During what many consider the “Golden Age” of boxing, getting the best fighters in each division to meet in a boxing “Superfight” was relatively easy to make happen. The promoters wanted it because they stood to earn millions in close-circuit TV rights, boxers wanted it because they wanted to prove they were the real champ. And the fans wanted it because they wanted to see the best fight the best.
Match ups, like Leonard vs. Hearns, Hearns vs. Duran, Duran vs. Hagler, Hagler vs. Leonard, were an annual event. Nowadays, getting fighters to meet each other in their prime is nearly impossible. Promoters (e.g., Golden Boy, PBC, Top Rank) protecting their fighters. Alphabet soup organizations (WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO…) charge astronomical sanctioning fees. Finally, the boxers themselves worry about getting an “L” on their record and losing their marketability as an undefeated fighter.
The results are mismatches that fans could care less to watch. But with a new year comes new hope! Some exciting fights took place at the end of 2020 and we expect it to continue into 2021. Here’s our wish list of the 5 fights we hope to materialize in the new year!
Teofimo Lopez vs. Gervonta Davis
Lopez is a rising star in the boxing world. With less than 20 fights on his resume (16 – 0 with 12 KOs), it’s the quality of opposition he’s beaten that has the sport abuzz. In 2019 he won four consecutive fights. Among them a 2nd round TKO over the highly regarded Richard Commey in which he picked up the IBF strap. He followed this up in 2020 by winning the WBO and WBA lightweight belts with an impressive win over former undefeated Vasyl Lomachenko. The latter whom many considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport.
Davis’ last fight was a destructive TKO victory over Leo Santa Cruz. Dropping him in the 6th round with his signature left uppercut. An ESPN worthy highlight that took away Santa Cruz’ WBA junior lightweight title. These two are already familiar with each other’s style of fighting having had several sparring sessions at the early stages of their pro careers.
Now that they are both world championship caliber fighters, it’s sure to be an exciting fight. While Davis and Lopez are signed with different promoters (Davis with Mayweather Promotions; Lopez with Top Rank), there are millions to be made for both camps from this lightweight showdown.
Everyone knows Floyd Mayweather is all about making millions so you can expect him at some point to meet with Bob Arum to make this fight happen. The hype for this fight should be entertaining as Mayweather, and now Davis, are very skilled at promoting fights. As for Lopez, he is not one to shy away from the spotlight!
Tyson Fury vs. Anthony Joshua
Heavyweight superfights have always captured the imagination of the world like no other in sports. Doubt this, Ali vs. Frazier, Ali vs. Foreman, Tyson vs. Holyfield all had the world watching. A match-up between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua would be no different.
It may seem like a lifetime ago, but it was only early 2020 when Fury dominated Deontay Wilder in their rematch. Finishing Wilder by 7th round TKO. Taking Wilder’s WBC heavyweight crown and keeping his title as the “lineal” heavyweight champ. Meanwhile, fellow country man Anthony Joshua believes he’s the real heavyweight champ since he holds three of the four alphabet organization titles. A fight between these heavyweight titans was discussed in early 2019 but the plans got derailed when Joshua lost to Anthony Ruiz. Since then, Joshua has avenged the loss to Ruiz and recently KO’d Kubrat Pulev in 9 rounds.
With Fury being one of the most entertaining personalities in boxing. The hype and promotional tour for this match will be one of the best reality TV shows and just as entertaining as the fight itself. A Fury vs Joshua fight will also finally give us an undisputed heavyweight champion. A first in almost 20 years and give the winner the unofficial title of “baddest man on the planet”.
Terrence Crawford vs. Errol Spence
This is probably the match-up fans most want to see. Crawford and Spence are at the peak of their game and have been on a collision course to fight each other the past two years. A fight between these two undefeated champs would be reminiscent of Leonard vs. Hearns I.
The fight has not happened yet due to the promotional companies. Spence is with Premier Boxing Champions while Crawford is with Top Rank. Neither company wants to put their top fighter at risk of losing. At the same time, each fighter feels they are the “A” side of this match-up and wants the lion’s share of the purse. Crawford and Spence have already had their share of in person encounters exchanging verbal jabs about what would happen if they met in the ring. When Crawford was asked by TMZ Sports about a fight with the IBF champ he stated he was tired of waiting for a fight with Spence and called him out by saying “Take off them panties and pull up your pants up and let’s sign the contract!”.
The longer it takes to make this fight happen, the more this potential welterweight showdown is looking more like May-Pac. Highly anticipated but happening with both fighters past their primes. The window on this superfight is slowly closing. Both fighters are in their 30s with only a few more prime years left. Let’s hope this is the year we get Leonard vs. Hearns I recreated in the form of Crawford vs. Spence.
Canelo Alvarez vs. Jermall Charlo
Canelo is considered boxing’s top PPV attraction and the face of the sport. After two battles with GGG, and victories over Daniel Jacobs and Sergey Kovalev. There are few top names left available for Canelo to fight and earn those big PPV paydays. He also needs to be active in 2021 after a year of inactivity due to the pandemic and promotional problems with Golden Boy.
Enter Jermall Charlo. Charlo is a two-time undefeated champ with a record of 31-0 with 22 KOs and has been looking for a fight with a marquee name to propel him to the elite level. He’s already stated he’s willing to move up to 168lbs to face Alvarez. Canelo says he wants to fight three times in 2021 and unify the 168lb. crown. But will those fights give him the big payday that a fight with Charlo will bring? When recently asked about a Charlo fight, Canelo was quite vague in his reply stating, “we have to see”.
This match-up is a good one because it could force Canelo to make adjustments he’s not used to. Charlo has physical advantages in terms of height (6’0”) and reach (73.5 inches). He has a strong piston-like jab that gets your attention, likes to start fast and applies a lot of pressure. Most importantly, Charlo is hungry and wants the elite fighter status that Canelo currently enjoys. If Canelo can’t offset the jab and keep Charlo off of him, it could be a long night for the champ. Canelo would have to make adjustments he’s not used to and make them fast. Some say an Alvarez vs. Charlo fight could be similar to Leonard vs. Duran I. If it’s anything close to that, it will be one for the history books!
Ryan Garcia vs. Gervonta Davis
Garcia just came off an impressive win earlier this month against Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell where he was tested for the first time. Garcia was knocked down in the 2nd round but came back to stop Campbell in the 7th.
KingRy received rave reviews from many boxing experts for his performance. To many it finally showed he was more than just hype and a social media sensation. After his win, Garcia wasted no time in calling out Gervonta Davis. He’s even predicted he would knock him out! This would make for an interesting match-up not only for the fighters but for their respective promoters. Garcia is under DeLaHoya’s Golden Boy Promotions while Davis is promoted by Floyd Mayweather and Mayweather Promotions.
Oscar and Floyd have always been arch rivals ever since their 2007 fight when Floyd won by split decision. DeLaHoya and Mayweather have crossed paths several times since then via different boxing promotions and Mayweather always seems to get the best of him. Case in point – when Mayweather beat his prized fighter Canelo Alvarez back in 2013. Oscar would love nothing more than to have his fighter take out Tank Davis and embarrass the whole “Money Team”. Several days ago, Garcia was a guest on Mike Tyson’s “Hot Boxin’” podcast and Davis called in. The two exchanged some verbal jabs and agreed they wanted to fight each other next!
Now let’s see if the promoters, the sanctioning bodies can get on the same page in 2021. If not for them, then for the fans and for boxing!