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Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Forty wishes on my 40th birthday

By Dan Rafael

I turn 40 today. No need for cards or candles. But in the spirit of the day, here are 40 things I want in the sport of boxing:

1. Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. -- and no more excuses from either side.

2. For David Haye to shut his piehole and fight either Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko.

3. Fewer titles.

4. And fewer sanctioning bodies, including the elimination of the WBC and WBA as presently constructed.

5. For the deal to make Devon Alexander against Timothy Bradley Jr. on Jan. 29 to get done ASAP.

6. Amir Khan against Marcos Maidana, with the winner to fight the Alexander-Bradley winner next.



7. To head to Montreal to see a showdown between Jean Pascal and Lucian Bute. Great ring entrances, for sure, and hopefully an even better fight. And, hopefully, one that doesn't take 16 months to get.

8. For networks to make fights that fans want to see every single time, instead of making some fights because of relationships with certain promoters or advisers.

9. A bigger budget for "Friday Night Fights."

10. An American amateur program that produces Olympic medalists and professional prospects.

11. Fifty Tomasz Adameks to fill up arenas around the country, even if the fights aren't on HBO.

12. For state commissions to have more uniform rules.

13. When HBO and Showtime put on fights, that we get at least two live bouts every time. No more single-fight telecasts.

14. For fighters to stop turning down big paydays. I'm talking to you, Alfredo Angulo and Alexander Povetkin, among others.

15. Angulo versus Miguel Cotto.

16. For people to stop asking me if Joe Calzaghe is going to unretire. I don't know and, frankly, I don't care. If he does, I'll think about it then.

17. For Evander Holyfield to call it a day. Ditto for Roy Jones Jr.

18. The abolition of rematch clauses.

19. An end to the pointless and boring boxing-versus-MMA debate.

20. To be able to go to the store and buy a fresh pack of boxing cards.

21. A Super Six-style tournament at featherweight involving Juan Manuel Lopez, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Chris John, Rafael Marquez, Celestino Caballero and Elio Rojas.

22. A legitimate fight of the year candidate, already.

23. Sergio Martinez-Paul Williams II. At 160 pounds and a 50-50 deal. Enough with the nonsense.

24. More Dmitry Pirog, please.

25. The return of HBO's countdown shows for big fights.

26. Andre Berto in a serious fight.

27. Zab Judah to stay serious about his return to junior welterweight. He'll do some damage if he's focused.

28. For folks to quit crying robbery after a legitimately close fight.

29. Juan Manuel Marquez against Michael Katsidis.

30. A dollar for every time a promoter, TV exec, manager or fighter has lied to me.

31. Nonito Donaire against either Fernando Montiel or Vic Darchinyan.

32. Peace between Golden Boy and Top Rank. Do it for the fans -- and also for guys like me who get caught in the middle.

33. The truth about how it all really went down with Antonio Margarito's hand wraps.

34. For Javier Capetillo to get what he deserves.

35. Another Yankee Stadium fight.

36. An American heavyweight who: a) can punch; b) can take a punch; c) has a personality; d) is in shape; e) who can sell tickets.

37. A satisfying conclusion to Showtime's Super Six World Boxing Classic, even with Mikkel Kessler having to pull out because of an eye injury.

38. To complete my collection of DVDs of every HBO and Showtime boxing telecast.

39. On a regular basis, quality pay-per-view undercards instead of the usual junk we get.

40. For a fighter to use this as his ring entrance music just once.