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Written by Ian Wallwork

A look at the boxing fixtures for early 2012

It's time we looked at the new year to see what fights are lined up for us boxing fans. For me, 2011 was a disappointment but I don't want to go into that now. If you disagree with me, maybe we can talk about it in the comments section. For now, I want to look ahead to 2012 and see what boxing fixtures are lined up for us. There are some good ones already scheduled.

The first thing to say is there aren't many lined up past April. This is fair enough - by the end of February we will likely have a full calendar of boxing fixtures booked for 2012. For now, we will have to settle for looking at the first quarter of the year. Are you ready?

January starts off slowly, with most of the action being title defences in the lighter weight classes. Takashi Uchiyama, Celestino Caballero and Rico Ramos all defend their WBA belts and of the three, Takashi Uchiyama's defence is the most appealing.

The thirty-two year old from Japan is undefeated and has defended his belt four times. In Jorge Solis, the champion will face his toughest test to date and could lose his belt. Rico Ramos' fight is also one to watch because he faces undefeated Olympic star Guillermo Rigondeaux, a Cuban considered one of the greatest amateur fighters ever. Despite his lack of professional experience, I expect Rigondeaux to take Ramos' belt.

Takashi Uchiyama faces his toughest test yet in Jorge Solis.
In February things hot up. Undefeated wonderkids Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and Adrien Broner both defend their world title belts against Marco Antonio Rubio and Eloy Perez. Pound for pound great Nonito Donaire will take on Wilfredo Vazquez Jr, where he is a cert to pick up the vacant WBO Super Bantamweight belt, making him a four division world champion and pushing him closer to countryman Manny Pacquiao's record of eight world titles.

Also in February we have a rematch in the Cruiserweight division. Last October Steve Cunningham and Yoan Pablo Hernandez fought to a controversial stoppage, with Cunningham losing his belt to Hernandez.  The ringside physician ended the fight due to cuts sustained by 'USS' Cunningham, and the controversy comes when the cuts are considered. They weren't affecting Cunningham's ability to fight and so shouldn't have stopped the action. The scorecards up to the sixth round were also skewered in Hernandez's favour, but most fans had Cunningham winning. He will be hungry for revenge in the February 4th rematch.

In February there's some rare action in the heavyweight division. Dereck Chisora, who was the victim of a poor judges' decision against Robert Helenius, gets his break when he takes on WBC champion Vitali Klitschko. I don't give Chisora a big chance, but he will perform better than Tomasz Adamek did last October. More likely is Chisora will serve as a warm up to a summer fight between Vitali Klitschko and David Haye.

A week later on Febraury 25th, WBA 'Regular' champion Alexander Povetkin takes on Marco Huck. I don't like this fight for a couple of reasons. Firstly, Povetkin's belt is worthless. It used to be held by Wladimir Klitschko until he was upgraded to 'Super' champion. This is a title defence in name only. Secondly, Marco Huck is a cruiserweight. He's fought at that level most of his career, and now he is completing a trend I hoped was gone - cruiserweight vs heavyweight. Huck isn't even having a warm up at heavyweight before taking on Povetkin; he's going straight for a shot at the title. I'll still watch the fight because we are starved of heavyweight action, but don't expect a sizzler.

Alexander Povetkin will make the second defence of his WBA 'Regular' World title against Marco Huck in February.

We end the first quarter of 2012 in March where there's some good action lined up, with Danny Garcia, Ricky Burns and Orlando Salido all climbing into the ring. Garcia fights Erik Morales in a March mega-fight and Salido will take on Juan Manuel Lopez. Burns' opponent is still TBA. I'm looking forward to seeing Ricky Burns fight again. The Scot will take on absolutely anyone, and I want to see where his limit is. He called out Juan Manuel Marquez a couple of months ago - the man has no fear.

Also in March we have the second half of K2 defending his treasure trove of WBO, WBA, IBOOK and IBF heavyweight belts. Wladimir Klitschko takes on Jean Marc Mormeck, a cruiserweight who moved up to heavyweight in 2009 with a win over Vinny Maddalone. In three years, Mormeck has fought three times at heavyweight. I don't think he'll cause Wladimir much trouble when they meet.

So that's the boxing fixture list for the first quarter of 2012. More will be announced in the next couple of months, but as it stands it is a decent line-up and there are fights there I want to see. What are you looking forward to?

To see the full list of boxing fixtures for 2012, click here.