• Steve Bunce

Twelve rounds we need to see

Steve Bunce
August 26, 2014
Will the end of 2014 see the return of David Haye? © PA Photos

So far this year has been memorable for some great fights and boxing stories, but it is not over yet. I give you the 12 'rounds' of boxing that I would like to see before the end of December.

As a warning, there are no rounds in my '12' rounds.


Round 1

Carl Frampton will fight for the world title in his beloved hometown of Belfast on September 6 against former victim Kiko Martinez.

There will be tears inside the Titantic Quarter if Frampton wins. It could be the start of an incredible series of fights for Frampton in Belfast.

Round 2

David Haye will be back and that is a promise. Haye is convinced that there are some easy pickings in the heavyweight division and still plans to end his exile with two quick fights before the end of the year.

Haye has not fought since beating Dereck Chisora in 2012.

Round 3

Bernard Hopkins against Sergei Kovalev is a mad fight © Getty Images

Bernard Hopkins is 49 and in November he will risk his IBF and WBA titles and his reputation in a showdown with Sergei Kovalev.

It is a mad fight, a fight that could end the career of a legend and launch Kovalev to another level.

However, Sergei has to win and Hopkins has told him: "No chance." What a fight.

Round 4

British and European middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders is unbeaten and he wants to fight Chris Eubank Jr.

There is a chance that the fantastic fight could take place this year. Eubank Jr has talked his way to the title fight and Saunders, who does not need Eubank Jr, is desperate for it.

It's a big one.

Round 5

Wladimir Klitschko gets a lot of stick for being cautious in the ring but there is no proof that he has ever avoided a single challenger.

Later this year, he fights yet another unbeaten mandatory challenger when he meets Kubrat Pulev.

Originally scheduled for September 6, the fight has been postponed due a Klitschko injury. But when it does happen, it could be a hard night for the veteran.

Round 6

There is every chance that Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson will fight this side of Christmas.

It is a natural fight between two quality world champions - one from Washington DC and the other from Philadelphia - in what could be a big, big event.

Garcia's foul-mouthed father, Angel, adds a bit of extra spice.

Round 7

Tony Bellew and Nathan Cleverly renew their rivalry in November © PA Photos

In November Tony Bellew and Nathan Cleverly will fight again. The pair met in 2011 and Cleverly retained his WBO light-heavyweight title on a tight decision.

Bellew has not stopped moaning and screaming "foul" since then and it has worked: Bellew could have home advantage and he will get more money.

Round 8

Big Audley Harrison will return from Los Angeles and get in a decent fight somewhere in Britain.

The 2000 Olympic gold medal winner has been out of action since losing in one round to Deontay Wilder in April 2013. The break from boxing, he insists, has helped him become a better fighter.

This is a real comeback, trust me.

Round 9

Will Paul Smith become the first of Liverpool's Smith brothers to win a world title? Well, on September 27 he fights Arthur Abraham for the WBO super-middleweight title in Germany.

It is a hard, hard task. However, Abraham has looked poor in some fights during the last four years…and very good in others.

Round 10

Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather will each fight before the end of the year and for the sixth year in a row they will not be fighting each other.

Is the clash getting closer? Not a chance and that is terribly sad for all involved. Floyd has a rematch with Maidana on September 13 and Pacquiao fights Chris Algieri in November.

Round 11

Tyson Fury will try and end a dreadful 18 months with a victory over Dereck Chisora at the Excel in London's East End on November 22.

Fury and Chisora have a lot of ugly history and the fight will also be an eliminator for Klitschko's WBO title.

It will not be for the squeamish.

Round 12

There will be some excellent domestic fights as unbeaten fighters like Anthony Joshua, Kal Yafai and Bradley Saunders move up a level and men like George Groves, Frankie Gavin and Ricky Burns get back in the ring after defeats.

Liam Smith, Lee Selby and Scott Quigg will get established. Great end to a year.

That's it, that's the 12 'rounds' from inside my head. It will be a superb four months.

Will Marcos Maidana inflict a first career defeat on Floyd Mayweather Jr? © AP
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