Soon, it will be a new year with new hope — the hope for the best boxing in 2022. So with that, here are the 5 most compelling fights we want to see in the double-deuce:
Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin 3
This was the trilogy that never was, and the trilogy everybody wanted. The first two fights saw a draw and narrow scorecard win by Alvarez. So why did this trilogy die? Alvarez broke away from Golden Boy and became a promotional and network free agent. He also stepped up to 168 pounds and has said he would fight GGG at the heavier weight to finish trilogy. Golovkin, who has fought only 4 times since his second fight with Canelo in 2018, has not publicly pushed for a third battle. However, the time is now for GGG to slide up to 168 to wrap up the trilogy. He’s 39, and wouldn’t he love to conclude his career with a ginormous payday? And GGG knows a win against Canelo would cement his legacy as one of the greatest. Also, if he beats Ryota Murata in a middleweight title unification bout — which was scheduled for Dec. 29 in Japan but postponed due to COVID restrictions — what else is there?
Chance of Canelo-GGG happening in 2022: Highly unlikely.
Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk
Ask any mate in the United Kingdom and Fury-Usyk is NOT the match they crave. It’s Fury vs. Anthony Joshua that would hurl the U.K. into a tizzy. But it’s clear who the two grandmasters of the heavies are: Fury and Usyk. Fury’s boxing IQ and grizzly-like mauling pitted against Usyk’s guile and elusiveness make this a must-see matchup. For Fury-Usyk to happen in ‘22, two scenarios may need to play out: Fury fights (and beats) WBC-mandated challenger Dillian Whyte and Usyk defeats Joshua in a rematch. Fury has stated he wants to fight Usyk to fulfill his mission of unifying the heavyweight crown, which hasn’t been under one champion since Lennox Lewis held all the gold 21 years ago. Fury holds the WBC title while Usyk beat A.J. for the WBA, IBF and WBO titles in September.
Chance of Fury-Usyk happening in 2022: Likely.
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Gervonta “Tank” Davis vs. Vasiliy Lomachenko
The lightweight division is jam-packed with potential thrilling matchups. But the one that tops the list is Davis vs. Lomachenko. If “styles make fights,” Tank-Loma is the closest we get to a Mike Tyson vs. Muhammad Ali fantasy fight. It’s the bruiser vs. the ballet dancer — the monster vs. the magician. Loma has gone on record saying he wants Davis but has also said Floyd Mayweather Jr. — whose Mayweather Promotions handles Tank — is protecting the undefeated Davis, who has 24 KOs in 26 fights. But what does Mayweather know best? Money, right? So he must realize that Davis’ biggest bank would be a fight against Lomachenko.
Chance of Davis-Lomachenko happening in 2022: Maybe.
Errol Spence Jr. vs. Terence Crawford
Haven’t we begged for this fight for an eon? That would be an emphatic yes. Spence and Crawford have been wiping out the welterweight division for years. But a fight between two of the top P4P fighters never gets close to materializing. Honestly, after all this time, a Spence-Crawford fight has lost luster due to Spence’s issues. Spence has only one fight in 28 months due to a near-fatal car crash in October 2019. He also was forced to pull out of his August fight against Manny Pacquiao after suffering a retinal tear to his left eye. Recently, some fuel got added to a Crawford-Spence fight when Spence attended Crawford’s dominating KO victory over Shawn Porter last month. Spence shook his head disparagingly and exited the venue during the end to the fight. Crawford then called out Spence afterwards, saying: “He was at my fight? That boy said he would never come to my fight but now he’s at my fight… Maybe Spence Jr. will fight me.” We hope so.
Chance of Spence-Crawford happening in 2022: Maybe.
Jake Paul vs. Conor McGregor
We’re going here unapologetically. This is an absolutely no-brainer from a promotional — and financial — standpoint. The biggest troll on the planet vs. the biggest troll in MMA would produce a PPV buy-rate bonanza. But does Paul’s recent brutal knockout of UFC legend Tyron Woodley give MMA fighters pause to step in the boxing ring with him? Maybe, but not McGregor. The Irishman is all about circus atmosphere and spectacle. And Paul, who isn’t credited enough for his promotional acumen, must know that a McGregor bout is his personal Money Fight, maybe more than any other.
Chance of Paul-McGregor happening in 2022: Maybe.