A logjam of talent exists in the welterweight division today. It’s simply the most talent-rich division in all of boxing.
The most comparable welterweight division in recent times was probably in the late 90s and early 2000s, when Felix Trinidad, Oscar De La Hoya, Ike Quartey, James Page, Jose Luis Lopez, Sugar Shane Mosley, Pernell Whitaker, Vernon Forrest and several others roamed the 147-pound landscape.
Welterweights are the Taj Mahal of all weight divisions and are led by Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. But there are so many others today that will be providing boxing fans a plethora of entertainment for 2015 and beyond.
Despite the richness of the welterweights, there are several barriers that exist, especially among boxing promoters who simply do not get along.
Al Haymon’s group includes the largest conglomeration of welterweights, ranging from Mayweather, Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter to Josesito Lopez, Robert Guerrero and Roberto Garcia, among others. It’s a long list.
Top Rank has Pacquiao, Tim Bradley, Brandon Rios, Ruslan Provodnikov and Juan Manuel Marquez, among some others.
Golden Boy Promotions has Paul Malignaggi, Amir Khan, Victor Ortiz, and perhaps Mauricio Herrera if he chooses to move up a weight division.
Oscar De La Hoya, the president of Golden Boy Promotions, has gone on record many times saying that boxing should make the “best matches” for the fans. The Los Angeles-based company has already matched Herrera against Top Rank’s Jose Benavidez and has shown its willingness to put forth its best foot.
But what about Haymon’s welterweights?
If Mayweather, who’s advised by Haymon, fights Pacquiao, who is promoted by Top Rank, that could open up more exciting match ups between all three major promotion companies. Right now Top Rank and Haymon are not getting along. That could change if Mayweather and Pacman sign a contract.
But even if they don’t sign, the welterweight division is about to explode upon the boxing public.
Beginning in March, welterweights take center stage in back-to-back weeks.
First, Thurman meets “The Ghost” Guerrero in a welterweight clash that has many excited about the new order of things on March 7, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. NBC will televise the welterweight clash.
“We’re training hard, everybody is stoked. We’re all looking forward to March 7, so let’s do this,” said Thurman.
Less than one week later on March 13, Josesito Lopez and Andre Berto clash at the Citizens Business Bank Arena at Ontario, California. Both Lopez and Berto have fought there before and the winner will determine who moves forward and who sinks below the top welterweight realm.
Lopez lives a mere 15 minutes away from the Citizens Business Bank arena and should have a large fan base. But Berto is no stranger to Southern California boxing rings and his speed and power will be plenty to handle for Riverside’s Lopez.
Also on the same card will be former champion Shawn Porter meeting Roberto Garcia in a fight that pits muscle versus muscle. It should be an interesting matchup and so far Haymon’s matchmakers are using the old 50s and 60s style of matching up by putting Mexican or Latino fighters versus African Americans. It was the same theorem used back in the hey-day of the Olympic Auditorium that proved monstrously successful.
Then there are so many other welterweight matchups just waiting to be unleashed. You have possibilities like Brook vs. Khan, Bradley vs. Rios, Marquez vs. Maidana, all waiting to be hatched on boxing fans.
It’s looking to be a good year, especially with so many television platforms available.
Follow David A. Avila on the Twitter: