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8 (Realistic) Dream Fights for 2020

The beginning of a new year always inspires members of the boxing media to post their “dream fight” articles about the biggest and the best fights that should happen in the coming year. But, honestly, most of those dream pairings are pure fantasy given the current state of the fight business and boxing politics.

So, here’s a list of “can do” fights for 2020 that, realistically, could be made:

Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman II

The Filipino Icon’s short list of potential foes for 2020 has been whittled down from three to maybe one. The name left off that list, however, is the one who lost to him last July in a close and compelling tactical battle that left fans wanting more. In the absence of a Mayweather rematch or a bankable lesser fight, a rematch with Thurman sounds perfect for everyone.

Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Teofimo Lopez

The 31-year-old three-belt lightweight champ, Lomachenko, is a master tactician and a generational talent. The 22-year-old recently-crowned IBF lightweight champ, Lopez, is one of the most gifted young offensive talents in the game. Both are at a professional crossroads and in need a big, even-money fight. Both are also promoted by Top Rank. This one should be a no-brainer.

Terence Crawford vs. Shawn Porter

According to Team Porter, the green light has been given by adviser Al Haymon to pursue this bout that was so widely rumored prior to Crawford’s last outing. Crawford, the WBO welterweight champ who is universally regarded as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world is cut off from most of the big fights in the division by business blocks and really has no other bankable options for the immediate future. If an obstacle has been removed in making this fight, there’s no reason it shouldn’t be signed. On top of everything, it’s also likely to be a really good fight.

Saul Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin III

Putting together a bout between two of the three major players fighting under the DAZN banner should not be so complicated. But rivers of bad blood and a failure from the streaming service to contractually bind Alvarez to a second Golovkin rematch have allowed this fight to be held up indefinitely. There’s no doubt that it should happen, though. DAZN, which likely signed both fighters precisely with the idea of staging a big-money, subscription-driving bout pitting the two bitter rivals against one another, needs to get on the ball to make things happen.

Mikey Garcia vs. Josh Taylor

Four-division world champ Garcia has just joined up with DAZN and Taylor has just established himself as, perhaps, the major player at junior welterweight. Realistically, Garcia is no welterweight, no matter how much he wants to be one, and would be better suited at 140 where the easiest (and best) big fight to be made would be against Taylor.

Leo Santa Cruz vs. Gary Russell Jr.

Although Santa Cruz just won a super featherweight world title, it wouldn’t be too hard to see him moving back to featherweight for the right fight. It also wouldn’t be too hard to see WBC featherweight champ Russell move up to super featherweight for the right fight. Well, competitively and financially, Santa Cruz-Russell is probably “the right fight” for both. And with the two fighters doing business under the Premier Boxing Champions banner, the bout could be made if both parties really wanted it.

Naoya Inoue vs. Luis Nery

This would be the only fight on this list where an arrangement between business rivals would have to be reached before getting the boxers into the ring. But Inoue, who just signed a US deal with Top Rank Promotions, has shown himself willing to take on all challengers and Nery, who works with Premier Boxing Champions, needs a big fight to erase some of the stink from reportedly dirty blood tests and battles with the scale. One thing is certain, though—Inoue-Nery would be an offensive masterpiece between two legit monsters of the ring.

Amir Khan vs. Kell Brook

This all-UK rivalry has been brewing for years, but was always put on the backburner. With the end of both careers approaching and no other real money fights on the horizon, 2020 should be the year these archrivals finally pick up that pile of


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Paul Magno
Paul Magno has over forty years of experience in and around the sport of boxing and has had his hand in everything, from officiating to training. As a writer, his work has appeared in several online publications, including Yahoo Sports, Fox Sports, FightHype, Max Boxing, Boxing.com, Inside Fights, The Boxing Tribune, The Queensberry Rules, and Premier Boxing Champions. You can reach him at: paulmagno@theboxingtribune.com
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