Lucas Matthysse (32-2, 30 KOs) vs. Marcos Maidana (33-3, 30 KOs)
These are two of the most exciting fighters in the sport. Both hail from Argentina and both have tremendous punching power and good chins. This has fight of the year written all over it. The fight could easily be made if Golden Boy Promotions, who promotes both fighters, wanted it to be but for whatever reason they have been steered clear of each other.
I rate Matthysse higher than Maidana and for that reason would favor him going into this fight whether at 140 or 147 pounds but in any case it would be one hell of a fight.
Brandon Rios (31-0-1, 23 KOs) vs. Danny Garcia (25-0, 16 KOs)
In 2012 Rios moved up in weight and proved that he could hang with the top junior welterweights in the world after defeating Mike Alvarado in what was a fight of the year candidate. Garcia, on the other hand, left no doubt that he is the top man at 140 pounds after dethroning Amir Khan and then retiring Erik Morales with a vicious left hook that nearly sent him flying out of the ring.
Danny Garcia is a good boxer but he is just that, good not great and if anyone can expose him it is Brandon Rios who will apply relentless pressure from the opening bell. I’d favor Rios in this match-up due to his granite chin and ability to cut-off the ring.
Nonito Donaire (31-1, 20 KOs) vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 KOs)
This is the biggest fight that can be made in the lower weight divisions. Donaire has looked unbeatable ever since annihilating Hernan “Tyson” Marquez in 2010 at 118 pounds. Since then no one has come close to even mildly hurting “The Filipino Flash” in the ring. Rigondeaux, the two time Olympic gold medalist, is a masterful boxer who is perceived as a real threat to Donaire.
Last February, Wilfredo Vasquez Jr. proved to be effective at times in his fight against Donaire by not exposing himself to counter-punches, using lateral movement, and throwing the jab. Rigondeaux is a much better boxer than Vasquez and will definitely test Donaire if they ever get in the ring. Due to his one punch knockout power and speed, I’d pick Donaire to win this fight.
Adrien Broner (25-0, 21 KOs) vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa (22-0, 16 KOs)
This is a dream match-up. These are two of the most talented and explosive fighters in the sport; both are undefeated and have shown the ability to be top pound for pound fighters. If anyone has shown any flaws in the ring between these two it has been Gamboa who has been knocked down a couple of times in his career; however, he has faced better opposition than Broner.
I would think that due to his size advantage in height, weight, and reach, Broner would be favored to win this fight but there is no doubt that Gamboa has the ability to beat Broner. The winner of this fight would distinguish himself as a true star in the sport of boxing.
Sergio Martinez (50-2-2, 28 KOs) vs. Andre Ward (26-0, 14 KOs)
Ward has beaten every viable super middleweight contender in the world and even the lineal light heavyweight champion, Chad Dawson. Martinez seemingly has done the same in the middleweight division ever since he claimed the title in 2010 with a unanimous decision victory over Kelly Pavlik.
Ward and Martinez are #2 and #4 respectively on my pound for pound list. It seems to me that they only have each other to face if they really want to test themselves. This fight is a toss-up but If I had to pick a winner I’d side with Martinez.