I've been mulling over the need for a welterweight tournament for some time now and finally got around to putting pen to paper (or, more accurately, bits on disk). Without including Oscar de la Hoya, who claims to be fighting at 147-lbs his next time out, and Floyd Mayweather, Jr., who is on "vacation," the welterweight division is chock full of talent and names that should face each other.
In order to simplify matters, I've only included eight names in my tournament. Some names have been left out, such as Shane Mosley and Luis Collazo, but they can get in line to fight the winner. I've also matched up fighters with their mandatories, in order to satisfy those fights and allow for unifications down the line. Here are the names I've included:
Miguel Angel Cotto (31-0, 25KOs) WBA Champion
Kermit "The Killer" Cintron (29-1, 27KOs) IBF Champion
Paul "The Punisher" Williams (33-0, 24KOs) WBO Champion
Joshua "The Hitter" Clottey (33-2, 19KOs) IBF #1 Contender
Antonio Margarito (35-5, 25KOs) WBO #1 Contender
Yuriy Nuzhnenko (27-0, 13KOs) WBA "Interim" Champion
Carlos "El Indio" Quintana (24-1, 19KOs)
Zab "Super" Judah (36-5, 25KOs)
I've included Zab Judah and Carlos Quintana because their fights have already been signed. Here is the tournament as I see it:
The winner would be the clear-cut leader to face Floyd Mayweather, Jr., once his vacation is over. He said he will not fight in 2008, which gives us plenty of time to complete this tournament and emerge with a unified champion whom Mayweather would have no excuses for not fighting.
The tournament should also prevent bad fights from being made and good fights from not being made. I'm speaking, of course of Cotto-Gomez, Cotto-Cintron, and Cintron-Clottey. The first shouldn't be made, and the second two should, with the second coming after the first (Clottey and Cotto are promoted by Bob Arum and he needs to look out for both fighter's economic interests).