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Boxing in 2023: How the sport can rebound from a disappointing end to the 2022 calendar year

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In the summer, it seemed that the boxing calendar for 2022 would end with a bang. Instead, the year will end in failure after the big fights collapsed and less attractive encounters took their place.

Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk were expected to come together and become the first undisputed heavyweight champion with four belts. Instead, Fury fought Anthony Joshua, whom Usyk had just defeated twice. And as that fell apart, Fury turned his attention to Derek Chisora, whom Fury had already pulled off two wins and a fight that few people want to see again.

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Similarly, dreams of an undisputed championship fight between welterweight title holders Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr fell apart at the negotiating table, resulting in Crawford taking on David Avanesian on the new streaming service BLK Prime. And Spence is still without an opponent.

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There was also hope that at the end of the year, Ryan Garcia and Gervonta “Tank” Davis would take part in the battle of rising superstars. While it won’t happen this year, both sides appear to have ironed out what is typically a complex web to set up a highly anticipated bout in 2023.

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One more bout for the undisputed champion crown is on the calendar: Naoya Inoue will take on Paul Butler for all four bantamweight titles on December 13th. In addition, it should be said that Crawford is against Avanesyan. is a good fight, it’s just not the fight anyone wanted.

The sport has been on a good track in the past few years and the pandemic appears to be helping change the way fighters and promoters approach the sport, realizing the need for bigger, better fights to get more attention. Fans are now left to hope that steps are taken back and more and more fights fall apart because of the “boxing business”.

As 2023 approaches, boxing can still put on fights that fans demand and this will help the sport bounce back from the mistakes made at the end of 2022. Let’s take a look at some of the fights to be done in the coming year.

Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia

The good news about this fight is that it looks like it will happen. The militants said that this “deed is done.” overcoming problems with different promoters and different networks in ways that rarely happen. Of course, agreeing to fight and actually having a fight are two different things.

Garcia has turned down fights before due to mental health issues and injuries, both understandable reasons for pulling out of a fight but a reminder that anything can happen before the fighters step into the ring. In addition, Davis decided to conduct a preparatory fight before the fight with Garcia. On January 7, Davis will face Hector Luis Garcia, who is gaining weight and will be a clear underdog, but he has won big fights twice in 2022 from that position. Davis has to take care of the business, but a mistake on January 7 could derail one of boxing’s biggest fights.

Terence Crawford vs Errol Spence Jr.

It would be unforgivable if Crawford and Spence weren’t face to face in 2023. This is the most logical fight in the world and the previous hurdles have been cleared as Crawford retired from Top Rank, which was the promotional paraphernalia that kept him closed. from the best welterweight fights available. Everything seemed to be in order for the fight to finally take place when it fell apart seemingly out of nowhere and Crawford moved on to his scheduled fight with Avanesyan.

There are many accusations that the fight hasn’t happened yet, but it’s a legacy-defining fight for both men. Even if you accept the fight and lose, it will leave a better legacy for any of them than the fact that there was no fight. There’s not much to say about this fight other than that it’s just must to do, and it must be done before it’s too late.

Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk

Even by his ridiculous standards, 2022 was a strange year for Fury. After knocking out Dillian Whyte in April, Fury announced his retirement. He then retired and retired several times during the year teasing fights with Chisora ​​and Usyk. The idea of ​​a trilogy fight with Chisora ​​collapsed in August, and due to Usyk’s injuries, an undisputed title fight was taken off the agenda. This led to Fury getting into a strange series of negotiations with Anthony Joshua where Fury repeatedly set deadlines that Joshua seemed willing to meet only for Fury to completely take the fight off the table and return to Chisora.

Fury had already floated the idea of ​​fighting Joe Joyce in February if Usyk didn’t want a fight. But there is no sign that Usyk doesn’t want the fight, only that he needs to heal. Fury says he will fight three fights in 2023, something he hasn’t done since 2018. If Fury doesn’t fight Usyk by the end of the summer, it will be a huge disappointment.

Dmitry Bivol vs. Artur Beterbiev

Bivol is about to take home a bunch of 2022 Fighter of the Year awards. His upset victory over Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in May was the biggest win of his career, followed by a deft takedown of Gilberto “Surdo” Ramirez in early November. While a rematch with Alvarez will apparently take place in 2023, it is a light heavyweight title unification fight with WBC, WBO and IBF champion Beterbiev that is the most mandatory fight at 175 pounds.

While Beterbiev is mostly known for his pressure and punching style, he is a truly accomplished fighter on a technical level. Bivol has some of the best basics in boxing, great footwork and a beautiful jab. Watching a bull and a matador fight for four world titles is simply more interesting than Bivol’s running back against Alvarez. Since this is a recurring issue with these fights, Beterbiev first needs to take care of things in the upcoming fight. He will face Anthony Yarde on January 28th.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. David Benavidez

As mentioned, Alvarez could spark a rematch with Bivol next year. He has said he wants to fight for the first time in May to see how his wrist is doing after surgery for an injury in his trilogy with Gennady Golovkin. The plan, he says, is to fight Bivol in September. This plan will most likely derail both Bivol vs. Beterbiev and Alvarez vs. Benavidez.

However, Alvarez is the undisputed super middleweight champion and Benavidez is the top contender in the division. Benavidez will face Caleb Plant in the first quarter of 2023. If he wins it, there will be few fights for him other than to take on the only champion in the division. Alvarez, meanwhile, would have been better off staying at super middleweight than returning to light heavyweight, where he was beaten by Bivol. The fight with Bivol was not the best fight of his life, but one that he applied the same skills and game plan that he brings to the ring in every fight. Moving up to light heavyweight and dethroning Bivol is probably too big a move for Alvarez. Defending his four world titles against Benavidez is a more interesting and competitive fight on paper.



Source: www.cbssports.com

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