Nowadays, boxing is often more known as the sport that DOESN’T deliver it’s best product to fans.
Crippled by a rotten, needlessly exclusive business model that keeps its top stars isolated from one another and puts everything behind paywalls, boxing’s fall into sub-niche status has been an entirely self-inflicted downturn.
But can things be changed? Can the trajectory be turned upwards? Maybe. Possibly.
Here’s a look at some of the sport’s biggest fights and whether they can actually happen.
Errol Spence Jr. vs. Terence Crawford
This is the big one at welterweight, the biggest welterweight fight since Mayweather-Pacquiao. It’ll also be the one to FINALLY establish true top dog status in the 147 lb. class. The good news for fight fans is that there are strong rumors circulating that this fight is, indeed, going to happen and that it could happen as soon as November 19.
Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk
Arguably, there’s nothing bigger and more important in boxing than having one fully unified world heavyweight champ. Fury-Usyk can make that a reality. Usyk currently holds the IBF, WBA, and WBO world titles while Fury has the WBC belt and lays claims to lineal champ status. Unfortunately, talks to make this happen never even began before they busted apart. There’s hope that it can happen next year, but with sanctioning bodies demanding mandatory defenses and outside-the-ring distractions affecting both fighters, this one is not at all a guarantee to go down.
Tyson Fury vs. Anthony Joshua
Make no mistake about it, Fury-Joshua is a consolation prize for Fury-Usyk not happening. It IS a big one, though, and one which certainly hold plenty of intrigue. But will it happen? Depending on when you read this, the answer may range from “hell no” to “probably.” The smart bet, however, is that it’ll happen eventually, but not next.
Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia
Whether the fight happens at 135 or 140, people have been clamoring for this battle of 20-something talents. From listening to very contradictory statements regarding negotiations, it seems doubtful that there’s any steak behind the sizzle.
Gervonta Davis vs. Vasiliy Lomachenko
Arguably, the two best fighters and top talents in the lightweight division, Davis and Lomachenko facing one another would be one of the most important fights in boxing. The bad news is that this fight is so far from being a possibility that it almost doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in this list. Both fighters belong to rival promotions, have conflicting network ties, and seem entirely focused on other opponents.
Devin Haney vs. Teofimo Lopez
There’s a history of bad blood in this one and, honestly, this fight should’ve happened two years ago when both were on-the-rise lightweights looking for breakthrough victories. Now, Haney is the unified champ at 135 with an obligation to fight Lopez’s conqueror George Kambosos Jr. in a rematch next month and Lopez is competing one division higher, at junior welterweight. Haney is reportedly headed to 140. Also, Haney is now co-promoted by Top Rank Promotions, Lopez’s promotional company. So, this one might be a “maybe in two years” kind of matchup.
Gennadiy Golovkin vs. Jermall Charlo
The two best middleweights in the world facing one another in a world title unification bout should be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, IBF/WBA champ Golovkin and WBC champ Charlo work for rival boxing companies and there may be no overcoming that obstacle. Golovkin is already being ordered by the WBA to face Erislandy Lara next. Don’t hold your breath on this one.
Saul Alvarez vs. Dmitry Bivol
Alvarez vs. anybody is a big deal. But “Canelo” facing the last guy to beat him is a significant one. WBA light heavyweight champ Bivol, despite his decisive victory over Alvarez in May, is still not a household name and it’s not expected that Alvarez-Bivol 2 would be major blockbuster. But it would be a crucial fight for Alvarez, who is currently boxing’s biggest star. Odds are about 50-50 that this rivalry will be revisited. Bivol also has to get by a tough test in Gilberto Ramirez next.