Boxing News On The First Day Of The Year
First things first as it's the first day of the year – Happy New Year to all the readers of TheSweetScience.com, and to all those who contribute to this website – writers, editors, and to those who contribute behind the scenes to make TheSweetScience.com possible. Hopefully the success of this site will continue to grow, as it did steadily throughout 2005. I think it will.
Today, the always-worth-reading Mark Staniforth of the Press Association in the UK wraps up the year that was in boxing and looks forward to 2006. The number one goal for the sport, says Staniforth, remains the discovery of the next great world heavyweight champion. Can't say I disagree. And, unfortunately, can't say I disagree with Staniforth on the prospect of that happening. But things can change quickly, so let's see what 2006 brings.
Jeff Haney of the Las Vegas Sun writes the new year's first big boxing event takes place Jan. 21, when Erik Morales and Manny Pacquiao square off in a rematch of their sensational fight last March. But there will be a man mysteriously missing from the main event at the Thomas & Mack Center that night: unheralded Zahir Raheem, whose upset victory against Morales in September has erased much of the luster from the promotion. To state the obvious, it's the law of supply and demand in effect. That's why Raheem is not in the main event on the 21st. And I can't agree that Morales' loss seems to have taken a lot of the shine off this promotion, If anything, Morales' loss to Raheem – for me – may even add some intrigue to the Pacquiao rematch. Was the performance against Pacquiao the last great stand for Morales, or was the Raheem loss just a case of a bad stylistic matchup for Morales against a fighter who didn't motivate him to prepare like he had for the Pacman? It is almost certainly the latter, but I can't wait until January 21 to find out. Apparently those who voted on the online HBO poll don't necessarily agree with me about Morales. Regardless, both Morales and Pacquiao are reported to be be putting in the work ahead of the Jan. 21st rematch. And win or lose in a rematch against Erik Morales, Manny Pacquiao is looking toward a rematch with Marco Antonio Barrera.
The Guardian has an interview with promoter Barry Hearn – The Big Interview: Barry Hearn . Admittedly, Hearn spends most of the interview talking about darts and snooker, but The Big Interview is always worth checking out: it has to be one of my favorite sports features, bar none.
Oscar De La Hoya and his wife, Millie, have a new baby boy. What a great way to ring in the New Year. Congratulations to the Golden Boy.