Could Mayweather v Pacquiao or Khan v Brook happen in 2015?

By Ben DirsBBC Sport
James DeGale and George Groves
James DeGale (left) and George Groves (right) could fight for a vacant world title in 2015

Of the 10 fights on BBC Sport's 2014 wish list, only two came off - Wladimir Klitschko versus Kubrat Pulev and Carl Froch-George Groves II. And that heady night at Wembley and a few other fights aside, it is fair to say last year was not a vintage one for boxing.

The next 12 months promise to be different, with some of the biggest and brightest stars in the boxing firmament seemingly about to collide.

But promises in boxing are like promises in politics. Below are 10 fights that might happen in 2015, some of which won't even make it to the negotiating table. Just keep those gloves crossed.

Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

There are tentative signs the fight that has been on every boxing fan's wish list for the last six or seven years might actually happen in 2015.external-link But with both camps likely to insist on a contract containing more clauses than the Magna Carta, nobody is holding their breath.

Welterweight king Mayweather has two fights left on his deal with US network Showtime, which reportedly wants more bang for its buck than their star turn has been providing of late. But with the unbeaten American insisting on a much larger share of the purse than his Philippine rival, the other half of that bang might have to come from someone else.

Probability: 2 out of 5

Floyd Mayweather v Amir Khan

Which brings us to Britain's Amir Khan. Khan thought he had landed his dream fight in 2014 before Mayweather decided to twice do battle with Marcos Maidana instead. However, two dazzling victories, over Luis Collazo and Devon Alexander, put the Bolton fighter back in the welterweight mix.

The dream scenario is for five-weight world champion Mayweather to fight Pacquiao in May before taking on Khan in September. Although, assuming he beats Pacquiao, Mayweather might decide the impossibly fast and rapidly improving Khan is best avoided, especially as Mayweather has stopped only one opponent inside the distance since 2007.

Probability: 2.5

Amir Khan and Devon Alexander
Amir Khan completely outclassed American Devon Alexander when they met last December

Amir Khan v Kell Brook

Khan continues to believe Brook is beneath him, despite his Sheffield rival wresting the IBF welterweight title from Shawn Porter on American soil last August. So when Brook's promoter, Eddie Hearn, recently suggested the pair had agreed to fight at Wembley Stadium in June, Khan replied he was only interested in 'super' fights - and that Brook wasn't 'super' enough.

Khan-Brook is certainly a prospect to get the chops frothing. And given a few months of trash talk, slung from both sides of the Pennines, it could indeed sell out a football stadium. But with Khan set on fighting Mayweather or Pacquiao - or both - Brook will probably have to wait.

Probability: 2

Sergey Kovalev v Adonis Stevenson

Kovalev of Russia and Stevenson of Canada racked up three more knockouts between them in 2014, making it 44 knockouts in 53 fights overall. Kovalev also outpointed American legend Bernard Hopkins in his last fight and faces another top contender in Jean Pascal in March, meaning Stevenson has few other options.

Both men say they want the fight, so if Kovalev sees off Pascal, it should be on. Kovalev is the WBA, IBF and WBO light-heavyweight title holder, while Stevenson owns the WBC belt, meaning the winner will be that rare thing in modern boxing - a bona fide undisputed champion.

Probability: 4

Miguel Cotto v Gennady Golovkin

Cotto demolished Argentine veteran Sergio Martinez last Juneexternal-link to become the first Puerto Rican to win world titles at four different weights. Golovkin, meanwhile, honed his reputation as perhaps the world's most destructive puncher with three more knockout victories. Which is why the 34-year-old Cotto probably will not want a bar of him.

Instead, Cotto is expected to make the next defence of his WBC middleweight title against Mexican superstar Saul Alvarez, a former world champion at light-middleweight. Next on the Kazakh's hitlist is St Helens' Martin Murray,external-link whom he will fight in February.

Probability: 2

Gennady Golovkin
Gennady Golovkin made it 18 straight wins inside the distance against Marco Antonio Rubio last October

George Groves v James DeGale

The rivalry between this pair goes right back to their amateur days, when they shared a gym in west London. Groves beat DeGale in the 2007 ABA championships, before repeating the trick - against the odds - in the professional ranks in 2011.

Groves followed two world title defeats by Carl Froch with back-to-back wins in the second half of 2014. DeGale, meanwhile, looked a much improved fighter, reeling off three impressive wins to earn himself a shot at Froch's IBF super-middleweight title. But Froch wants a Las Vegas swansong, meaning Groves could fight DeGale for a vacant world title instead.

Probability: 3

Wladimir Klitschko v Tyson Fury

Many think it a terrible indictment of heavyweight boxing that some consider Fury to be the man most likely to dethrone the division's only proven class act. But Manchester's Fury has earned a shot. Klitschko is set for a voluntary defence next spring, but Fury is the WBO's mandatory challenger. This means Klitschko should fight Fury next autumn.

However, Fury's co-promoter Frank Warren says nobody in Klitschko's camp has returned his calls.external-link The suspicion is the Ukrainian, who has not been beaten for 10 years, will give up the WBO belt instead. In doing so, Klitschko would lose the respect of many boxing fans - but still be the WBA and IBF champion.

Probability: 2.5

Carl Frampton v Scott Quigg

Both men are sick of being asked about each other and the fight would make a bomb - so why don't they just get it on? If only boxing was that simple. Instead, politics and injuries dictate super-bantamweight rivals Frampton and Quigg will probably be asked about each other a lot more in 2015, without meeting in a ring.

Having won the IBF title by beating Kiko Martinez in Belfast in September, Frampton will defend against American Chris Avalos in February. Quigg, who holds a portion of the WBA title, is out of action until the summer after having surgery on his hand and will not want to face Frampton in his first fight back. Frampton will want the fight in Belfast, Quigg in Manchester. There's a lot more talking to be done.

Probability: 2

Kiko Martinez and Carl Frampton
Carl Frampton won his first world title with a second victory over Kiko Martinez last September

Andy Lee v Billy Joe Saunders

London-born Irishman Lee beat Russia's Matt Korobov last December to become the first Traveller to win a world title, the WBO middleweight belt. Saunders, meanwhile, harbours dreams of becoming the first member of Britain's Romany Gypsy community to win a world title. The two former Olympians are set to collide in 2015.

Saunders's promoter Warren has earmarked March as the ideal date, with St Patrick's weekend a possibility.external-link Lee would want the fight to take place in Ireland, although Warren says a venue is still to be decided upon. Saunders is unbeaten but Lee, despite two losses on his record, has mixed in more exalted company. It could be a cracker.

Probability: 5

Richar Abril v Anthony Crolla

Manchester's Crolla was all set to fight Cuba's Abril for the WBA lightweight title on 23 January before he was attacked by burglars, leaving him with a fractured skull and a broken ankle. All talk of a world title challenge was shelved, because Crolla was lucky to be alive.

But initial scans revealed no bleeding on the brain and Crolla is hopeful of making a full recovery and being able to box again. If Crolla does get a shot at Abril, it will be a story to warm the cockles.

Probability: Let's hope so.