What Will Be The Next Unification Match in 2023?
By Ken Hissner: At near the top of the list of hopeful unification matches is in the heavyweight division with WBC champ Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury, 33-0-1 and WBA, WBO, and IBF champ Oleksandr Usyk, 20-0.
The 6’9” Fury had two fights last year, and last fought in December, stopping Derek “War” Chisora from having his fourth straight stoppage.
Usyk, a 6’3” southpaw who is also the former cruiser champ, has had one fight a year for the past four years, last fighting in August, defeating former champ Anthony “AJ” Joshua in a rematch.
Talks have been going on with Fury possibly wanting more money though holding only one of the four belts. After his most recent win, he was very local against Usyk, who gave him a “killing look” in return from ringside.
An even bigger showdown would be at light heavyweight with possibly the two best pound-for-pound boxers in the world meeting. WBA champ Dmitrii Bivol, 21-0, the 2022 Fighter of the Year, with his last four opponents having a combined 143-2-3 record, is a boxer-puncher. WBC, WBO, and IBF champ Artur Beteriev, 19-0 with all ko’s, is one of the biggest punchers in the sport.
There is too much talk of Bivol and Super Middle champ Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in a rematch that really makes no sense except money being a big factor. At 38, Beterbiev, to the 32-year-old Bivol, has no time to waste and would most likely be the favorite. Let’s hope it happens to see who is the possible best in the world today.
The WBA, WBC, WBO, and IBF Super middle champ Alvarez, 58-2-2, may have one of his titles vacated if he doesn’t fight the former champ Caleb Plant, 22-1, and David Benavidez, 26-0, upcoming winner.
Former WBO Middle champ Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade, 32-0, has moved up in weight with WBC Middle champ Jermall “Hit Man” Charlo, 32-0, who may join him if a unification match with WBA champ Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin, 42-2-1, who just gave up his IBF title doesn’t happen. Jaime Munguia, 41-0, maybe GGG’s next opponent.
The most talked about unification match is in the welterweight division with WBO champ Terence “Bud” Crawford, 38-0, and WBA, WBC, and IBF champ Errol “The Truth” Spence, Jr., 28-0, still a possible match though Spence seems to be holding that one up.
Both fighters say after unification; they would move up to super welter to meet champ Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo, 35-1-1. The two top contenders Vergil Ortiz, Jr., 19-0, and Jaron “Boots” Ennis, 30-0, are both looking for a title fight this year.
WBA, WBC, WBO, and IBF Lightweight champ Devin “The Dream” Haney, 29-0, has former champ Vasyl “Loma” Lomachenko, 17-2, Gervonta “Tank” Davis, 28-0, and former Super Feather champ Shakur Stevenson, 19-0, looking for their chance at Haney.
WBA and WBO Super Bantamweight champ Stephen “Cool Boy Steph” Fulton, 21-0, instead of a unification match with WBC and IBF champ Akhmadaliev, 11-0, talks of a rematch with either former champ now featherweight Brandon “The Heartbreaker” Figueroa, 23-1-1, who has a match scheduled in March or Bantamweight champ Naoya “Monster” Inoue, 24-0, who is also talked about being the best and wanting to move up in weight to meet Fulton.
What’s your pick fight fans as the biggest unification match?
- Canelo Alvarez confirms Dmitry Bivol rematch in September
- Munguia’s promoter says Bivol fight not happening, Golovkin the target for June 10th
- “Benavidez easier fight for Canelo than Bivol” – Eddie Hearn
- Dmitry Bivol vs. Jaime Munguia in the works for June 10th – Eddie Hearn