Pacman powers on


BERLIN, December 17- As Manny Pacquiao powers on in the lighter divisions, in 2011 the eyes of the boxing world will be on the eagerly awaited heavyweight unification bout between David Haye and Wladimir Klitschko.’Pac Man’ added the WBC light-middleweight title to his WBO welterweight crown in November with a unanimous points win over Mexico’s Antonio Margarito and the Filipino powerhouse is dominating the lighter classes.

Having destroyed Ricky Hatton in 2009, Pacquiao is peerless under the heavyweight division, although his sparring partner, Britain’s Amir Khan, could be a contender to Pac Man’s domination in the future.

The 24-year-old stylist from Bolton showed plenty of heart with a brutal points win over Argentina’s Marcos Maidana on December 12 in Las Vegas to retain his WBA light-welterweight title.

He has been mentioned as a possible future opponent for Floyd "Money" Mayweather, but the fight everyone really wanted to see was Mayweather-Pac Man.

Twice negotiations took place, twice they failed to arrange a fight, with Pac Man pulling out in January due to Mayweather’s demands for blood tests and the American then pulling out in June.

Hopes to organise the mega-fight in 2011 have been hit by criminal proceedings brought against Mayweather over a dispute with his ex-girlfriend, and no-one knows if that fight will ever take place.

In the heavyweight class it has been a similar story as the world waits for one of the Klitschko brothers to take on trash-talking Haye.

While Wladimir holds the IBF, WBO and IBO belts, Vitali is the WBC champion while brash Brit Haye is the WBA title holder.

Haye defended his title for the second time with a third-round stoppage of ex-Olympic champion Audley Harrison in November in a drab, one-sided bout.

The Londoner has now defended his title twice after seeing off former holder John Ruiz in April.

Despite all his claims that he would revolutionise the division when he beat Russian giant Nikolai Valuev in November 2009, Haye must beat one of the Klitschko brothers to back up his claims.

He has said he will retire before his 31st birthday in October 2011 and talks are currently being held for Wladimir Klitschko to fight Haye in Las Vegas next year.

Talks between Haye and Klitschko’s promoters were held this month in Las Vegas and the fight looks likely to be held Stateside.

The Englishman was set to fight Wladimir last year — and famously dubbed him ‘Bitchko’ in the build-up to the fight — but pulled out with a back injury before his win over Valuev in Nuremberg to win his WBA crown.

Both former world champions Lennox Lewis and Oscar De La Hoya have said the time is right for the fight to happen in 2011 to finally decide the true world heavyweight champion.

Wladimir had only comfortable defences over Eddie Chambers and Nigeria’s Samuel Peters in 2010 and neither fight tested the champion.

Likewise, Vitali had an uninspiring win over US veteran Shannon Briggs in October after seeing off Poland’s Albert Sosnowski with a tenth round knock-out in May.

Elsewhere, the Super Six tournament in the super-middleweight division started to take shape despite being beset by withdrawals.

WBA champion Andre Ward earned decision victories over Allan Green and Sakio Bika to take the top seed in the semi-finals where he will face German Arthur Abraham.

Both Mikkel Kessler and Andre Dirrell pulled out after victories over Carl Froch and Abraham respectively.

Froch then beat the Armenian-born Arthur to reclaim the WBC title.

In the middleweight division Sergio Martinez proved to be the king with a stunning second round revenge knock-out of American Paul Williams.

The win propelled the Argentine to third place in many people’s pound-for-pound rankings, behind only Pacquiao and Mayweather.