Seven dream fights we need to see in 2022 including Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk and Josh Taylor vs Terence Crawford
TYSON FURY vs Anthony Joshua escaped us and Terence Crawford vs Errol Spence is a myth but the fistic gods have finally gifted us Amir Khan vs Kell Brook in 2022 so why stop dreaming there?
British boxing currently has a wave of brilliant prospects turning pro from the 2020 Olympics, there is a raft of young pros cutting their teeth with learning fights and domestic titles and there are the old heroes settling scores and cashing out.
There are already tantalising bouts including Liam Williams vs Chris Eubank Jr and Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall confirmed for spring, so here SunSport suggests a few more bouts we can fantasise into fruition…
Katie Taylor vs Amanda Serrano – Undisputed lightweight
The 35-year-old Irish icon handled her mandatory defence on December 11 and after Serrano won her tune-up on December 18, this one is a done deal for April.
Not just that but the bout for all of Taylor’s undisputed lightweight crowns will take place at the top of the bill at Madison Square Garden.
Ireland’s Olympic hero and two-weight queen vs the Puerto Rico pioneer, 33, who has captured world titles in a stunning SEVEN divisions.
It will be the fight that defines the careers of both women and unlike most of the female fights we see, there is genuine animosity between fighters and teams.
And celebrity YouTube boxer Jake Paul is Serrano’s new promoter so he will add fireworks to the event – for better or worse.
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Oleksandr Usyk vs Tyson Fury – undisputed heavyweight
This could just have easily read Anthony Joshua vs Dillian Whyte – all we really want to see is an undisputed heavyweight champion.
We have been teased and promised and guaranteed, only to eventually be lied to and disappointed.
Whoever holds Fury’s WBC belt and Usyk’s WBA, IBF and WBO belts in the summer must surely fight each other.
The boxing form book – especially among heavyweights – tells you that the boxer beats the puncher in all rematches.
Muhammad Ali, Lennox Lewis and even Anthony Joshua’s rerun win over Andy Ruiz Jr prove the point, so it is hard to see how AJ avenges his defeat to the Ukraine southpaw.
It’s hard to see how Dillian Whyte finds a way to beat 6ft 9in switch-hitting Fury so let’s assume it’s a Fury vs Usyk showdown for the ages – with instant rematch clauses and controversial draws, of course.
Conor Benn vs David Avanesyan – welterweight
The rapidly improving Benn, 25, insists he is ready for a world title shot right now – promoter Eddie Hearn reckons he needs two more tests.
Benn has bypassed English, British and European titles so far but his recent form suggests that has not harmed his education at all.
But the top of the welterweight pile is a murderer’s row with Errol Spence, Terence Crawford, Yordenis Ugas and even prospects like Vergil Ortis and Jaron Ennis.
Hearn’s plan now is for Benn to fight the brilliant but erratic Adrien Broner but the Floyd Mayweather protege is notoriously flakey.
A Benn win is unlikely to convince his doubters, who will point to Broner’s inactivity and personal problems and a defeat would be a nightmare for his red-hot career.
A meeting with European champ Ava, who is in-form and fresh at 33, would be the real litmus test for Benn.
The Ilford ace has all the momentum and confidence to suggest he wins it but we need to see his team have as much belief in him by giving him a real challenge.
Sunny Edwards vs Julio Cesar Martinez – IBF and WBC unified flyweight
There is so much heat, talent, skill and backstory to this potential bout that it’s almost guaranteed to NOT happen.
The flyweight division often flies under the radar due to the lack of big KOs and characters but these boys buck the trend.
Edwards is the South London mastermind who baffles opponents with his skills and is the IBF world champion.
Martinez is the Mexican banger who was on course to beat Sunny’s brother Charlie in 2019 when he shamefully whacked him while he was on the ground – making it a no contest – AND he later tested positive for a banned substance.
Martinez still has Charlie’s old WBC title so it would be a unification to decide the No1 in the division. The maestro vs the monster? Yes please.
Lawrence Okolie vs Mairis Briedis – WBO and IBF unified cruiserweight
Hackney’s WBO cruiserweight champion of the world wants to unify the 14st 4lbs division before jumping up to play with stablemates like Anthony Joshua and Derek Chisora.
Latvian Briedis, 36, has the IBF strap and has been considered the man to beat since Usyk cleared up the whole weight class and moved up.
A few years ago Okolie would not have had many backers but his improvements under Shane McGuigan have been plentiful.
The unbeaten Sauce’s right hand has obliterated almost all of his 17 victims while even Usyk could not stop Briedis in his only loss.
So this will the defining fight that probably ends the careers of both men in this division before they move up, in Okolie’s case, or perhaps retire for veteran Briedis.
Josh Taylor vs Terence Crawford – WBO welterweight title
Josh Taylor probably has the best CV in all of world boxing so it seems insulting to keep trying to foist fresh challenges on the undisputed super-lightweight king.
The Edinburgh ace has to defend all of his titles against Manchester’s mandatory challenger Jack Catterall in February.
But then he can vacate his belts, having completed the course, pack on a few more pounds and hunt the mega-fights and money up at welter.
With brilliant WBO 147lbs king Crawford also struggling to find worthy challenges, we can dream of a date when these two will clash.
Hamzah Sheeraz vs Bradley Skeete – super-welterweight
On December 4 the red-hot undefeated Hamzah Sheeraz was supposed to jump from prospect to contender with a win over respected yet inactive Bradley Skeete.
Super-welter Sheeraz, 22, has taken his training camps to California while Skeete had recently returned to freezing Sheffield.
It was supposed to be a simple changing of the guard but Skeete outboxed the Ilford star and looked on course to win a decision.
However Sheeraz, a wonderfully polite and respectful man, got over excited and struck Skeete when he was kneeling down.
Referee Steve Gray should have ended the contest there and then – with a no-contest or disqualification – as Skeete was in no fit state to continue and was stopped soon after.
In typically classy fashion, Sheeraz has apologised and offered Skeete the rematch and it would be another great learning fight for him.
Hopefully we see the rematch as Skeete deserves another payday and a shot at redemption and Sheeraz can gain that crucial experience that was probably lacking the first time around.
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