From Jake Paul-Tommy Fury to Tyson Fury-Oleksandr Usyk: Ranking the best upcoming (possible) fights

After numerous disappointments due to the fact that the fights did not take place last year, 2023 already promises to be an improvement for boxing, with some exciting fights on the horizon. Some fights have been officially announced. Others are very close to completion.

But what are the main fights in the coming months? From Jake Paul vs. Tommy Fury to Ryan Garcia vs. Gervonta Davis and the first heavyweight fight for the undisputed championship belt in the era of the four belts, Sportzshala is putting dates on your calendar that you can’t miss.

1. Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk (preliminary) – April 29 – Undisputed heavyweight championship belt.

A clash between two of the best heavyweights in the world and arguably the best heavyweight champions in the world since the reign of the Klitschko brothers (Vladimir and Vitali) is likely to be the biggest fight of 2023. Boxing has suffered from fights that didn’t take place last year, but this one – dare we say it – seems to be done and will define the legacy of both of these seasoned and intelligent boxers.

Both have accomplished a lot in their careers, but what they do on April 29th will be remembered the most. This fight will be the first to have all four major heavyweight belts on the line and will be the first undisputed world boxing champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999 (the tri-belt era).

Usyk’s nimble moves and quick hands can throw Fury off balance, but Fury’s long jab and harder punches (if he can land them) can leave Usyk in the same spot as Deontay Wilder.

2. Ryan Garcia vs. Gervonta Davis (preliminary) – April 15 – catchweight 136 lbs.

It was a pleasant surprise to see this fight come through despite the obstacles – rival promoters and broadcasters, selfishness and unbeaten records – and it could be the start of a series of lightweight mega fights.

Popularity aside — they have nearly 13 million Instagram followers — these two American rivals are eminently talented. Davis has skill, strength (he stopped 26 of his 28 opponents) and tactical intelligence, while Garcia has lightning-fast hands with a six-inch height advantage.

Devin Haney has all the belts, but this matchup is almost as important as Haney-Vasily Lomachenko. When the fight was announced, Garcia summed it up beautifully: “Boxing needs this fight right now. It’s time for us to get back to what made this sport so great for fans: the glamorous fights in places like Las Vegas, the storylines of the vindictive matches, and most importantly, the best fight the best.”

3. Katie Taylor vs. Amanda Serrano – May 20 – Undisputed Lightweight Championship.

Be sure to take the time to watch Taylor’s rematch against Serrano.

Taylor, who lives and trains in Connecticut, has not boxed in her home country since turning pro over six years ago. When she walks out to a yet-to-be-confirmed location in Dublin that night, the roof will go up (assuming the fight doesn’t take place in an open area like Croke Park). Taylor’s decision over Serrano last year lived up to expectations that it would be the biggest fight in women’s professional boxing history. Who wouldn’t want a rematch?

4. Devin Haney vs. Vassily Lomachenko (preliminary) – May 20 – Undisputed Lightweight Championship.

Haney, the undisputed lightweight champion, sees himself as a man of the moment, a young champion looking to make this his era.

Lomachenko, 34, won Olympic gold medals when Haney was nine, and his career is definitely in its final throes. It remains to be seen if Haney can come close to showing off Lomachenko’s dazzling technique and boxing skills by winning world featherweight and lightweight titles.

With war raging in his homeland of Ukraine, Lomachenko has understandably been distracted and slowed down by the passage of time and a long career. Haney sees this as an opportunity to establish himself as one of the biggest names in boxing.

5. David Benavidez vs. Caleb Plant – March 25 – Super Middleweights

The two former super middleweight champions narrowly missed starting their fight early during a recent press conference to announce the event. The hostility will only escalate towards the evening of the fight, providing healthy interest in the fight without a title. This clash between the best 168-pound boxers not named by Canelo Alvarez will be decided by whether Plant’s nimble boxing skills can blunt Benavides’ powerful strength and volume.

Plant is in form after his stunning knockout of Anthony Dirrell in October returned him to 3rd in the division after losing to Álvarez in November 2021 and he is yet to be Benavides’ best opponent.

6. Naoya Inoue vs. Stephen Fulton – June – Junior Featherweight title shot

Going straight into a world junior featherweight title fight in his first outing in a new weight class is a bold move on Inoue’s part. Doing it against Fulton is even bolder.

Fulton, 28, from Philadelphia is Sportzshala’s No. 1 boxer at 122 pounds. As a seasoned campaigner in the division who throws a huge amount of punches, he poses a big risk to Inoue. Inoue became the undisputed bantamweight champion in December and is fighting for the world title in the fourth division, a feat that certainly deserves universal recognition or confirmation as the best fighter in the world, regardless of weight class.

7. Lee Wood vs. Mauricio Lara – February 18 – Featherweight title shot

These two featherweights are the least known boxers on this list, but what they lack in star appeal, they make up for in entertainment value. After being pulled from the home scene in their respective countries, both have racked up shocking victories at the elite level and set off fireworks in recent fights.

Wood’s last breath, the 12th-round knockout of Michael Conlan was voted Fight of the Year and Knockout of the Year by Sportzshala in 2022. The English boxer also scored a last-round knockout to claim the WBA belt against Kang Xu in July 2021. Lara stopped Sportzshala’s number one featherweight champion Josh Warrington in February 2021. Last year, Lara won two early victories. It has all the ingredients to make the fight intense.

8. Canelo Alvarez vs. John Ryder (tentative) – May 6 – Undisputed Super Middleweight Championship.

Álvarez needs a dominant game to silence the criticism he is rolling in after a brilliant career of winning world titles in four different weight divisions. After losing a decision to Dmitry Bivol for the world light heavyweight title last May, followed by a decision victory in his trilogy against Gennady Golovkin at 168 pounds, Alvarez will return to defend his four world titles against Ryder, the mandatory challenger who commit one of the biggest shocks in boxing history to win.

It’s one of the least competitive matches on this list, but it’ll be interesting to see how Alvarez is in after surgery on his left hand and a confidence-damaging loss that took a toll on his position in the weight class. ratings are falling. The details of the fight have not yet been specified.

9. Anthony Joshua vs. Jermain Franklin – April 1 – Heavyweights

This fight is about how Joshua reacts to back-to-back decision losses to Usyk and the upheaval in his training routines. Joshua’s frank and confused outburst in the ring immediately after losing to Usyk for the second time only increases doubts about whether Joshua will be able to return to the form in which he was the WBA, IBF and WBO world champion. But Franklin appears to be an accommodating adversary.

10. Shakur Stevenson vs. Shuichiro Yoshino – April 8 – WBC Lightweight title eliminator.

Stevenson is a talented boxer, but his lack of punching power and a relatively unknown opponent mean his fight won’t get as much attention as his lightweight contenders Haney, Garcia and Davis. But it’s a serious first move at lightweight for Stevenson, who has unified world titles against good junior lightweight contenders. A fight against the winner of Haney-Lomachenko is a good incentive for Stevenson to look good, and a knockout victory will help.

11. Jake Paul vs. Tommy Fury – February 26 – Heavyweights

So, that’s the end of the list, but for many, this crossover event will be the #1 fight of 2023 to watch and tweak based on entertainment value alone. Paul is more famous than many current champions, even though he has only six professional fights to his credit and no amateur boxing.

The YouTube star is reaching out to demographics that Terence Crawford, Inoue, Errol Spence Jr. and Canelo can’t reach. Tommy Fury is a British reality television star, half-brother of world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, and a professional boxer who takes the sport seriously.

The storylines behind the fight ensure it generates good pay-per-view numbers and many are intrigued if Paul can continue his impressive pro boxing adventure, during which he silenced all criticism that he was out of his mind. . But Fury will be his toughest test yet.


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