By Ken Hissner: There are many fights that seem to be being put off that the fight fans would like to see by late 2023 or early 2024, and I’m one of them!
Let’s start with the heavyweight division and WBC World champion Tyson ‘The Gypsy’ King, 33-0-1 with 24 knockouts out of Morecambe, Lancashire, UK, and WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO World champion southpaw Oleksandr Usyk, 21-0 with 14 knockouts out of Simferopol, Crimea, Ukraine.
Fury seems to be holding things up, not fighting since December and talking about fighting a non-boxing opponent. His promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, recently said pertaining to Fury and Usyk, “It won’t be hard to make in December!”
On the other hand, Usyk defended his titles in August, coming off the canvas to knockout Daniel ‘Dynamite’ Dubois, 19-2 in nine rounds.
The promoter felt there should be a rematch due to what referee Luis Pabon called a low blow and gave Usyk an extra minute even Usyk didn’t want to recover. That he did and came back to score the knockout. This can and has to happen in the UK by December, which would be a year since Fury has fought!
Next is the light heavyweight division where WBC, WBO, and IBF World champion Russian Artur Beterbiev, 19-0 with 19 knockouts out of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Due to an injury pushed back his fight with WBC No. 1 contender Callum ‘Mundo’ Smith, 29-1, with 21 knockouts out of the UK on January 13th!
What fans want to see more is the 38-year-old Beterbiev fighting WBA Super World champion Dmitrii Bivol, 21-0, with 11 knockouts out of Kyrgyzstan and Indio, California.
Bivol was 2022 “Fighter of the Year,” defeating WBA, WBO, WBC, and IBF Super Middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, 57-1-2, in May and previously unbeaten former WBO champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez, 44-0 in November.
Bivol has no fights scheduled, but his No. 1 contender is Joshua Buatsi, 17-0 with 13 knockouts from Ghana out of the UK, who is also the No. 1 contender at WBO and scheduled to fight WBA No. 2 contender Dan ‘Super’ Azeez, 20-0 with 13 knockouts out of Lewisham, London, UK, on October 21st.
There is no reason for Bivol not to fight in 2023, and hoped Beterbiev’s fight with Smith would have come off in the summer as planned and fight the winner. Now it looks like the winner between Buatsi and Azeez will be next for him.
At welterweight, who wants to see WBA, WBC, WBO, and IBF World champion southpaw Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford, 40-0 with 31 knockouts out of Omaha, Nebraska, in a rematch with former champion southpaw Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence, 28-1 with 23 knockouts out of Desoto, Texas fight again? Unfortunately, Spence, in a contract, has a right to force the rematch.
What the fans want to see is Crawford fight his IBF Interim champion Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis, 31-0, with 28 knockouts out of the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania fight.
In July, Ennis defended his title, knocking out Roiman Villa 26-1. Crawford is talking about moving up to super middleweight and fighting Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, who is fighting WBA, WBC, WBO, and IBF World Super Welterweight champion Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo, 35-1-1 with 19 knockouts on September 30th.
Crawford wants a fight in December, and if he stays at welterweight, it will be with Spence in December.
At lightweight WBA World champion southpaw Gervonta “Tank” Davis, 29-0 with 27 knockouts out of Baltimore, Maryland, wants to fight WBA, WBO and IBF World champion Devin “The Dream” Haney, 30-0 with 15 knockouts out of Las Vegas, Nevada, who was lucky to get the decision over former champion Vasyl “Loma” Lomachenko, 17-3 with 11 knockouts in May.