With no impending superfights on the horizon, the early part of 2014 will be a time for boxing fans to look back at the great fights of the previous year and speculate about where the results will take the sport in the coming months. Some of the fighters to watch will be welterweights Adrien Broner, finally put in his place in his bout with the often overlooked Marcos Maidana, power puncher Lucas Mathysse, and Paulie Malignaggi. Super Middleweight Carl Froch has had a resurgence in the past year, though his last win over George Groves was disappointing and clearly the result of hometown scoring; middleweight Gennady Golovkin had four impressive wins in 2013 bringing him to star status in the sport; Bernard Hopkins enters 2014 still a competitive living legend, winning impressively over Tavoris Cloud and Karo Murat; light heavyweight Adonis Stevenson surprised the boxing world with his dominant wins over Tavoris Cloud and Chad Dawson, and heavyweight Bermane Stiverne, who defeated Cris Arreola, may sign a rematch in the near future. Of course, the mainstays of the welterweight division are still creating a lot of excitement for the sport with fighters like Ruslan Provodnikov, Danny Garcia, Juan Manuel Marquez, Brandon Rios, and Mike Alvarado. Also, with the recent news that Miguel Cotto has turned down a huge opportunity, and ten million dollars, with Saul Alvarez, fans can see that the conclusion of the Puerto Rican star’s impressive career is quickly arriving. Cotto is said to be negotiating a fight with Sergio Martinez, a former elite fighter who is himself fading to a vulnerable champion.
The best publicized fights of 2013 will lead to some interesting opportunities as well, as Floyd Mayweather further demonstrated the discrepancy in skill level between himself and the rest of the sport with dominant wins over Robert Guerrero and Saul Alvarez. Manny Pacquiao rebounded from his loss to Juan Manuel Marquez with a victory over Brandon Rios, but the attention from fans and media was greatly diminished from what it was before his knockout loss to Marquez. Pacquiao will struggle to ever again create the kind of buzz he once had and may now be more willing to negotiate what is still arguably the most exciting fight in boxing, against Mayweather. Tim Bradley and Amir Khan also compete for a shot a Mayweather, Bradley being the more challenging opponent.