Boxing has tried its best to remain at the forefront of the sporting conversation in 2020. We saw Vasiliy Lomachenko – the pound-for-pound king – downed by Teofimo Lopez, while Tyson Fury comprehensively defeated Deontay Wilder to enhance his reputation as the best heavyweight on the planet.
Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury fight could take place before next summer 🙌🏻https://t.co/7Q9ufXmrqs— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) November 29, 2020
But there is plenty of appetite for more major fights in 2021, and we hope to see at least a couple of this shortlist of five blockbuster bouts.
Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua
We want to know who is the undisputed king of the heavyweights – that’s a fact.
Fury holds the WBO and The Ring belts and remains unbeaten after a 31-fight career, and he is considered by most to be the most skilled big man on the planet.
But then we have Anthony Joshua, the powerhouse who seems capable of knocking out just about anyone. The WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO champion has suffered defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr, but often such chastening losses can afford a fighter the perspective they need to take their career to the next level.
This is a contest that could sell out any arena in the world but especially so in the UK, and already bookmakers like William Hill are offering hypothetical odds on the winner – Fury gets the nod at 1/2.
Errol Spence Jr vs Terence Crawford
Who is the best welterweight on the planet?
Nobody can answer that question with any certainty, and so we need Errol Spence Jr and Terence Crawford to get it on so that we have a definitive idea.
Spence’s awkward southpaw style has swept him to 27 straight victories, with big names like Danny Garcia, Kell Brook and Shawn Porter – controversially to some – defeated.
But don’t write off Crawford, who has stepped up from lightweight in recent times and that additional power has led to six consecutive KO victories, including a four-round demolition of Brook last time out.
This would be a fascinating clash of styles, and would confirm the undoubted 147lbs champ.
Saul Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin
Finding worthy challengers is proving very difficult for Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
From light middleweight to light heavyweight he has ventured, and still the Mexican is yet to find an active opponent to really test him on his route to his status as the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet.
The Number One Fighter 𝙄𝙉 𝙏𝙃𝙀 𝙒𝙊𝙍𝙇𝘿 🗣️— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) December 5, 2020
Canelo Alvarez: In A Minute 🎥 pic.twitter.com/Np6VCS5BIX
Apart from one, that is. Gennady Golovkin has a draw and a split decision loss on his resumé to Canelo, but neither bout was wholly convincing in either direction. A trilogy fight would at least draw a line under any uncertainty, and would be a guaranteed PPV hit.
Jose Ramirez vs Josh Taylor
Hopefully, 2021 will be the year of the unification.
In the light welterweight division, we have two fighters that are head and shoulders above the rest. Jose Ramirez, the WBC and WBO strap holder, and Josh Taylor, the WBA and IBF king.
Will they put all the marbles on the line next year?
Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Naoya Inoue
For many, Vasiliy Lomachenko is the best pound-for-pound merchant in the game… or at least he was until his shock defeat to Lopez in October.
Remember, the Ukrainian stepped up in weight to take on the American, and so at his more natural size a mouth-watering clash with Naoya Inoue awaits.
Not only is the Japanese ace undefeated, he has barely had a glove landed on him in a 20-fight reign of terror. Inoue vs Lomachenko is just one contest we are desperate to see in 2021.
So while they don’t include Floyd Mayweather sparring a YouTuber on PPV as confirmed by ESPN, 2021 could potentially be a great year for fights on the boxing scene.