Considering there was a global pandemic in the year of 2020, boxing was able to flourish despite not having fans at most events. Shows took place in socially distant in “Bubbles”, where only promoters and staff, limited media, and the boxers and their teams were able to be there. COVID testing was done regularly and caused some shows to be either postponed or canceled. But despite these restrictions, the sport’s biggest and brightest returned to action.
Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez showed up in December and continued his dominance. Errol ‘The Truth’Spence showed no ill effects of his car accident. Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford knocked out Kell Brook and is still seeking a big fight with Spence or Manny Pacquaio. Teofimo Lopez entered the ranks of most pound-for-pound lists becoming the undisputed lightweight champion with his victory over Vasyl Lomachenko. Tyson Fury took the WBC title from Deontay Wilder in pre-pandemic 2020.
The Charlo twins headlined their first pay-per-view. Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis did his best Mike Tyson impersonation, knocking out Leo Santa Cruz with a vicious uppercut. And speaking of Tyson, he even came back to have an exhibition bout with Roy Jones Jr.
The first Saturday of the new year saw Ryan Garcia continue his meteoric rise when he captured his first title delivering a no-look left hook to the ribs of Luke Campbell. After the fight, Garcia said he wanted to fight ‘Tank’ Davis next, and if not him, then he’ll be willing to fight another WBC titlist, Devin Haney. Perhaps, 2021 will bring one of these fights to manifestation for Garcia and other boxers seeking legacy-making bouts. These are the fights on my 2021 wish list.
- Errol Spence vs Terence Crawford: k
When you have two of the best pound for pound boxers that are in the same weight class, it should happen. It needs to happen. However, when the boxers fight under rival promotional umbrellas, it might not happen.
Chances fight happens in 2021: 10%
- Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury:
This fight for the undisputed heavyweight championship is supposed to happen in 2021. Joshua might have to relinquish his WBO strap if he doesn’t face his mandatory, Oleksandr Usyk. It’s been reported the framework of the deal is in place and will be finalized.
Chances fight happens in 2021: 70%
- Gervonta Davis vs Ryan Garcia:
Two young stars with bright futures ahead, check! Large social media presence, check! Fast hands and knockout artist, check! Will bitter rivals Floyd Mayweather (Davis) and Oscar De La Hoya (Garcia) sit down and work out a deal to allow their fighters to meet in the ring? Who knows? The only thing working in favor is both fighters want all the smoke.
Chances fight happens in 2021: 50%
- Jose Ramirez vs Josh Taylor:
This fight would be for the undisputed super lightweight title. Taylor holds the Ring, IBF, and WBA titles, while Ramirez has the WBC and WBO belts. They both are under Top Rank and Taylor has already fulfilled his IBF mandatory, so this one is likely to happen.
Chances fight happens in 2021: 100%
- Saul Alvarez vs Billy Joe Saunders or Caleb Plant:
Canelo is a free agent and can fight on any platform because, wherever Canelo goes, the money will follow. I’m sure either one of these guys can give him a great match. They both want the fight. Plus, who would turn down a career-high payday?
Chances fight happens in 2021: Saunders- 80%, Plant- 60%
- Juan Estrada vs Roman Gonzalez:
A rematch of their classic 2012 fight. Usually, 8 years is too long in between rematches but not in this case. The fight is signed and scheduled for March 13th.
Chances fight happens in 2021: 100%