What will be the biggest boxing fights in 2021?
Boxing like many other sports took a dip in 2020 thanks to the pandemic, but we still saw some big fights take place, including Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev.
In typical new year optimism, it falls upon myself as a boxing fan to compile my list of the biggest fights 2021 could bestow upon us.
Jose Carlos Ramirez vs Josh Taylor
Holding two of the Super-lightweight world titles a piece, Ramirez vs Taylor represents a battle for undisputed and a certified money bout.
Looking beyond that is the UK vs USA dynamic that promoters love with both nations going to get behind their fight for super-middleweight supremacy.
Oleksandr Usyk vs Joe Joyce
Usyk and Joyce represent the next line of world champions in the heavyweight division. With Joyce forcing Daniel Dubois to take a knee in his last fight and Usyk securing a unanimous decision victory against Dereck Chisora to become the WBO mandatory for AJ.
Can Usyk wear down the juggernaut Joyce with his boxing skill, or will Joyce squash the former undisputed cruiserweight champion with his precise punches? It all hinges on the fate of Usyk vs Joshua as to whether this fight happens.
Canelo Alvarez vs Billy Joe Saunders
This has been the talk of the super-middleweight division for years. Pound-for-pound supremo Canelo recently dismantled Calum Smith. Could we see him take on Smith’s countryman Saunders in the long awaited bout.
Saunders out of boxing antics might be the only hurdle to cross, losing his license in disgustingly stupid fashion when he promoted domestic violence.
KSI vs Jake Paul
Before my fellow boxing fans click off this article, note I did say biggest fights. Say what you will about the circus of YouTube boxing, it makes money and it generates views for the sport.
KSI vs Jake Paul represents the final of the YouTube boxing fights that make sense, Jake Paul holds pro boxing wins against fellow YouTuber AnEsonGib and retired basketball player Nate Robinson whereas KSI holds a solitary victory over Jake’s older brother Logan.
KSI vs Logan Paul was DAZN’s third most streamed fight of 2019 and received 219,000 Sky Sports Box Office buys in the UK so there’s definitely a commercial demand, KSI vs Jake could be one of the biggest fights of 2021, and finally put an end to the Pauls’ desire to ruin legitimate sports.
Terrence Crawford vs Errol Spence JR
Back to the proper boxing now, Crawford and Spence hold three quarters of the Welterweight crown, and it would only make sense for the Americans to fight it out on their road to undisputed glory.
Calling this match would devilishly difficult as two of the best fighters on the planet go head-to-head.
Devin Haney vs Teofimo Lopez JR
Lopez earned undisputed status atop the lightweight throne in his victory against Vasiliy Lomachenko last year. Devin Haney, ranked by The Ring magazine as the third best lightweight boxer, behind Lomachenko and Ryan Garcia, could pose as a firecracker of an opponent for Lopez.
Deontay Wilder vs Andy Ruiz JR
Following Fury’s decision to forego a rematch with former WBC World Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, Wilder should look to reaffirm his heavyweight credentials against a fellow champion who had his crown knocked off.
Ruiz JR and Wilder represent two of the hardest hitters in the division, with Ruiz knocking out Anthony Joshua in shocking fashion and Wilder having a highlight reel of one-bangs. This hard-hitting bout is a certified box office draw that could propel either man back into the title picture.
Manny Pacquiao vs Conor McGregor
When McGregor crossed over from MMA to boxing to fight Mayweather, many hated it, but it still made a lot of money. As much as boxing fans can hate on the idea of someone jumping into the sport and taking the spotlight in their first professional fight, it does make for intriguing match ups and generate new eyes on the sport.
McGregor and Pacquiao have been rumoured to be fighting for a while with the fight all but being confirmed for mid-2021 with a Middle Eastern venue. This is an interesting one as they both share losses to Mayweather, although you will always be compelled to go with the former boxing world champion in a boxing match. McGregor may lose the boxing match, but both men will score commercial wins if this goes down.
Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin 3
This has been clamoured for ever since Canelo beat Golovkin in a controversial majority decision. Now, with Saunders seemingly putting his fight with Canelo on ice as mentioned before, we could finally see the two go at it in the third and probably final bout.
Can Canelo shut down the naysayers of will Golovkin reclaim his crown and rectify the blemish of 2018?
Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury
This is the UK showdown that all boxing fans want. The all British bout to determine undisputed heavyweight supremacy has been talked about ever since Fury stopped the Bronze Bomber for the one piece of the crown AJ had never got to, and with good reason too.
Fury is yet to be bested inside the ring and AJ has put an end to all he faced, including retiring Fury’s former adversary Klitschko.
So far both sides have talked up the bout and we have seen trash talk left, right and centre, but with boxing it’s not who can talk the loudest, but who hits the hardest. 2021 should see the UK crown it’s undisputed heavyweight king, and it will be the biggest fight of the year if not the decade.
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