Business is down in boxing and the sport’s powerbrokers are taking notice. There’s at least a whisper of a hint of recognition among them that big things are needed in the coming year. Those big things will require at least a minimal level of cooperation among rival business entities. There’s hope now that common sense may prevail next year in boxing as it battles back from the devastating effects of the Covid-19 virus.
Here’s a list of reasonably doable major fights– one per month– that could rebuild and fortify boxing.
January: David Benavidez vs. Caleb Plant
Not a “superfight” in the strictest sense of the word, but this super middleweight title unification is a true grudge match between high-end undefeated young fighters with legitimate bad blood and a compelling clash of styles
February: Manny Pacquiao vs. Mikey Garcia
The idea here is just to get Pacquiao back in the ring and sharp for a really big one later in the year. Against Garcia, he’ll be meeting a calm, cool, collected killer with flawless technique and a legitimate list of main stage accomplishments.
March: Spence/Garcia vs. Shawn Porter
The winner of the December 5 bout between Errol Spence and Danny Garcia could move on to a high-octane rematch with the always-entertaining Porter. On the line would be two welterweight titles and passage to an even bigger fight later in the year.
April: Tyson Fury vs. Anthony Joshua
The world has waited long enough for some sort of true heavyweight unification. The WBC champ vs. IBF/WBA/WBO champ for all the marbles in the biggest fight in UK history and one of the biggest heavyweight scraps of all-time.
May: Saul Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin 3
With all the legal drama done between Canelo and now-former promoter Golden Boy, the path is clear to make this third bout between the two stars on Cinco de Mayo weekend. Expect Alvarez to get a much more favorable financial deal for this second rematch and for the fight to take place at his preferred 168 lb. weight.
June: Deontay Wilder vs. Andy Ruiz
Wilder-Fury 3 seems to be dead in the water right now. So why not have a good, old fashioned crossroads heavyweight clash with both fighters absolutely needing a win for redemption purposes?
July: Alexander Povetkin vs. Dillian Whyte 2
…and how about another heavyweight crossroads bout right after Wilder-Ruiz? This rematch will give a second chance to Whyte to claim a win he was headed for prior to his brutal one-punch KO loss. It’ll also give Povetkin a chance to prove that his KO win wasn’t a fluke.
August: Teofimo Lopez vs. Miguel Berchelt
This lightweight world title clash will be a legitimate shootout between two offensive powerhouses. Berchelt is a world titlist at super featherweight at the moment, but could easily step up to 135 for this fan-friendly battle.
September: Saul Alvarez vs. Jermall Charlo
Assuming Canelo gets by Golovkin in May, this title clash on Mexican Independence Day weekend would be the biggest, best fight out there. WBC middleweight champ, Charlo, will probably be asked to move up to 168 for this one, but a win over the Mexican superstar would mean everything to his rise to next-level stardom.
October: Gervonta Davis vs. Jorge Linares
The world would like to see Davis vs. Teofimo Lopez or Ryan Garcia or Devin Haney, but the reality is that “Tank” will probably be matched against a “next available” top lightweight, instead. In this particular case, though, Linares is not that bad of a consolation prize.
November: Terence Crawford vs. Spence/Pacquiao
By November, Crawford will be a promotional free agent, free of his obligations to Top Rank, and stepping out into the open market. What better way to make an immediate bang than via much-anticipated blockbuster against either Manny Pacquiao or Errol Spence, provided both get past their challenges earlier in the year and Crawford remains undefeated until then.
December: Jermell Charlo vs. Erislandy Lara
How about we close out a stellar year with a junior middleweight title unification? Charlo and Lara are the kings of 154 at the moment. A clash will not only pave the way for a push towards one divisional champ, it’ll also be a good, compelling stylistic matchup.