Looking to the future II

By Steve Bateson on November 16, 2013
Looking to the future II
The Super Bantam division could play host to big fights in 2014

After what seems like a long delay I am back with part two of the series that will look at what boxing fans have to look forward to in the next twelve months. Last time out we looked at the light welter and welterweight divisions but today I am dropping down a few pounds to check out the fighters that play their trade at 122lbs. It has often been noted that the smaller weights house the faster, more entertaining fighters and in some cases it is a very true statement, as will be highlighted in this article.

Already this year we have been treated to masterclasses (Rigo’s schooling of Donaire), fairytale shocks (Kiko Martinez dethroning Jhontan Romero), and the rise of three potential pound for pound stars in the future (Leo Santa Cruz, Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg). To say that this past year has thrown up plenty of mouth-watering action would be an understatement, I expect the next year to raise the bar even higher as these stars move into a position where it will be almost impossible for them to avoid each other.

We began 2013 believing that Donaire’s devastating left hook was going to lead him to the very top of the P4P rankings. Four straight victories in 2012 backed that claim up but nobody seemed to have sent the memo to Guillermo Rigondeaux. Rigo was the best of the best as an amateur, two time Olympic champion, but his career in the professional ranks had been staggered, struggling against opposition such as Robert Marroquin. This bout had the boxing fraternity split, would the boxer be able to outgun the puncher? It soon became clear that Rigo was too cute and too skilled for Donaire and despite a tenth round knockdown there was not a chance that Donaire had done enough to claim victory.

Rigo’s stock had risen to the boxing purist but his style has not pleased television broadcasters, only just securing a December 7th date with Joseph Agbeko. Donaire was forced to re-build and last week he got back on the trail with a ninth round KO of Vic Darchinyan. But the future’s of both fighters are up in the air right now, Donaire seems past his best and nobody wants to fight Rigo, a touch of the Andre Ward syndrome it would seem, it will be interesting to see what 2014 holds for these two men.

A man who does have a fan-friendly style is the WBC Super Bantamweight Champion, Leo Santa Cruz. Often dubbed a “Mini Margarito”, Cruz’s come forward, swarming approach has definitely got people talking about him and his chances of challenging the top names in this division, possibly even moving up to Featherweight in the future, A fighter known to throw well over a thousand punches per fight, it is no wonder that Cruz has become a formidable opponent for anyone around the 122lbs division and I anticipate a big future for this man. Cruz defends his championship against Cesar Seda on December 14th and if he comes through that unscathed then fights against Donaire and Rigondeaux have to be primary options in the new year.

Over the pond and back in Britain there are two other fighters who are gradually staking their own claim for world championship supremacy. Scott Quigg is already the “Regular” WBA Champion but after an unconvincing draw with Yoandris Solis in his last fight he is going to need a few big victories before he can even think of challenging the top names in this division. Good fights for Quigg would be Victor Terrazas or Jeffery Mathebula in order to gauge just how far he can go, then he can begin to look toward a massive domestic clash with Belfast’s Carl Frampton.

Frampton looks an accomplished boxer as well as having the power to back him up. He demolished Jeremy Parodi in his last fight and also is the only man to have stopped the current IBF Champion, Kiko Martinez. If Martinez can come through Mathebula before Christmas then the obvious track to a world championship for Frampton would be to re-match the Spaniard. I am tipping Frampton for big things and expect him to be rubbing shoulders with the big guns by the back end of next year.

This is a division that could really make a claim for fight of the year candidates in 2014 if the matchmakers and promoters work together to put on the best bouts imaginable. It doesn’t always happen and that is part and parcel of the sport we love, but we can dream and with some luck our dreams will come true over the next twelve months. I will be the first to admit that the Super Bantam division does not have as many key players in it as the light welter or welterweight divisions but there is still plenty to look forward to. Part III will look at the Feather and Super Feather divisions as we continue to build our dream cards and events for the new year.

Fights to watch out for in 2014

Guillermo Rigondeaux/ Nonito Donaire vs Leo Santa Cruz

Scott Quigg vs Carl Frampton

Rigo vs Donaire Part II

Victor Terrazas vs Kiko Martinez

Christian Mijares vs Jhontan Romero


Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Donaire vs Rigondeaux pelea completa HD_6325.mp4

Nonito Donaire Career Ultimate Highlights [2006-2012]

Leo Santa Cruz Highlights "El Terremoto"

Carl Frampton vs Kiko Martinez Full Fight

Scott Quigg vs Renall Munroe 2 Manchester Arena, 24/11/2012

Jhonatan Romero vs. Kiko Martinez

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