The first half of 2022 in boxing delivered plenty of action — and surprises — but that simply served as a table setter for what shapes up as a far more impactful final six months filled with genuine superfights.
Anthony Joshua will attempt to become a three-time heavyweight champion when he meets Oleksandr Usyk in a highly anticipated rematch on Aug. 20 in Saudi Arabia. One month later, Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin will close out their trilogy with a Sept. 17 fight in Las Vegas for the undisputed super middleweight championship.
Then there’s Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford, who remain on a collision course for a November clash for the undisputed welterweight championship.
What else might be in store? Here are five bold predictions for the rest of 2022:
Tyson Fury will agree to fight the Usyk-Joshua winner
You’re not buying Fury’s retirement following his win over Dillian Whyte in April, are you?
It’s possible Fury won’t fight a second time in 2022, but the wheels will already be in motion before the year is over. I’ll be bold and say he’ll be back in 2023.
The prospect of a fight against the winner of Usyk-Joshua will simply be too much to pass up, especially if Joshua emerges victorious. Fury-Joshua would be the biggest fight in British boxing history by a wide margin. It’s an event years in the making.
But even if Usyk beats Joshua again, it’s hard to see Fury passing up the opportunity to fight for the undisputed heavyweight championship — and grab more piles of money in the process.
Fury is still just 33 and at the peak of his powers. Surely, he won’t walk away when he still has so much more to give to the sport. Fury has floated the possibility of an exhibition with UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, and while that could happen, it won’t get in the way of a fight for the undisputed heavyweight championship and the riches that accompany it.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was prepared to pay $155 million for the rights to a fight between Fury and Joshua last year, and it is set to dole out a reported $80 million for Usyk-Joshua 2. According to sources, what the KSA truly values is the undisputed championship, and all four belts will be on the line whether Fury fights Usyk or Joshua.
Simply put, Fury is a fighting man, as he often reminds everyone, and it’s true. Forget one more fight: The smart money says Fury has several more high-profile fights left in his Hall of Fame career.
Spence and Crawford deliver a classic that leads to a rematch
First, both teams must agree to a deal, but it seems they are committed to making the fight happen. It would be a surprise if the current talks didn’t lead to a meeting for all four welterweight titles before the year is out.
And when they do finally fight, Spence and Crawford will undoubtedly deliver an instant classic that more than lives up to the hype. These are two of the best pound-for-pound fighters in boxing, and the clash of styles should present an action-packed bout.
Spence is a natural welterweight and can box going backward or forward, but so can Crawford, who is also a switch-hitter with a killer instinct. It’s hard to envision anything but an ultracompetitive fight that leads to a rematch or even a trilogy.
Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano will deliver an unforgettable rematch
When they met in April, Taylor and Serrano combined for the biggest boxing match in women’s history. That’s not hyperbole.
A sold-out crowd at iconic Madison Square Garden in New York watched Taylor and Serrano lay it all on the line over 10 brutal rounds for pound-for-pound supremacy. But Taylor’s victory didn’t arrive without controversy.
A rematch is natural, and it could take place in December in Ireland, Taylor’s home country. Serrano first will return to featherweight for a defense of her three titles against Brenda Carbajal on the Jake Paul-Hasim Rahman Jr. undercard on Aug. 6.
After that, Taylor and Serrano should once again find themselves on a collision course for the biggest rematch in women’s boxing history. Taylor, the undisputed lightweight champion, has no fight scheduled.
Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia will strike a deal
Stephen A. Smith is hyped as he describes what makes Gervonta Davis so great.
Davis and Garcia were in serious talks last year before Garcia broke off negotiations to chase a fight with Manny Pacquiao that never materialized.
Now that Garcia is back in the swing of things — assuming he gets past Javier Fortuna on Saturday — the time is now for this superfight in the lightweight division to finally happen.
“Tank” Davis, 27, and Garcia, 23, arguably boast the biggest followings in boxing among younger fans, and this shapes up as a terrific fight in the ring, too. It would no doubt be a financial bonanza at the gate and on pay-per-view.
Both possess quick hands and immense power, yet they are untested on the top level. The winner would be in line for plenty of lucrative fights, whether it’s against undisputed champion Devin Haney or former champ Vasiliy Lomachenko.
GGG will retire after trilogy fight with Alvarez
Canelo Alvarez isn’t too fond of Gennadiy Golovkin pretending to be a nice guy before their news conference.
Golovkin is now 40 and nearing the end of his storied career. For so long, all he has wanted was a third crack at Alvarez, which he’s now getting. This is his one last chance to settle a bitter rivalry between them.
Whether he wins or loses, Golovkin will enter the Hall of Fame on the first ballot as one of the greatest middleweight champions of all time. He has already earned tens of millions of dollars, and his greatest payday yet could be his last one.
Golovkin already acknowledged that the financial windfall coming his way will help secure his retirement, and it would be fitting that the final fight is against Alvarez.
Twenty-four rounds couldn’t separate them (a split draw in the first fight and a majority decision for Alvarez in the rematch), and there’s nothing left for Golovkin to accomplish afterward.