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Arizona Boxing News & Notes With Don Smith: A final Look at 2016, Upcoming Bouts & More


PhilBoxing.com



Carl Frampton, ABNN's choice for fighter of the year.

Boxing Fans, Arizona Boxing News & Notes will begin a two week vacation commencing after the release of this abbreviated column. We will return on January 7, 2017 hopefully refreshed and definitely ready to resume our commitment to inform a growing number of readers who follow the wild and sometimes ?whacky and bizarre? happenings in the world of boxing. Yes, we are referring to the meltdown of Former world heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury who was stripped of his titles over his bizarre disclosures in a 2016 published Rolling Stone Magazine interview.

In selecting the boxing story of the year, we researched internet picks, talked to boxing writers and solicited opinions from fans in Las Vegas, Phoenix and a small number of readers residing in Canada. Compiling a ?Top Ten? list is very subjective and I know some readers will disagree with our list; but, we feel comfortable with it. Starting with the #10 and building to #1, without a drum roll, here is our list: (10) Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury stripped of titles (9) Saul ?Canelo? Alvarez loses All-Star Boxing case (8) Bernard Hopkins knocked out of Ring by Joseph Smith Jr. in his last fight (7) former WWE personality Jim Ross will call boxing on CBS Sports Network (6) Antony Joshua wins heavyweight title (5) UFC Star Conor McGregor and retired boxing champ Floyd Mayweather call each other out (4) Andre Ward wins disputed verdict over Kovalev (3) Manny Pacquiao returns to boxing (2) Canelo vs. Chavez Jr. rumor (1) The passing Muhammed Ali in 2016 and his funeral. The passing of the ?Greatest? was by far the most covered boxing related story in 2016.

Another story that touched fans was the senseless and fatal shooting of undefeated welterweight Ed Brown (20-0-16 knockouts) in Chicago on December 3, 2016. His death should serve as a sobering reminder that our country needs to issue of fun violence, seriously: RIP--- Ed Brown!

Our choice for fighter of the year goes to Irishman Carl Frampton (22-0) winner of two title bouts in 2016. We also considered others for the honor including: Anthony Joshua, Joseph Parker, Vasyl Lomachenko and Joseph Smith Jr. the only fighter to knockout the legendary and future boxing hall of fame member- Bernard Hopkins. We were tempted to place Manny Pacquiao on the list; but, didn?t since our column appears in the Philippines and we don?t want to be referred as a homer.

As for possible fights in 2017, we asked several of our wise and noble readers to forward the pairing of 2 bouts they would like to see during the upcoming calendar year and here are a few of the responses: Arizona light heavyweight contender Trevor McCumby would like to see Canelo vs. GGG and Crawford vs. Pac-Man. Super boxing fan Geoff Ronning, a pampered reader, was granted 3 fantasy fight picks for 2017. Here is his wish list with comment for each: Errol Spence vs. Terrence Crawford-his ?skilled match-up? ?.Francisco Vargas vs. Takashi Muira in a rematch-his ?guilty pleasure? and Luis Ortiz vs. Deontay Wilder-?a big test for Wilder?.

Boxing coach Duane Mitry (F-1 Boxing) would like to champion for a rematch bout between Arizona super bantamweights Alexis Santiago and Hanzel Martinez (both coming off losses) and for his second wish; Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Oscar Valdez (both are Top Ranked signed fighters). Merle Stanley, a Canadian publicist wishes for a rematch between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather. ABNN would like to witness a rematch between Orlando Salido and Vasyl Lomachenko and for our second choice; we would love to see Arizona favorite Abel Ramos take on Russian super lightweight prospect Ivan Banchyk who went the distance with Tucson?s Wilberth Lopez recently in Oklahoma. Arizona boxing fans may recall that Lopez faced Keenan Carbajal in their career debut bout and it was Lopez coming out the winner via TKO. Lopez has since added weight and changed divisions; so, a rematch is out of the question.

Fight Hard Promotions promoter Rigoberto Ledezma and Iron Boy Announcer Sonny Franco also, weighed in with their choices. Rigo wants to see Canelo vs. GGG and he is offering Jesus Serrano, his fighter, to meet Keenan Carbajal for more than a handshake. The always nattily attired Franco went with Canelo vs. GGG for his first pick and followed up with a Ward vs. Kovalev rematch. Iron Boy Publicist Emily Pandelakis emailed her choices 2 hours before I locked the house and headed for the airport. As usual her choices were smart; Canelo vs. vs. Chavez and Salido vs. Lomachenko 2.

Upcoming Televised Fights: A number of televised bouts will hit your screens after the college bowl season ends and here are a few for viewers to circle on the calendar. Badou Jack vs. James DeGale on Showtime, January 14 from New York??.Carl Frampton vs. Leo Santa Cruz with Mikey Garcia vs. Dejan Zlatikcanin on Showtime, January 28 from Las Vegas?.Francisco Vargas vs. Miguel Berchelt plus Takashi Miura vs. Miguel Roman on the under card on HBO, January 28 from Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio California?..Robert Easter vs. Luis Cruz on Bounce T, Friday 2/10??Adrien Broner Vs. Adrian Granados on Showtime, 2/11?..Roy Jones Jr. vs. Bobby Gunn 2/17 on Independent PPV, Wilmington Delaware.

Parting Shots: Fan Cave at PV Mall in Phoenix is closing 12/31; last chance t purchase sports collectible from all sports genre?..Optimum Promotions and Fight Hard Promotions are collaborating to throw a 12/31 New Year?s Eve Party at the Legends Event Center on Camelback Road & 43rd Avenue in Phoenix. Fight Hard Fans can get free tickets by going to Rigo?s Auto Sales or Neto?s Jewelry, both on Van Buren in Phoenix. Tickets are on sale at the event center for $20.00??..Happy New Year & stay safe? hope everyone celebrated Boxing Day on 12/26....Until Next Time!


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Don Smith.


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