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The Hottest Boxing Storylines for the Week of February 17

Kevin McRaeFeatured ColumnistFebruary 16, 2014

The Hottest Boxing Storylines for the Week of February 17

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    When will we find out "Money" Mayweather's next foe?
    When will we find out "Money" Mayweather's next foe?Eric Jamison/Associated Press

    Boxing has hit a bit of a lull in the last couple of weeks, but don't worry, we have you covered.

    We'll break down all the latest news in the sport for you, ask the pertinent questions and give you everything you'll need to know to hold a conversation in the week ahead.

    Is Floyd Mayweather set to finally announce his next opponent? Is he just holding the boxing world on ceremony at this point?

    Will the big rematch between Carl Froch and George Groves be Britain's biggest fight?

    Did we learn anything new about Tyson Fury this weekend? And should he rematch Dereck Chisora in his next bout?

    And finally, why can't Gennady Golovkin get a fight? 

    All that and more appear in this week's edition of the hottest storylines in boxing.

When Will Floyd Mayweather Make It Official?

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    Mayweather is due to announce his plans any day now.
    Mayweather is due to announce his plans any day now.Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

    It's good to be the king.

    It's obvious that the boxing world revolves around Floyd Mayweather. He dominates the headlines, and whatever he does or doesn't do makes news.

    After announcing via his Twitter page that he would allow the fans to vote on his next opponent, Mayweather received more than 35,000 opinions. The overwhelming favorite, at least as expressed by those who took the time to vote, was British former junior welterweight champion Amir Khan, per Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports. 

    The Brit received more than 20,000 votes, and that was enough to outpace current WBA welterweight champion Marcos Maidana. 

    Sadly for fans, Khan and Maidana were the only two options available, and neither fight is hugely compelling.

    Khan's chin issues, and his underachievement thus far, have been documented an umpteen number of times. The only thing he has going for him are fast hands.

    Well, that, and a level of confidence that makes him exciting but often gets him in trouble in the ring.

    Maidana, despite a career-best performance against Adrien Broner in December, is a fairly limited fighter. Sure, he's tough and exciting and always gives the fans some bang for their buck. But he's also slow, technically limited and tailor-made for Mayweather to slice and dice over 12 lopsided rounds. 

    It would seem, at least based on everything we've heard thus far, that Khan will be the one who gets the fight.

    The only real question remaining is when Mayweather will make the announcement, and when he does, you can be sure that the boxing world will stop and listen.

Will Froch vs. Groves II Be the Biggest Fight in British History?

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    Carl Froch and George Groves are set for a rematch of their highly controversial first fight.
    Carl Froch and George Groves are set for a rematch of their highly controversial first fight.Scott Heavey/Getty Images

    The highly anticipated rematch between unified super middleweight champion Carl Froch and George Groves has been finalized for May 31, per Sky Sports.

    It's one of the biggest rematches—and possibly the biggest—in British boxing history, and according to Jeff Powell of the Daily Mailit will be held in an as-yet undetermined football stadium. 

    This fight has the potential to smash all sorts of British boxing records. Per ESPN, the current post-War live attendance record for a fight in Britain belongs to Ricky Hatton. He packed 55,000 fans into the City of Manchester Stadium for his 2008 fight against Juan Lazcano.

    If Froch vs. Groves II lands at Wembley or Emirates Stadium, it could eclipse that mark. 

    Froch defeated Groves via ninth-round knockout last November, but the stoppage was both very unpopular and controversial.

    Groves was certainly wobbled by a big Froch right hand in the ninth, but he was still fighting back and didn't appear in serious trouble when the referee interceded to stop the bout. Froch looked relieved at the referee’s decision, and he escaped with a win that was harder than anticipated.

    Groves, who walked into the ring unbeaten but untested, even dropped the “Cobra” in the first round and was ahead on the cards at the time of the stoppage.

    The decision was immediately met by fierce boos from the crowd—it's worth noting that they were hotly pro-Froch at the start of the bout—and a physical altercation in the ring between members of both fighter's camps further marred the affair.

    There's a lot of bad blood and more than a little unfinished business here. 

    And that always sells.

Is Tyson Fury vs. Dereck Chisora Suddenly a Must-See Rematch?

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    Tyson Fury stopped late replacement Joey Abell on Saturday night in London.
    Tyson Fury stopped late replacement Joey Abell on Saturday night in London.Scott Heavey/Getty Images

    Tyson Fury returned to the ring on Saturday night in London, scoring a dramatic fourth-round knockout of late replacement Joey Abell.

    But it wasn't easy, and the mammoth British heavyweight showed obvious signs of rust after not fighting for nearly 10 months.

    Abell caught Fury cold in the first round with a series of massive lefts that had him reeling, but the Brit was able to rally in the second and floor his opponent twice. 

    Fury seized control from that point forward. He still ate more shots than necessary, but he was never in trouble again.

    This result will have very little, if any, impact on the big picture of the heavyweight landscape, but it will hopefully lead to a more significant fight before year's end.

    Dereck Chisora—who was left for dead after losing four of five bouts between 2011 and 2012—also continued his career resurrection on Saturday night, pounding out a clear unanimous-decision victory over former title challenger Kevin Johnson. 

    "Del Boy" suddenly has the look of a contender again, and with Fury in need of a significant win to jump from pretender to contender, this seems like a perfect match.

    The two men have already met once in the ring—Fury took a unanimous decision when both men were undefeated in 2011—but circumstances have changed.

    Chisora is fighting with renewed confidence in the ring and control outside of it, which we haven't seen from him in, well, his entire career. Fury, on the other hand, has been inactive and weighed in at a career-high 274 pounds for his bout against Abell.

    It's true that Fury refused to remove his clothes in order to be weighed, but you can't help but feel like this feeds into a perception that he just isn't serious enough.

    For a while, that was the exact knock on Chisora. But he seems to have righted the ship, and he’d be the perfect challenge to find out if Fury has as well.

Why Can't Gennady Golovkin Get Good Fights?

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    Nobody wants to fight Gennady Golovkin.
    Nobody wants to fight Gennady Golovkin.Al Bello/Getty Images

    Gennady Golovkin is the current WBA middleweight champion. He has won his last 16 bouts by knockout—the last man to go the distance with him was Amar Amari in 2008—and recently dominated Osumanu Adama in Monte Carlo to defend his title for the ninth time. 

    But the Kazakh destroyer just can't find a top-tier middleweight who is willing to fight him.

    It's getting ridiculous now.

    Former IBF middleweight champion Daniel Geale turned down an offer to fight on April 26, per Dan Rafael of ESPN.com, citing concerns that the bout would not be televised in his native Australia.

    Most big fights in Australia are televised on Main Event Pay-Per-View, but the company is already committed to airing a UFC event on that date. Without the fight on PPV, Geale would have likely lost a significant chunk of change from the sale of the event to his domestic audience.

    According to Rafael, Golovkin is likely headed for a bout with veteran middleweight contender Andy Lee in April at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. 

    That was decided after failing to secure either Geale or junior middleweight contender James Kirkland, who, like Golovkin, has dynamite in his fists. Instead, Kirkland will likely fight on the undercard with the presumption that he'd face Golovkin later in the year.

    The bottom line? Lee was the only fighter who had both a recognizable name and a willingness to accept the fight. 

    At this point, it's becoming clear that most of the middleweight division wants no part of the man known as GGG and his absurd 89.66 knockout percentage.

Is Adonis Stevenson Ducking?

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    Adonis Stevenson seems to want little part of Sergey Kovalev.
    Adonis Stevenson seems to want little part of Sergey Kovalev.Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

    Back in November, HBO's Boxing After Dark presented a light heavyweight doubleheader that featured two big punching champions who appeared to be on a collision course. 

    Both Adonis Stevenson and Sergey Kovalev took care of business—each won by knockout, though the Russian's was more emphatic—in what most felt was little more than a showcase to hype a showdown between the two in 2014.

    Speaking with Max Kellerman after the bout, Kovalev was very clear that Stevenson was the fight he wanted next. He didn't mince words.

    As for Stevenson?

    Well, let's just say he did a few verbal gymnastics and dropped a few other names to avoid answering the question directly.

    In the ring after the fight, Stevenson said he was interested in potential bouts against super middleweight champion Carl Froch or Bernard Hopkins. The latter opponent is virtually impossible due to the ongoing HBO/Golden Boy Promotions feud.

    Stevenson didn't seem in a hurry to face Kovalev.

    According to a report from Lem Satterfield of The Ring Magazine, Stevenson is close to finalizing a deal to defend his crown against twice-beaten Polish contender Andrzej Fonfara on May 24 in Montreal. 

    The "Krusher," on the other hand, is lined up to face unheralded—but also undefeated—Cedric Agnew on March 29 in Atlantic City.

    Kovalev continues to make no bones about the fact that he wants a fight with Stevenson.

    "Last year in my division the best boxer was [Adonis] Stevenson. Which means I need to beat him. Maybe after this fight I will be third in my division. I am ready for any fight in my division. I want to fight Stevenson," Kovalev said last week during a media conference call to promote his fight with Angew, per Main Events.

    But the question is: Does Stevenson want a fight with him?

    That remains to be seen.

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