Will the boxing trend continue in 2024? Six things that happen and what’s happening

Mike CoppingerESPN17 Aug. 2023 08:298 minute read

Terence Crawford when he knew he would end Errol Spence Jr.

Stephen A. Smith gets Terence Crawford’s reaction to win over Errol Spence Jr.

Between Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia and Terence Crawford vs. Errol Spence Jr., boxing is slated for two truly epic bouts in 2023.

Another big business bout arrives next month when boxing superstar Canelo Alvarez defends the undisputed Super Middleweight Championship against champion Jermell Charlo. Undisputed Junior Middleweight

Combined with highly anticipated pairings like David Benavidez-Caleb Plant, Devin Haney-Vsiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez-Josh Taylor, this is the year of boxing.

The 2023 campaign could be a turning point for a sport that often leaves ardent followers missing their most desirable matchups. to keep the momentum going. Boxing’s key decision-makers will have to keep an eye on even more high-stakes bouts in 2024.

What might they look like? We look at the six bouts ripe for next year – and the chances they’ll come true.

Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usik

Oleksandr Usyk (left) and Tyson Fury (right) may meet in battle for the title of the first undisputed heavyweight champion of the 4 belt era.Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

“Tank” Davis and “Bud” Crawford now beat Garcia and Spence in an impressive way. The biggest fight in boxing is a bout that will undoubtedly be crowned the Heavyweight Champion.

Fury and Usyk aren’t just two of the best heavyweights in the world. They are recognized as two of the six best boxers in the world regardless of weight by ESPN. When was the last time two heavyweights were on the pound-for-pound list?

It would be embarrassing to cry. Even by boxing standards, if Fury and Usyk were never in the ring together. The duo were close to reaching an agreement in April before talks broke down. Usyk will now fulfill his WBA obligations with a rematch against Daniel Dubois on August 26, while Fury heads into a money-making career with artists. MMA knockout Francis Ngannou on October 28

The stage is set for Fury and Usyk to clash next year in a heavyweight title tilt. But both sides will have to endure painful negotiations again.

Probability it will happen in 2024: 70%

Teofimo Lopez and Devin Haney

Teofimo Lopez celebrates after defeating Josh Taylor for the WBO Junior Welterweight Championship in June.Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

Taylor was the top pick that handed Lopez his second straight loss. But Lopez put on a psychedelic performance in June to remind the world how special he was when he was at his game.

Now a streak champion at 140 pounds – Taylor was the undisputed champion before he gave up three titles – Lopez will once again be a hot commodity for marquee wrestling. And there is no greater duet than against Haney. If Haney defeats Regis Progress in his junior welterweight debut on Oct. 28

Haney, undisputed lightweight champion Will move up another 5 pounds to compete for the title with Progress. After a victory over Lomachenko in May, Haney would be favored to claim Prograis’ WBC title, but it was far from the conclusion it had been made before.

However, if Haney does qualify, a fight with Lopez will select the top two fighters in two weight divisions. There is history too Lopez and Haney have known each other since their amateur days. And the pre-fight duel from each side will make this duel impossible to miss.

Probability it will happen in 2024: 80%

Canelo Alvarez vs David Benavidez

Canelo Alvarez defends his Super Middleweight title against Jermell Charlo on Sept. 30.Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Alvarez will fight the smaller Charlo on Sept. 30 in his first three-fight deal with PBC and may later fight twin brother Jermall.

But the biggest bout in the super middleweight division will be Canelo vs. Benavidez. A ferocious volume puncher who is ESPN’s highest 168-pound rating behind Alvarez. With fan-friendly style, size and growing stars. The undefeated Benavidez represented the toughest challenge for Alvarez. and possibly his biggest money making match ever.

Benavidez will have to overcome what is shaping up to be his toughest bout against former two-division champion Demetrius Andrade, another boxer looking forward to meeting Alvarez. Benavidez-Andrade is a finalist for the fall season.

Canelo refers to himself as the face of boxing for good reason and wants to be treated as such. Having Benavidez calling Alvarez might not be the best way to fight. But if Canelo took care of business with Charlo as expected.

Probability it will happen in 2024: 50%

Terence Crawford and Jermell Charlo

Terence Crawford has many options for his next fight after defeating Errol Spence Jr.Albello/Getty Images

Crawford is yet to finish scoring a victory over Spence. But he’s already planting the seeds for next year’s fight.

With Spence on the canvas in the seventh round of the July 29 match, Crawford looked at the ropes and clearly told Charlo, “You’re Next” Crawford pays great respect to Spence before their fight. But the pound-for-pound king has revealed his displeasure with Charlo and his antics.

A career-defining victory over Spence made Crawford the undisputed welterweight champion. And he’s also the undisputed former 140-pound champion. Fighting Charlo for the undisputed Junior Middleweight Championship will only add to Crawford’s everlasting reputation. But the match faces several obstacles.

Win or lose with Canelo, will Charlo return to 154 pounds after moving up two weight classes? Or will he agree to 160? Although he will return to his junior middleweight division again, Charlo will be able to return to fight Tim Tszyu postponed earlier this year. Tszyu will be elevated to the WBO championship after Canelo and. Charlo stepped into the ring. So the Americans can decide to fight the Aussies in an attempt to reclaim the belt.

Meanwhile, Crawford could meet with Spence in December if the Texan uses a rematch command.

Probability it will happen in 2024: 35%

Gervonta Davis vs. Shaker Stevenson

Shakur Stevenson vs Gervonta Davis will be one of the greatest fights the sport can take on.Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

After Canelo, Davis is the biggest financial driver in North American boxing. And he wants a marquee fight in 2024.

“Tank” Made the Most Profitable Bout of the Year in April When he stops Garcia in the seventh round and Stevenson fits into the superfight list for an encore bout.

Davis has proven himself to be a crafty boxer who knows how to deliver powerful punches. While Stevenson might be the best defensive boxer in the game. Both fighters know how to sell a fight as well.

with Davis coming from Baltimore and Stevenson from Newark. New Jersey This was the perfect battle for New York’s Madison Square Garden. But it will be a challenge to do. Davis fought under the banner of PBC while Stevenson was promoted from the top ranks.

Probability it will happen in 2024: 15%

Artur Beterbiev with Dmitry Bivol

Betarbiev stops Brown to secure title in Montreal

Arthur Beterbiev defeats Marcus Brown by decision and ends his fight to retain the WBC and IBF light heavyweight titles.

This matchup has too many reasons to fall by the wayside. And it’s surprising that it hasn’t actually happened yet.

Beterbiev and Bevol were in talks for the undisputed light heavyweight championship last year in Russia. Before Bivol won the Canelo Bivol sweepstakes, smooth boxers made their money by beating Alvarez in May 2022 and then coaching Zurdo Ramirez in November.

Betterbiev, meanwhile, is the only boxing champion with a 100% knockout ratio. The bruised fighter pushed Anthony Yarde earlier this year in a thriller. Betarbiev will face another Briton in January. when he clashes with Callum Smith in the battle this Saturday. Before Beterbiyev withdrew due to injury.

Both Russians are on ESPN’s pound-for-pound list and appear to have no major obstacles to the fight. This should happen. And it’s a delight for boxing’s avid supporters.

Probability it will happen in 2024: 90%

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