With 2022 within the rearview mirror, 2023 brings plenty of promise to the boxing world.
Followers are optimistic fights between the very best fighters within the division can happen, regardless of community offers and ties to promoters. On the flip facet, followers are pessimistic for a similar causes.
That doesn’t imply followers can not nonetheless play armchair matchmaker, however for fights that may realistically occur this 12 months.
Here’s a checklist of fights that may nonetheless occur later this 12 months (fingers crossed). Not included are fights which have already been verbally agreed to or have been signed.
1. Terence Crawford-Errol Spence:
Wash, rinse, repeat. Yearly, this checklist begins with this struggle. And yearly, it’s written within the hopes it’s the final time this struggle tops the checklist. Every has their model of why this struggle has not been finalized, though it was penciled for November 19. Crawford ended up defending his WBO world welterweight title in opposition to David Avanesyan. Spence has a struggle penciled in opposition to Keith Thurman in April. The hope is Crawford-Spence, Spence-Crawford takes place in September or October.
2. Artur Beterbiev-Dmitry Bivol:
The winner of this all-Russia matchup could be the undisputed champion at 175 kilos. Beterbiev has to face and defeat Anthony Yarde on January 28. Bivol doesn’t have something lined up after defeating obligatory challenger Gilberto Ramirez on November 5. Each have been open about this struggle happening. The one glitch could possibly be which community would air/ stream the struggle. Beterbiev is aligned with Prime Rank, which has an unique take care of ESPN and Bivol’s final a number of fights, together with his win over Canelo Alvarez on Might 7, have streamed on DAZN.
3. Gennady Golovkin-Jaime Munguia:
This struggle had been within the works because the spring of 2018. Do you keep in mind? Canelo Alvarez had examined optimistic for clenbuterol and the rematch between Alvarez and Golovkin was placed on the shelf. Munguia was supplied a struggle in opposition to Golovkin, however the Nevada Athletic Fee didn’t approve of the struggle. As an alternative, weeks later, Munguia challenged then-WBO world junior middleweight titleholder Sadam Ali. Munguia may need a struggle lined up in a couple of months in opposition to Shane Mosley, per rumors, however there is no such thing as a purpose why Munguia wouldn’t face Golovkin, who remains to be the unified middleweight titleholder after dropping to Alvarez on September 17.
4. Jermall Charlo-Demetrius Andrade:
DAZN’s Chris Mannix proposed this struggle months in the past. On the time, few gave it consideration, however this struggle may develop into a actuality. Andrade is now combating at tremendous middleweight and below the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) banner after being promoted by Matchroom Boxing, which has an unique take care of DAZN. Charlo, the WBC world middleweight titleholder, has not fought since June 2021. Ought to he transfer as much as 168 kilos, which has been rumored, Charlo dealing with Andrade could possibly be a lovely struggle. Each have the present of gab and will promote this struggle to the boxing public.
5. Emmanuel Navarrete-Oscar Valdez:
This struggle was scheduled to happen on February 3 in Glendale, Arizona, however Valdez needed to withdraw from the struggle as a consequence of an damage throughout coaching camp. Navarrete will now face Liam Wilson for the vacant WBO world junior light-weight title. A Navarrete win will result in a Valdez conflict later this summer time, which ought to create a buzz amongst boxing followers. Each throw a high-volume of punches and make for fan-friendly fights. The WBO belt was held by Shakur Stevenson, however was stripped of the title as a consequence of lacking weight for his world title protection in opposition to Robson Conceicao on September 26.
6. Jermell Charlo-Sebastian Fundora:
Charlo was set to make his first protection of his undisputed junior middleweight championship in opposition to Australia’s Tim Tszyu on January 28, however withdrew from the struggle as a consequence of a hand damage suffered in coaching camp. Ought to he defeat Tszyu, a struggle in opposition to Fundora could be compelling. Fundora has confronted and defeated a few of the finest fighters at 154 kilos, together with his all-out conflict in opposition to Erickson Lubin final 12 months. Who is aware of when Charlo-Tszyu can be rescheduled, however, within the meantime, Fundora may face a contender like Tony Harrison. Fundora is coming off a choice win over Carlos Ocampo on October 8.
7. Teofimo Lopez-Jose Ramirez:
A struggle between both Lopez and Ramirez in opposition to newly-crowned WBC world junior welterweight titleholder Regis Prograis is just not occurring anytime quickly, as a consequence of promotional and community ties. So, why not have Lopez face Ramirez? It is sensible. Each struggle below the Prime Rank banner and the winner would legitimize his standing at 140 kilos and be the obligatory challenger for Prograis’ WBC title. Ramirez faces former world light-weight titleholder Richard Commey on March 25 in his hometown of Fresno. Lopez final fought on December 10, defeating Sandor Martin in a really shut struggle. A struggle between Lopez and contender Arnold Barboza is also in play as Barboza can also be promoted by Prime Rank.
8. Hekkie Budler-the winner of the upcoming conflict between Kenshiro Teraji and Jonathan Gonzalez:
Teraji, the WBC and WBA world titleholder, and Gonzalez, the WBO titleholder, may have a struggle lined up this spring. It will be a unification struggle at 108 kilos. The winner may then face South Africa’s Budler, who’s coming off a hard-fought win over former world titleholder Elwin Soto, who misplaced the title to Gonzalez in October 2021. The IBF world titleholder is Sivenathi Nothshinga, who gained the title in his final bout on September 3.
9. Amanda Serrano-Alycia Baumgardner:
Each will struggle in separate bouts on February 4 inside The Hulu Theatre at Madison Sq. Backyard in New York Metropolis. Serrano will face Erika Cruz of Mexico Metropolis in a unification bout at 126 kilos and Baumgardner will sq. off in opposition to Elhem Mekhaled of France for the undisputed junior light-weight championship. Serrano is rumored to face undisputed light-weight champion Katie Taylor later this 12 months in a rematch of their epic struggle on April 30. Baumgardner defeated Mikaela Mayer in a really shut struggle. The rematch between Baumgardner and Mayer may occur subsequent 12 months, whether or not at 135 kilos, the place Mayer may have her subsequent struggle, or at junior light-weight. Serrano-Baumgardner would do stable ticket gross sales at Madison Sq. Backyard.
10. Seniesa Estrada-Yokasta Valle:
Estrada, the WBA world titleholder at 105 kilos, has a unification struggle in opposition to WBC titleholder Tina Rupprecht on March 25 in Fresno. After profitable the IBF and WBO world title belts in her final struggle on November 26, Valle has determined to maneuver again all the way down to struggle at 105 kilos and defend her two world title belts. Each Estrada and Valle have utilized a disagreement in latest days, however a struggle between the 2, whether or not at 105 or 108 kilos would promote in Southern California, the place each reside and/ or practice. This struggle may happen in the course of the summer time. Estrada is now promoted by Prime Rank and Valle by Golden Boy, who used to advertise Estrada.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for BoxingScene since September 2012 and has coated boxing in Southern California and overseas since 2000. Francisco additionally covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He may be reached by electronic mail at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing