According to Canelo Alvarez, it’s time to be bold.
There is no off-season in boxing, but with the calendar stretching to 2021 and no major fights scheduled, it’s time to really follow this phrase, be bold and offer your best predictions for the year.
Some may be more realistic than others, but they will all have an impact on the sport this year and beyond.
Error! The file name is not specified. Former World Bantamweight Champion Shakur Stevenson is aiming for a world title in 2021. Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images
Shakur Stevenson will win several Junior Lightweight Championship titles and become the #1 wrestler in the division:. Stevenson will be in the hunt for the title in 2021. He plans to fight the winner of the Jamel Herring-Carl Frampton WBO title fight in the spring, and then looks to WBC champion Miguel Berchelt and IBF champion YoJo Diaz. It’s an ambitious plan for the 23-year-old Stevenson, but he’ll be able to win two or three of those titles by 2021.
By the end of the year, Stevenson will be the number one junior lightweight in the ESPN rankings and will also be at the back of the ESPN pound-for-pound rankings. — Cameron Wolfe
Error! The file name is not specified. Tyson Fury, left, could face Anthony Joshua in his next fight before completing his trilogy with Deontay Wilder, right. John W. McDonough /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images
Tyson Fury eliminates Anthony Joshua to become the undisputed heavyweight champion : Ultimately, neither Joshua nor Fury will decide to shed their belts, so this fight will not take place in the first half of 2021. Instead, Joshua defeats his WBO mandatory challenger, Oleskander Usyk, in the spring, while Fury revisits his trilogy with Deontay Wilder…. revisits. Or fight someone else.
But before the end of the year, Joshua and Fury will face each other in a crowded arena. Fury scored a memorable KO and became the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999. — Cameron Wolfe
Error! The file name is not specified. Ryan Garcia is challenging the best light fighters to big fights in 2021. Tim Warner/Getty Images
The light division will be the best in boxing, as evidenced by Gervonta Tank Davis against Ryan Garcia and Teofimo Lopez against Devin Haynie: Comparing them to the four kings (Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, Tommy Hearns, Roberto Duran) is ambitious at best at this stage, but what makes this era so special is that they all fought each other’s kings. The 2021 light division is starting to stand out from the others because the young fighters are not afraid to lose their 0. They want the mega-fights to happen now instead of marinating them. The rally tournament begins in 2021.
Garcia and Davis have been fighting for years, but things have deteriorated in recent weeks and this year the two men are headed for a clash. Two powerful boxers with questionable defenses are a recipe for a fight of the year candidate, and each has the fan base and social media to make this the most important fight in the sport.
So it remains up to Lopez and Haynie to fight for the controversial WBC title. Both say they want to fight before moving up to the junior welterweight division, and since it looks like Garcia and Davis only want to fight for now, Lopez and Haynie become the perfect dance partners. — Cameron Wolfe
Error! File name is not specified. Jermell Charlo (left),middleweight champion, and Jermell Charlo (right), unified junior middleweight champion, could be the undisputed champions in 2021. Bob Levy/Getty Images
Jermell Charlo becomes the undisputed champion, Jermell Charlo the unified champion: 2021 will be a big year for the Charlo brothers. Jermell, who currently holds the WBC, IBF and WBA Junior Middleweight titles, will likely face the winner of the Patrick Taser-Bryan Castano WBO bout this summer, from which he will emerge the undisputed champion at 154.
To spoil his brother’s fun, Jermall Charlo will defeat WBO champion Demetrius Andrade, IBF champion Gennady Golovokin or WBA champion Riot Murata to add a unified middleweight champion to his WBC belt. — Cameron Wolfe
Error! The file name is not specified. Game
Behind the scenes of the Hooker-Saucedo fight, Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr. clash in an argument that ends with Crawford saying he can take Spence down.
Terence Crawford to Errol Spence Jr. for the undisputed welterweight title: This prediction gets a little tricky because Crawford and Spence currently only have three of the four main welterweight belts. One of them has to beat Manny Pacquiao or Pacquiao has to leave the belt before July.
For this prediction, Pacquiao returns in June to unify the titles against Spence, losing a tight decision. Meanwhile, Crawford defends her title against Shawn Porter, eliminating not only her number one contender, but also Spence. With a mandatory challenger, Crawford takes the dreaded 40-60 draw to fight Spence at welterweight and prove he has the best welterweight in the world. — Kel Dansby.
Error! The file name is not specified. Boxing fans hope to attend fights in larger venues such as the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas starting in 2021. Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Fans are back It may be more of a hope, a wish or a pipe dream, but by the end of the year we will have stadiums full of fans returning to card fights that will play very well for possible unification battles at the end of 2021. The energy and hype surrounding a title fight – in MMA or boxing – is different than in American sports, with the exception of the Super Bowl. Without it, even on television, that feeling is missing.
The promoters have done their best to continue to showcase battle maps – some better than others – with television and fanless displays. But at the end of the year, fans return to the stadiums to see the big battles with the headliners. — Michael Rothstein
Error! The file name is not specified. Canelo Alvarez (left) has a 1-0-1 record against Gennady Golovkin (right). Eric W. Rasko/Sports Illustrated with Getty Images
Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin III takes place – and Alvarez knocked out GGG: This would be a fitting end to the trilogy and all the themes surrounding these two warriors and their legacy. This fight didn’t take place until later in the year – in front of an audience – but it ended up being the fight of the year, knocking out Golovkin for the first time in his career.
The fight also ends with Golovkin as the last man standing, as the 39-year-old decides he’s had enough. For Alvarez, this opens up new avenues for new opponents and a new chapter in his career. The fight is also enough to make Alvarez the #1 book by the end of the year. — Michael Rothstein
Error! The file name is not specified. Micaela Meyer, above, won the WBO Lightweight World title in October by defeating Eva Brodnicka. Mikey Williams/Top Rated via Getty Images
Mikaela Meyer unites her division and hosts a fight with Katie Taylor in 2022:. This has been Meyer’s goal for some time, and in women’s boxing, the only thing left to do is organize big fights.
Meyer fought alone in the 2021 unification bouts, defeating Terry Harper and Maiva Hamadoush. Meyer has the opportunity to have a female superpower with undisputed lightweight champion Taylor – who puts two of the top three names in women’s boxing in the ring alongside Claressa Shields. — Michael Rothstein
Error! The file name is not specified. Game
Experience the revenge of the 28th. June 1997 between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, which will always be remembered as the fight where Tyson bit Holyfield’s ear.
Mike Tyson vs Evander Holyfield III becomes the biggest PPV boxing match since Mayweather-McGregor: It may sound strange, but the trilogy between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, even as an exhibition, has the potential to generate monstrous numbers. The Tyson Jones 2020 show was a paying success, as League of Legends alone saw an increase of 1.6 million purchases overall. There’s also the fact that the two fights between Tyson and Holyfield in the 1990s did very well, with 1.5 and 1.99 million purchases respectively.
Add another 24 years of anticipation, and you’ll want to see these two heavyweights to complete your trilogy. Mayweather vs McGregor sold 4.3 million paid viewings in 2017 – this fight won’t even reach half of that number, but even with 2 million buys, it would become the most successful boxing event since May-Mac, eclipsing the previous two fights. — Kel Dansby.
Error! The file name is not specified. Claressa Shields is the undisputed middleweight champion and holder of the unified junior middleweight title. Edward Diller/Getty Images
Shields Clares fights three times – twice in boxing, once in MMA – and wins all three:. Although the boxing match was disappointing, Shields made his Professional Fighting League (PFL) debut and eventually won in the first round. He won’t be the strongest opponent in a special presentation fight, but it will be enough to give him a chance to learn more about the other side of martial arts.
This makes her an even more attractive star in crossover Combat and opens up more opportunities in both sports in 2022. It is also seizing the opportunity and using its multi-sport platform to continue to advocate for greater equality and better pay for female boxers. — Michael Rothstein
Error! The file name is not specified. Josh Taylor, above, defended the Regis program in the welterweight final of the 2019 World Junior Super Series Boxing competition to win two world titles. Stephen Pond/Getty Images
Josh Taylor will clean up the junior welterweight team …. and serve as an option to Terence Crawford: After sweeping Apinun Hongson in a single round last September, Taylor, the defending IBF and WBA welterweight champion, realized he was invincible. The Scot turned 30 in January and plans to retire in a few years. So expect him to make big moves in 2021.
The first step is a fight for the joint championship title with Jose Ramirez, the 140-pound challenger, already in preparation. Taylor’s form and technical ability will allow him to take on a classic battle between two point pressure fighters, and a win will catapult Taylor into an even bigger battle against ESPN’s number one, Crawford, in the fall of 2021. — Nick Parkinson
Error! The file name is not specified. Vasyl Lomachenko, above, will have the opportunity to regain his lightweight titles in 2021. Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Vasyl Lomachenko will recapture his lightweight world title with a win over Gervonta Davis: Teofimo Lopez doesn’t look like he wants to give Lomachenko a rematch in 2021 after making one of the biggest moves of the year 2020, winning three major world titles in the lightweight category.
But the Ukrainian from California didn’t become a successful fighter overnight. Expect him to be more motivated and reinstated in 2021. Davis is a risk for Lomachenko, who turns 33 in February, especially after Davis’ stunning win over Leo Santa Cruz in October. But a fight against Davis would give Lomachenko a great opportunity to rebuild his reputation.
Lomachenko has the defensive and tanking skills to take advantage of Davis’ aggressive style. It’s the biggest fight for both in lightweight competition (without Lopez) and it will be one of the highlights of boxing in 2021. — Nick Parkinson
Error! The file name is not specified. The fight between Anthony Joshua, right, and Tyson Fury could be one of the biggest confrontations of 2021. Andrew Caldridge/PA Images via Getty Images.
Anthony Joshua defeats Tyson Fury in the heavyweight championship fight It remains to be seen if the fan boxing championships will resume in the first half of 2021, but let’s hope so. No boxing fight matters now, and Fury is most people’s favorite, thanks to his brilliant win over Deontay Wilder in February 2020 and Joshua’s knockout defeat of Andy Ruiz Jr. in June 2019.
But I moved from Fury to AJ based on Joshua’s recent performance, a dominant win over Kubrat Pulev to defend his WBO, WBA and IBF world titles, which will give him back his confidence and conviction. Joshua avenged his defeat to Ruiz by overthrowing Kubrat Pulev and showing much more of the explosiveness we were used to at the start of his first championship reign. Fury will be out of the ring for over a year when they meet (if that’s their next fight) and he’ll tip the scales in Joshua’s favor in their first bout, once again making him the man to beat in the heavyweight division. — Nick Parkinson
Error! The file name is not specified. Deontay Wilder (left) has not fought since his TKO defeat by Tyson Fury (right) in February 2019. Al Bello/Getty Images
Deontay Wilder fights twice in 2021 and wins both times by KO: Aside from accusations of cheating and dishonesty, fans haven’t heard much from Wilder since his defeat to Fury. Wilder would be better served regaining his mystique and confidence in the ring, and there are enough heavyweights in the ring to make him proud again.
Fighting Dillian Whyte, who was recently knocked out by Alexander Povetkin, and Andy Ruiz Jr. should give Wilder another chance to win the heavyweight title. Before his last defeat, White was a mandatory challenger for the Tyson Fury WBC title. Ruiz hasn’t fought since he lost his revenge against Joshua, but he is well known and is the former Unified Heavyweight Champion. If he knocks out those two fighters, Wilder can take on the winner of Joshua Fury. — Kel Dansby.
Error! The file name is not specified. Teofimo Lopez, the Unified Welterweight Champion, plans to advance to the Junior Welterweight Division. Mikey Williams/Top Rated via Getty Images
Teofimo Lopez gives up his welterweight title and fights the undisputed junior welterweight champion: The boxing world talks about the light division. Lopez surprised top boxer Lomachenko, Davis knocked out Santa Cruz 2020 with an uppercut, Garcia’s star lit up with a knockout of Campbell and Hani was nearly invincible in his defense of the title against veteran Yuriorkis Gamboa.
The options are numerous and everyone wants to see these young stars fight, but there are bigger and better options for Lopez. Sure, fights against Davis or Haney would attract a lot of attention right now, but imagine how big it would be if he were the undisputed champion in two divisions?
Here’s what’s possible if Lopez decides to move up to the rank of junior welterweight and take on the winner of Taylor and Ramirez. Lopez could still be active this spring, fighting lightweight George Cambosos Jr. and then Jose Zepeda in a fight with a 140-pound opponent this summer. After Zepeda’s fight, he would have to give up his lightweight titles to justify his uncontested 140 title, but that would cost him a compromise. — Kel Dansby.