Hold on boxing fans, you've nearly made it through this dry spell that rivals any drought that the Sahara Desert has experienced. Since Felix Trinidad's emphatic return to the ring three weeks ago at the Madison Square Garden against Ricardo Mayorga, boxing has taken an early hibernation.
But as the leaves turn and the calendar turns to the month of November, boxing finishes with a flourish and embarks on an unusually busy end to the calendar year. Starting on the first weekend of November till mid-December, you'll see a downpour of high-profile fights.
Kostya Tszyu- Sharmba Mitchell II: This is an eagerly anticipated rematch that has been postponed twice in the past year. Their first bout, which took place in 2001, was a hard-fought and competitive contest that saw Tszyu win by TKO as Mitchell had to call it a day with a bum left knee.
Regardless of what the sanctioning bodies say, Tszyu is still the recognized jr. welterweight champion of the world. But, while Mitchell has stayed busy and bided his time, Tszyu has not fought since stopping Jesse James Leija in early 2003.
When they finally meet again (knock on wood), this is a battle between the two premiere 140-pounders in the world.
Chris Byrd- Jameel McCline, John Ruiz-Andrew Golota, Hasim Rahman-Kali Meehan, Evander Holyfield- Larry Donald: This pay-per-view card being put on by Don King features his squadron of heavyweight titlists in pretty competitive bouts, but in truth, this really a high profile 'Heavyweight Explosion.'
And call me a sicko – I've been called worse – but there's a part of me that is actually looking forward to the streetfight between Ruiz and Golota. The only thing missing when these two hook-up at the Madison Square Garden will be the chains and knives.
And while this isn't exactly the golden age of heavyweight boxing, it's still good to see the best face each other in any division – even the heavyweights.
Winky Wright-Shane Mosley II: The only reason this bout is being made is because it has to happen contractually. Let's be realistic, their first hook-up in March was so lopsided in Wright's favor that many believe a return match isn't warranted at this time.
But there is some drama involved here, still. Can Mosley make the proper adjustments with new trainer Joe Goossen to turn the tide? Also, if Mosley should drop another fight to Wright, is his career as a world class prizefighter over?
Marco Antonio Barrera- Erik Morales III: Hey, does anything personify the spirit of Thanksgiving and the holidays like two heated rivals beating the hell out of each other?
To boxing fans, no.
Barrera and Morales are the Mexican version of the Hatfields and McCoys. The bottom line is that they have an absolute hatred for each other and you figure that no matter what stage of their careers they are at, they will always bring their 'A' game to the table when they square off.
Now, you hope that this trilogy doesn't go the way of Chiquita Gonzalez-Michael Carbajal, a series that got more tepid as it went along. But, you never know, it could go the way of Ali-Frazier, which after a historic first meeting, had a rather dull rematch, before the memorable 'Thrilla in Manila.'
Jose Luis Castillo- Joel Casamayor, Jeff Lacy-Omar Sheika, Samuel Peter-Jeremy Williams: This tripleheader, which will be televised on Showtime is your classic 'fight fans card.' No, it won't attract anyone outside your usual die-hards, but it figures to be an attractive card top-to-bottom.
Castillo, is considered by many to be the premiere lightweight in the world, and he faces the classy Casamayor. Lacy faces the shopworn, but still heavy-handed Sheika in his first defense of his IBF super middleweight crown. And then Peter, 'the Nigerian Nightmare' (with apologies to Christian Okoye) faces his first test when he fights the resurgent Jeremy Williams.
There are dueling shows this night as HBO will be televising Jermain Taylor-William Joppy. While Joppy is a recognizable name in the middleweight division, you wonder just how much is left in his gas tank after the frightful beatings he has taken against the likes of Felix Trinidad and Bernard Hopkins.
Vitaly Klitschko- Danny Williams: Williams is here because of his upset win over Mike Tyson in the summer. He tries to play the role of giant killer again when he faces Klitschko, the current WBC heavyweight champion.
Klitschko always seemed to play second fiddle to his more highly acclaimed brother Wladimir, and while he may lack his grace and offensive skill, he possesses certain things that Wladimir lacks, namely the ability to take a punch. He's come a long way since he was dubbed ' Quitschko' for his calling it a day against Chris Byrd in 2000.
Antonio Tarver-Glen Johnson: OK, this match-up has not been finalized, but it is being discussed seriously.
But if it does happen, being in the middle of December and the start of the college bowl season, this bout should be dubbed 'the Roy Jones Bowl' as both Tarver and Johnson have shattered the myth of 'RJ.'
Currently, these two are universally recognized as the top two light heavyweights in the world. Both fighters are out to prove that their wins over Jones were no fluke.
Now, by this time our thirst for boxing should be satisfied.