Five Passing of the Torch Fights That Need to Happen

By Paul Magno on October 24, 2018
Five Passing of the Torch Fights That Need to Happen
Tradition dictates that older fighters pass the torch to younger fighters. (RBR Boxing)

Crawford dismantling and retiring a legend like Pacquiao would do wonders for a fighter and a career in desperate need of marquee shine…

Boxing tradition dictates that older fighters pass the proverbial torch to younger fighters, who then eventually pass it to the next generation. This passing of the torch usually takes the form of a decisive, and often brutal, beating.

These days, however, many of the sport’s biggest stars have the influence and career control to avoid these violent changing of the guard moments and, as a result, younger fighters are forced to build their stars without piggybacking on the fame of more established stars.

But for boxing to be truly healthy, older stars need to be fed to younger stars. Here are five Passing of the Torch fights that need to happen now.

Errol Spence vs. Floyd Mayweather

Spence is a special fighter desperately in need of some legacy-defining fights. Despite having all the right connections and a sizable, solid fan base, the IBF welterweight champ can’t seem to get a truly meaningful fight in his division. Keith Thurman’s alternating between injury and tactical avoidance has kept Spence on hold while other divisional players have busied themselves with fighting one another. An unlikely superfight with Mayweather could signify an ugly end to Mayweather’s career once and for all, but it would also launch Spence into next level stardom as the man who finally vanquished the legend.

Terence Crawford vs. Manny Pacquiao

In a world of self-imposed exile, distanced from most of the top welterweights in the world, Crawford’s only real shot at a passing of the torch moment was against Filipino icon and multi-division world champ Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao, to be honest, never seemed all too enthused at the idea of facing Crawford and now that he’s signed with Al Haymon, there’s even less of a chance of a passing of the torch bout. But Crawford dismantling and retiring a legend like Pacquiao would do wonders for a fighter and a career in desperate need of marquee shine.

Jermall Charlo vs. Gennady Golovkin

Efforts to get “Triple G” into the ring with Charlo have been ongoing for at least a year. Charlo had agreed to step aside from his WBC-mandated bout and let the Kazakh KO machine make big money fighting Canelo Alvarez, but the time has now come for him to put his foot down and demand this fight. Following Golovkin’s decision loss to Alvarez, Charlo-GGG is being ordered as a final eliminator for a shot at Canelo. Needless to say, this is an important fight for the Houston, Texas native. Beating down and/or decisively decisioning the long-reigning former middleweight champ would bring next-level stardom to a fighter already boasting world-class ability.

Dmitry Bivol vs. Sergey Kovalev

Although Kovalev’s career has lost its luster to a great extent after a pair of losses to Andre Ward and a stoppage loss to Eleider Alvarez, he’s still a big name at light heavyweight and an elder statesman in the division. This Russian vs. Russian contest between superb offensive fighters would provide the 27-year-old Bivol with a chance to not only establish himself as an elite in the division, but also make a name for himself in a headline-grabbing beatdown of a once-fearsome “beast.”

Badou Jack vs. Adonis Stevenson 2

When longtime defending WBC light heavyweight champ Stevenson took Jack on in May, the bout ended in a draw. But the story of the fight revolved on how the challenger could’ve possibly stopped the 40-year-old champ if he had not spent much of the first half of the contest cautious and inactive. A second chance at dethroning Stevenson would do wonders for Jack’s still-underappreciated career if Jack could finally put away the Haiti-born, Canada-residing world champion. Having a new champ holding that WBC belt would also be a positive shake-up for a rebuilt light heavyweight division.

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  1. Your Name 12:54pm, 10/25/2018

    Doubtful Charlo would beat GGG. Canelo couldn’t.  Bivol would destroy Kovalev.  At Mannys peak Crawford couldn’t be in the same ring.

  2. Kid Blast 10:47am, 10/25/2018

    Yes it was. Hopefully, Crawford, Loma, Spence, Davis, and others can bring it back again——hopefully. But more and more, I find myself writing about fights of yore rather than of today’s battles. TC’s KO of Benavidez was an exception and a woody popper at that.

  3. Ho Lee Chit 09:49am, 10/25/2018

    Kid Blast… Tanks. I might want to give props to the 1976 Olympic boxing team,  and the movie, “Rocky,” for keeping boxing alive and well while Ali was growing old and fat, fighting people like Richard Dunn and Alfredo Evangelista. Afterwards the ‘84 Olympic team helped cover the period between the Ali retirement and the arrival of Tyson.  And “trow” in the comeback of Big George.  Even people not at all interested in boxing would often talk about the Tyson or Ali fights the next day, and they certainly were talking about the George Foreman comeback. It was an interesting and entertaining period for boxing back then.

  4. Kid Blast 07:56am, 10/25/2018

    Outstanding post, Chit. You covered it well

  5. Ho Lee Chit 07:29am, 10/25/2018

    Truth be told, boxing passed the torch to MMA long ago, the same way baseball passed the torch to football as America’s NEW pastime. The last fight that I can remember that the general public had any interest in whatsoever might have been Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson. With the exception of Mayweather and Manny, none of these “name” fighters are well known outside of the boxing world. And Floyd is known more for his “Moneyweather” character than his boxing exploits. Ask the average American what weight class(es) Manny or Floyd fought and won titles in, and most would have no idea. Until an exciting heavyweight ala Mike Tyson comes along, and revives a dying sport the way Tyson did back in the day, boxing will continue to be a small part of the sportsworld. After Ali, The Fab Four round robin held boxing together long enough for Tyson to bring it back. It was Tyson and not Duran & company that made Americans start talking about boxing again. A bunch of little guys fighting for non-heavyweight titles will never bring boxing back to the mainstream. NEVER.

  6. Arnold Strapp 03:12am, 10/25/2018

    Only two of the ones mentioned are true superstars in the sport who can legitimately pass the torch. They are Pacquiao and Mayweather. The rest are B-sides. Dela Hoya was way past his prime when he passed the torch to Pacquiao and Mayweather.

  7. Kid Blast 04:21pm, 10/24/2018

    “I don’t know IF Crawford is even capable of beating an aged Manny. However” Holy shit. That was tongue in cheek, yes?

  8. Ho Lee Chit 12:03pm, 10/24/2018

    I don’t know IF Crawford is even capable of beating an aged Manny. However,  I hope that Manny would not be stupid enough to tempt fate. I do think Crawford might be a tad overrated, and even an elderly Pacman on the right night might be too much for the Cornhusker to handle. Hopefully, Manny will call it a day and move on to bigger and better things.

  9. Kid Blast 09:50am, 10/24/2018

    Mayweather won’t be fighting a solid boxer anytime soon. You know it. He knows it. And we know it. He is in Freak Show mode and simply wants to make more “Money..”

  10. Kid Blast 09:47am, 10/24/2018

    Geezuz Paul. GGG draws and “loses” a squeaker to Canelo and all of a sudden he is ready to leave the scene. If so, Charlo will not be the one.

    As for the Stevenson, The “Nail” will make that happen every soon unless you know something I don’t.

    Pac will never fight TC. Only AB or Berto—at this point. He’s not quite ready to go though he is beginning to look like Cher.

    Kov has already passed the torch. He’s yesterday’s news.

    Good angle but I disagree with most of your picks.

  11. Casanovita de Ahome 09:31am, 10/24/2018

    “older stars need to be fed to the younger stars”?! Perfect ! Fukin’ Perfect! This is the only “sport” where a “star” can pick out who he wants to beat up next! Better yet a “star” can literally wait til a potential opponent “ages out” or gets softened up/tenderized before he signs the contract!

  12. Ho Lee Chit 09:12am, 10/24/2018

    Good points made by don from prov. Cosign. I, too,  think G-tree is the only one holding a torch to pass on, and Mayweather isn’t about to fight anyone even resembling a world class boxer anytime soon. Nice article.

  13. don from prov 08:54am, 10/24/2018

    I would have questions about several of these torch passers—

    Mayweather does still seem interested in facing MMA opponents in “boxing” matches but hasn’t had a real fight in a while now, so how does he = any kind of torch to pass?  And what would make you think he’d have the least interest in fighting Spence at this point, especially given he’d likely avoid Spence as a matter of course even if he were actually boxing now, AND he will make as much or more money fighting those MMA fighters? 

    Manny in no way, shape, or form represents a challenge to Crawford.
    And Manny’s name/scalp/coup value has fallen way down.

    As I responded on one of your earlier articles, I like Charlo, but he has yet to show that he is a world class MW, so I agree that GGG would be a good “torch passing” fight for him IF he could take that torch, or even get GGG into a ring with him.  I like the other two fights as well.  But I don’t think Kovalev would. 
    Nor Stevenson.

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