The 2012 boxing year was filled with great fights, shocking upsets and brutal knockouts, culminating in Manny Pacquiao's destruction thanks to a well-timed Juan Manuel Marquez punch.
While a fifth fight between Marquez and Pacquiao is a virtual lock, here are five other fights likely to take place in 2013.
Floyd Mayweather vs. Canelo Alvarez
Alvarez has been a curse lately when it comes to his potential opponents.
Alvarez was ringside to watch Victor Ortiz, whom he was looking to fight until Josesito Lopez broke Ortiz's jaw.
Then, fans were excited about a possible fight between Alvarez and Miguel Cotto, provided Cotto could get past the tough Austin Trout. Canelo was ringside as Trout outboxed Cotto to win a decision in an upset.
Maybe this is all a blessing in disguise, because Floyd Mayweather is looking to come back with a bang in 2013, and he will likely fight Alvarez in a much-discussed matchup.
This fight clearly hinges on just how much Mayweather's speed and reflexes have declined, because Alvarez can win this fight if Mayweather's skills have drastically diminished.
Roman Gonzalez vs. Brian Viloria
This potential fight has hardcore fans salivating.
Viloria defeated Hernan Marquez in a fantastic fight to unify the WBO and WBA flyweight titles. Gonzalez defended his junior-flyweight title on the undercard and announced that his plan is to move up to flyweight to challenge Viloria.
It is the biggest fight for both guys and one Viloria will likely accept at some point this year.
Gonzalez is a huge puncher, and Viloria also has a lot of power and a questionable chin, so this fight probably wouldn't last 12 rounds.
Andre Ward vs. Mikkel Kessler
Ward was scheduled to defend the super-middleweight title against Kelly Pavlik at the end of this month, but Ward suffered a shoulder injury while training, which has caused the fight to be canceled.
It remains to be seen if Pavlik will get another shot, but I think Kessler has built up enough momentum since losing to Ward in the Super Six to earn a rematch against Ward over Carl Froch, who I believe will give Lucian Bute a rematch.
It is likely that Ward would win a decision again against Kessler, but Kessler would have a better performance this time.
Guillermo Rigondeaux vs. Nonito Donaire
The top fighter in 2012, Nonito Donaire, wants to fight WBC junior-featherweight champ Abner Mares, whom most fans generally regard as the No. 2 fighter in the division.
Mares also wants the fight to prove that he is the best at 122 pounds, but the friction between rival promoters Top Rank and Golden Boy will continue into the new year, so I expect that Donaire's next fight will be against famed amateur standout Guillermo Rigondeaux before he departs for the featherweight division.
Donaire has repeatedly said that he does not believe that Rigondeaux deserves a shot, but Donaire has basically cleaned out 122, except for Mares, Rigondeaux or maybe a Vic Darchinyan rematch.
Many fans believe that Rigondeaux has the skills to expose Donaire's technical flaws, and it is an intriguing fight.
Sergio Martinez vs. Gennady Golovkin
Martinez will defend the Middleweight title against tough challenger Martin Murray in April in a homecoming fight in Argentina. After that, Martinez will probably defend the title in a lucrative rematch against Juilo Cesar Chavez Jr., provided Chavez Jr.'s personal problems have been taken care of.
But, I predict that by the fall that Martinez will have a new challenger: WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin.
Golovkin is gaining buzz in boxing circles due to his fan-friendly style and knockout power. Golovkin is scheduled to fight in a couple of weeks, and if he can keep knocking guys out in spectacular fashion, he may end up getting a shot at Martinez, who would likely relish the challenge to defeat a young, strong challenger with a lot of momentum.
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