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Happy New Year: Speakboxing Buzz

Happy New Year readers. Here's the buzz at the start of this new year, which is sure to be packed with plenty of boxing action.

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This Saturday night, World Jr Welterweight Champion Ricky Hatton returns to the 140lb division, after moving up to the welterweight division last May in his close title-winning effort against Lou Collazo, to take on IBF Jr Welterweight titlest Juan Urango. Hatton is heavily favored to defeat Urango, who won the vacant IBF belt after Hatton vacated it to make the move to welterweight. Now Hatton is coming back down to Jr Welterweight to fight Urango for the belt he used to hold. On the under card, Jose Luis Castillo will be making his 140lb debut against undefeated but untested Hermin Ngoudjo. Should both Hatton and Castillo prevail in their respective bouts, there is speculation that Hatton and Castillo will meet in a big showdown later this year.

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Tentatively scheduled for July 21 on HBO PPV, Light Heavyweight King Bernard Hopkins, who recently unretired after his history-making victory over Antonio Tarver last June, could very possibly be fighting his old rival and nemesis, former Pound for Pound King Roy Jones, Jr. In their last fight, which took place back in May 1993, Jones won by unanimous decision over Hopkins by a rather wide margin. At that time, Jones was a young tiger on the up and coming and had his speed and reflexes. Hopkins, on the other hand, was still green, inexperienced, and was just coming off a prison term that he had served. The story, in today's time, is different, as Jones has lost three of his last four fights, while Hopkins scored the biggest victory of his career less than a year ago, against Tarver, the man who's to credit for two of Jones three losses.
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Apparently Manny Pacquiao, who has emerged as the WBC mandatory challenger at 130lbs with his knockout wins over Erik Morales last year, will have to wait a little longer to get his rematch with WBC Super Featherweight Champion Marco Antonio Barrera, the man whom he brutally beat up and stopped three years ago. The WBC has given Barrera a pass on fighting Pacquiao in his next fight, approving the fight between Barrera and Former Featherweight Champion Juan Manuel Marquez. The Barrera/Marquez fight, which will be televised on HBO PPV, is set to take place in Las Vegas on March 17.
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World Super Welterweight Champion Oscar De la hoya is set to defend his title against World Welterweight Champion and Pound for Pound Picasso Floyd Mayweather, Jr on May 5, but he may very well be doing so without the tutelage of his current trainer, who is none of than Floyd Mayweather, Sr (father of Oscar's next opponent). Many in the boxing world believe that the PPV will do at least 100,000 more buys should Mayweather, Sr be present in Oscar's corner on fight night. However, Mayweather, Sr has declined from the uncomfortable position of guiding De la hoya to beat up his son. One trainer, who may very possibly replace Mayweather, Sr for this particular fight is Jack Mosley, Shane Mosley's father, who trained Shane to two upset wins over De la hoya in 2000 and 2003.

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