by David P. Greisman
The most skilled boxers know exactly what’s coming at them and how to deal with it.
We boxing fans should be so lucky.
Worry not, then. The events of these next 12 months of 2013 cannot catch us blindly, laying us out like Manny Pacquiao at the end of a Juan Manuel Marquez right hand.
That cannot happen, because my crystal ball tells all. Be prepared:
Ronny Rios faces Rico Ramos in the main event of “ShoBox: The New Generation.” Commentators Barry Tompkins and Steve Farhood will be tongue-tied while trying to call the fight.
In his continuing quest to compare contemporary boxing figures to historical ones, Max Kellerman refers to himself on-air as a modern-day Larry Merchant. HBO viewers do a collective spit take.
Yet another long past-his prime, far out-of-shape heavyweight announces his comeback. The WBC announces a new line of “Senior” championship belts, which look suspiciously like tacky green suspenders.
Randall Bailey will throw a punch.
Adrien Broner has little trouble dispatching of Gavin Rees. Afterward, he announces his move to junior welterweight and, in recognition of his next opponent, temporarily changes his nickname from “The Can Man” to “The Khan Man.” Don King mishears Broner’s proclamation and threatens to sue for trademark infringement.
Once again, Johnathon Banks stops Seth Mitchell on the undercard of an Adrien Broner fight in Atlantic City. Days later, HBO signs heavyweight prospect Deontay Wilder and works toward feeding him the same measuring stick opponent that Mitchell and Chris Arreola once faced: Chazz Witherspoon.
After a year in which he fought five times, bantamweight titleholder Leo Santa Cruz tops his 2012 by pulling a George Foreman and fighting five guys in one night.
Timothy Bradley is spotted at a small card in California, still clutching tightly to his “Bradley-Pacquiao 2” poster.
A fighter finally admits that he's not in the best shape of his life and hasn't had a good training camp.
Miguel Cotto is forced to drop out of his May fight against Canelo Alvarez after doctors, clearly concerned about Cotto constantly referring to himself in the third person, take him in for observation.
Al Haymon signs the entire cast and crew of Jersey Shore. The program is suddenly revived and now, not too coincidentally, will be aired on Showtime.
Jim Lampley’s glasses get their own talk show.
LL Cool J, softer as he hits his mid-40s and no longer carrying the power he did when younger, releases an updated version of his old hit, retitled: “Mama Said Score a Unanimous Decision.”
Sergio Martinez stops Martin Murray in an entertaining, energetic but otherwise uneventful card in Argentina. Afterward, the head of the country’s athletic commission flips over a placard — installed after last year the post-fight debacle following Johnriel Casimero’s stoppage of Luis Lazarte — to read: “RIOT FREE FOR 441 DAYS.”
Under the watchful guidance of infamous strength and conditioning coach Angel Heredia, Juan Manuel Marquez will somehow be allowed to enter the ring with a bionic arm. Marquez will knock out Brandon Rios.
Danny Garcia’s father and trainer, Angel Garcia, has a quiet afternoon.
Floyd Mayweather stops a game but outmatched Robert Guerrero. On the undercard, Canelo Alvarez beats late replacement Ricardo Mayorga by technical knockout, setting up a September bout between the two superstars.
Mayorga will once again retire.
Lucian Bute has another keep-busy bout in anticipation of his rematch with Carl Froch but gets knocked out, effectively ending his time as a noteworthy super middleweight.
Company executives come to their senses and release a Don King Chia pet.
Ken Hershman leaves HBO for the NCAA and declares that its college basketball tournament will now be just six teams but will take two years to complete.
Heavyweight prospect Tyson Fury takes anger management classes, changes his last name.
The lightweight title bout that no one had asked for features Miguel Vazquez defending against Richard Abril. Vazquez will do little beyond trying to move. Abril will do little beyond trying to hold. Their styles will mesh, and the lightweight title bout that no one had asked for becomes the early candidate for “Fight of the Year” — except nobody will have seen it.
A cutman pens a Shakespearean comedy: All’s Well That Enswell.
Middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin tests the waters at 168, facing Otis Griffin. The battle pits the fighter known as “Triple G” against a boxer nicknamed “Triple OG.”
Under the watchful guidance of infamous strength and conditioning coach Angel Heredia, Juan Manuel Marquez will somehow be allowed to enter the ring with a tag team partner. They will score an upset over Vitali Klitschko.
A light heavyweight titleholder whose last name is Shumenov finally realizes the key to getting mainstream acceptance — he signs singing sensation Justin Bieber away from Floyd Mayweather's "Money Team," then walks to the ring with the teen crooning, "Oh Beibut, Beibut, Beibut, oh!"
After being released by the Philadelphia Eagles, Michael Vick becomes a pro boxer and debuts on Showtime. Play-by-play announcer Mauro Ranallo earns gasps from viewers after proclaiming that Vick’s opponent has drawn him into a dogfight.
Showtime fires its broadcasters and does nothing but present viewers’ Tweets on-screen for all three minutes of each round.
Ricardo Mayorga publishes a children’s book.
“Friday Night Fights” goes off the air for the remainder of the year. Teddy Atlas calms down.
Floyd Mayweather beats Canelo Alvarez so badly that it violates the terms of his probation.
Once again, a dueling card takes place in Las Vegas during Mexican Independence Day Weekend.
Once again, it involves Sergio Martinez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Once again, Chavez knocks Martinez down in the waning moments of the final round. This time, the knockdown comes with 17 seconds left in the fight.
And this time, referee Richard Steele — who came out of retirement for one night after being specially appointed by the WBC — stops the bout with two seconds left.
Heavyweights prospects and contenders continue to develop in Europe. Far too few in America notice.
James Toney speaks to a few reporters for his annual calling out of “the Klitschko sisters,” then hangs up and orders a pizza.
Antonio Tarver returns from his yearlong suspension and resumes fighting at nearly 45 — despite the ravages of age and the wear and tear of a long career. In his first bout back, he interrupts a referee during the final instructions with this question: “You got any ibuprofen tonight? You got any ibuprofen tonight?”
David Haye follows up his stint on TV show “I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!” with a second edition of “I’m In With a Klitschko… Get Me Out of Here!”
Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao meet for the fifth time, though for the first time with more stringent drug testing. The bout will take place at featherweight.
On Dec. 2, Evander Holyfield and Bernard Hopkins, combined, will be exactly 100 years old.
On the season finale of “Homeland,” Carrie Mathison arrests Al Haymon, revealing herself to be a double agent who has also been working for HBO.
A year will end without anyone talking about Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao.
The 10 Count will finally return next week.
“Fighting Words” appears every Monday on BoxingScene.com. David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at [email protected]