2020 might not have set the world alight when it came to boxing (although there were certainly high points) but it did do one thing very, very well - and that’s set up a potential boxing bonanza for 2021. Whisper it quietly, but next year could be a landmark one in the world of prizefighting, with a bounty of brilliant bouts being mooted. Below we’ve picked out five of the biggest boxing matches that could/should materialise over the next 12 months...
Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury
What is there to say about this fight that hasn’t already been said? Years in the making, Anthony Joshua versus Tyson Fury is without a doubt one of, if not the, biggest and most lucrative bouts that can be made in the world of boxing right now, especially here in Britain where it will likely become one of the most momentous sporting events in the island’s history. It looks like 2021 will finally be the year that we see these two titans of the heavyweight division go head-to-head - get the popcorn ready.
Terence Crawford vs Errol Spence Jr
Terence Crawford vs Errol Spence Jr is a boxing purist’s dream and this match-up between two of boxing’s pound-for-pound best is something that fight fans have been clamouring for for years. With the two fighters being backed by two different promotional entities, politics has stood in the way of this one leaving fight fans understandably annoyed. Crawford and Spence both clearly want this fight to materialise and with both men rounding up 2020 with solid wins against Kell Brook and Danny Garcia respectively, the stars should finally align for this one in 2021.
In terms of the talent on display, it is arguably the best fight that can be made in boxing right now
Canelo vs Gennady Golovkin III
Many believed that Callum Smith would provide Mexican superstar Canelo with a stern test when they met earlier this month in San Antonio but, despite a brave showing from the Liverpudlian, the pound-for-pound king was hardly troubled over twelve rounds, claiming an easy unanimous decision and leaving us all with the question: “Who, of boxing’s current contenders, can actually beat this guy?”
After sharing two modern middleweight classics with Canelo in 2017 and 2018, the hard-as-nails Gennady Golovkin is the name on most people’s lips, having given the 30-year-old two of his toughest fights out of a 57-fight career (aside from Canelo’s sole professional defeat to Floyd Mayweather). Golovkin proved in December that he still means business, stopping Poland’s Kamil Szeremeta in seven rounds to defend the middleweight title for the 21st time - an all-time record. Can ‘Triple G’ make it third time lucky against his nemesis? Hopefully we find out over the next 365 days or so.
Take Your Pick From The Lightweights And Junior Lightweights
The lightweight and junior lightweight divisions have proved to be two of the most exciting weight classes in boxing in 2020 with an array of fistic masterpieces on display from Gervonta Davis’ brutal stoppage of Leo Santa Cruz, to Teofimo Lopez’s stunning victory over Vasyl Lomachenko, and with standout performances from Devin Haney and another mouth-watering clash between Luke Campbell and Ryan Garcia kicking off the New Year this weekend, 2021 has all the ingredients to go even further.
Lopez was probably the standout fighter between 130 and 135lbs but with Haney, Davis, Garcia, Lomachenko and young Shakur Stevenson all keen on making 2021 their own, expect some serious fireworks among the lightweights in the New Year.
Katie Taylor vs Amanda Serrano
It was a blockbuster year for ‘Bray Bomber’ Katie Taylor whose wins over Delphine Persoon and Miriam Guttierez moved her to the top of the women’s pound-for-pound list. One downside though, was the inability to secure a deal with Amanda Serrano for a genuine megafight - something we hope we might see in 2021 instead.
Taylor and seven-weight world champion Serrano were due to clash last March in Manchester, but the fight was postponed twice due to Covid-19 before being rescheduled for Eddie Hearn’s house in Brentwood in August, but Serrano this time refused to travel from the US. This could be the biggest to be made in women’s boxing but we may need to pray to the Fight Gods for this one to materialise given all the problems it’s had getting off the ground thus far.