractures and Junior for another pillar to post pounding from David Benavidez who is still very much in crazyass mode which will last until he gets his first pillar to post ass pounding!

  2. Fan 07:32am, 01/19/2018

    We should have more 2 best 3 Heads Up Fight.

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