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Boxing in 2022: Four burning questions surrounding the sport’s biggest stars with six months left in the year

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Boxing has had an amazing start to the year. the first six months the champions achieved undeniable status, giant breakdowns and incredibly brutal knockouts. But right now the sport is in a bit of a lull as it gets even wilder in the late summer and early fall.

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With many sports stars poised to return to the ring, CBS Sports writers have taken it upon themselves to answer some of the most important questions on the front line as the last six months of fighting begin.

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Let’s get straight to the questions and predictions from Morning Kombat host Brian Campbell and staff writer Brent Brookhouse right now.

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Is it finally time for a couple of superfights?

Terence Crawford vs Errol Spence Jr and Tyson Fury vs winner Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua

Campbell: To be fair, the time has passed for both fights, but the good news for boxing fans is that the wait is almost over. Both Spence and Crawford seem ready for an undeniable 147-pound fight this fall. Meanwhile, the heavyweights are getting closer as unified champion Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua set the terms for their August rematch. Undefeated WBC title holder Tyson Fury, if he doesn’t use the threat of retirement as negotiating leverage, also looks set to fight a winner. The recent trend of undisputed fights in all weight divisions has been a pleasant surprise. But none of them have a royal title, like the two weight classes in welterweight and heavyweight.

Brookhouse: It’s great to see more and more big fights happening in the boxing ring. All barriers to Crawford vs. Spence have gone as Crawford has moved away from Top Rank and the fight should now take place. Fortunately it seems is should happen. And not only will it happen, it will happen to both fighters in their prime and world champions in their ideal weight divisions. Heavyweight is a little more difficult. Of course, Fury should face the winner Joshua vs. Usyk. But Fury says he’s retired and won’t end that retirement for less than $500 million. However, we are talking about a legacy-defining fight and Fury is guaranteed a lot of money, even if not half a billion. I don’t believe a heavyweight unification will happen before the end of the year, but I hope to see it in 2023.

Who should be next for Devin Haney?

Campbell: Vasily Lomachenko

Full credit must be given to former unified lightweight king George Kambosos Jr. for negotiating the mandatory rematch clause. But with that said, no one seems interested in him getting a second chance to try and solve the technical mystery that Haney is. In an ideal world where Haney didn’t have to give up titles to miss out on a rematch with Kambosos, the 23-year-old phenom would have to face much bigger challenges. The best of them, and one that is also easy to implement for promotional purposes, will be a challenge against former unified title holder and weight class king Vassily Lomachenko. While Haney could possibly do great in chasing other breakout stars in Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia, there is no doubt that Lomachenko offers Haney’s biggest critical potential in a fight involving two of chess’ most prominent players. boxing in the final fights at the crossroads.

Brookhouse: George Kambosos

Not because it’s the “right” or “best” fight for Haney, but because it’s his contractual obligation. Kambosos did a fantastic job using his power as the undisputed champion to not only guarantee an immediate rematch if he lost, but also to ensure that the rematch took place in Australia. Nothing from the first fight between the two men indicates that the rematch is playing out differently than the first time, but there is no way for Haney to fight anyone else if he doesn’t want to spend time in the courtroom. Kambosos is not going to step aside when he has already put himself in the best situation.

Which division will be the undisputed champion?

Campbell: Super Bantamweight

The easy answer is at welterweight, especially since Spence and Crawford are close to finally signing the dotted line for a fall bout. But don’t forget what’s going on at 122 as Stephen Fulton Jr continues to make noise in his pursuit of all four belts and P4P dominance. ‘Tough boy Steph’ is openly eager for an undisputed fight with fellow unified champion Murojan Akhmadaliev, who returns this weekend against Ronnie Rios. While it would be a little tricky to have a four-belt title fight given that Fulton and Akhmadaliyev are fighting on different networks, it looks like all sides are interested in it.

Brookhouse: Bantamweight

While it looks like a welterweight unification will happen if both Crawford and Spence want a fight and remove political obstacles, the easiest fight to crown an undisputed champion is a bantamweight fight. Naoya Inoue holds three belts after the complete annihilation of Nonito Donaire and Paul Butler holds the WBO belt. Butler explained that he was ready to fight, ready to go to Japan to make it happen, and that his team was already in talks to have the fight before the end of the year. Inoue, meanwhile, made it clear after defeating Donaire that he wanted undeniable status. It’s too easy to put together this fight and doesn’t feel so cursed to face weird odds like Crawford vs Spence.

Can Canelo bounce back from an aging Golovkin?

Campbell: The answer here is most likely yes. That doesn’t mean that GGG won’t want to wield his sword while leaning on his legendary chin. No one is looking at the Golovkin trilogy as an “easy” fight for Alvarez, especially after two modern classic fights both fighters have written against each other in recent years. However, at the same time, Golovkin has clearly outlived his prime at 40, which comes at a bad time considering the 31-year-old Alvarez is more dangerous today than ever before. There’s a lot of speculation in boxing that Alvarez could stop Golovkin in a dominant performance that would be an interesting “get well” fight after Alvarez’s recent loss to WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol.

Brookhouse: This time, Alvarez will most likely stop Golovkin. Golovkin is still a good fighter, but not the same fighter he once was. Golovkin also needs to gain weight for the fight and has been bothered by opponents working on his body in recent fights. Alvarez is a brutal body puncher and he is well aware that Golovkin’s body is the place to focus on. Alvarez didn’t lose to Bivol, he was just outboxed. This is not a fight that will completely destroy everything that Alvarez is as a boxer. Golovkin is somewhat less than he was when he established himself as Alvarez’s equal, if not better, enough to allow Alvarez to make a big statement.



Source: www.cbssports.com

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