- Michael Woods, Boxing
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New York fight fans who stayed up late to watch the debut of Jim Lampley's "The Fight Game" on HBO on Saturday, at midnight -- or sad sacks like me, who fell asleep before it came on, and watched it off the DVR -- had to be tantalized by the tidbit dropped after Lampley chatted with Golden Boy Promotions' day-to-day chief Richard Schaefer. Lampley said the promoter told him, off air, that he could see the Mexican phenom Canelo Alvarez, who just decisioned Shane Mosley on the May 5 Mayweather-Cotto undercard, fighting Miguel Cotto at Madison Square Garden in December.
Mouths started to water among those who pondered the showdown between the barely-out-of-his-teens Canelo, age 21, and the 31-year-old Cotto, in a Mexico vs Puerto Rico square-off at MSG. There has been a sad dearth of megafights at MSG in the last decade, and this one surely would blow the roof off.
In 2002, we saw zero fights in the big room; in 2003, the Vitali Klitschko-Kirk Johnson heavyweight clash; in 2004, John Ruiz and Fres Oquendo lit off a stinkbomb that lingered for years; Felix Trinidad had the joint jumping in a TKO win over Ricardo Mayorga; Ruiz rumbled with Andrew Golota on a DKP heavyweight festival; in 2005, James Toney, on a PED, beat Ruiz; and Cotto rode the Puerto Rican Day Parade wave with a win over Muhammad Abdullaev; in 2006, Zab Judah slipped against Carlos Baldomir; Cotto paraded to a win over Paul Malignaggi; Wladimir Klitschko rubbed out Calvin Brock; in 2007, Cotto got a TKO11 win over Judah; Golota stopped Kevin McBride in a heavy heavy card; and Cotto came back to NY to decision Shane Mosley; in 2008, Roy Jones faced Trinidad; Wladimir Klitschko beat Sultan Ibragimov; Joe Calzaghe downed Roy Jones; in 2009, Cotto hammered Michael Jennings in the winter; he came back again to beat Joshua Clottey to coincide with the parade; in 2010, there were no boxing cards in the big room; in 2011, Cotto got his revenge against MargaCheato in December. Thus far in 2012, there hasn't been a boxing card in the big room. (The diminishing promotional presence of Don King has greatly affected fans of fights at MSG.)
So, as you can see, boxing has been under-represented at MSG in the last couple years. A Canelo-Cotto clash would be the biggest buzz jolt from boxing since Cotto-Judah and Cotto-Mosley, and I do believe would surpass both of those for electricity. Correct me if you think I'm wrong, but I feel a Canelo-Cotto scrap would draw the most boxing heat in that building since the Sept. 29, 2001 Bernard Hopkins-Felix Trinidad clash. Readers, do you agree?