By Dermot Bolger
When it was announced this week that Miguel Cotto will defend his WBC title against Saul Alvarez in November, it will round of what will be an incredible run of high profile fights in the red hot division. There is no doubt about it, the 2015 run in will see the division reach boiling point.
Andy Lee and BJ Saunders get the action rolling on the 10th October with the WBO title at stake. A week later, the undisputed middleweight King, Gennady Golovkin squares off against Canadian power puncher David Lemieux in New York; a bout that will see two of the titles unified. (That thought though is open to interpretation with the confused status of interim and super champions!).
A number of the leading contenders in the division will also be busy, with our own Eamonn O’Kane featuring on the Golovkin / Lemiuex bill, against Tureano Johnson. The winner will be elevated to the number one contender position for the IBF title.
How it all unfolds will be intriguing. Over in the USA there will be a clamour for the winners of the GGG V Lemieux & Cotto v Alvarez fights to face each other. That would be a huge fight that would captivate the attention of fight fans the world over. Any combination of these four fighters facing each other would be an exciting affair. All four are big punchers that rarely let fight fans down.
The winner of Lee v Saunders will probably look at differing routes. Limerick’s Lee is known in the US and certainly can put himself in the mix with the above names if he comes through. He also has the option of fighting back at home if he wishes once his mandatory against Saunders is out of the way. Should Saunders win, there will be a clamour for him to have a re-match with Chris Eubank Jnr, the interim WBA world champion. That fight would be huge in the UK but not have as much appeal in the US.
There will be plenty of Irish interest in all of the above. Apart from Lee and O’Kane’s forthcoming fights, Matthew Macklin and Gary O’Sullivan will be hoping that some of the action on the world title scene will come their way.
Macklin is dwelling on returning to the light Middleweight division but would jump at the chance to fight for the middleweight title again should the opportunity arise. Spike has done himself no harm in building a fan base on the east coast of the US. Periods of inactivity have not helped his career but 2015 has been good for him. He has posted three solid wins and is now in the WBA’s top ten. He needs another outing before the year end to copper fasten his top ten ranking and keep his name in the bigger picture.
It all adds up to an exciting time in one of boxing oldest divisions.