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Bold Predictions for Boxing in 2021 – Including Fury to Fight Joshua This Year
A sizeable portion of the world’s population just couldn’t wait to see the back of 2020. Boxing fans were no different.
But for all the major boxing predictions for 2021, fight fans are hoping that this year produces more action than its predecessor. So, when the first major fight of the year between Ryan Garcia and Luke Campbell turned out to be a thriller, we all rejoiced.
A new year, a fresh start, and a precedent for what is to come? Let’s hope so.
But before I pop any of your bubbles, allow me to preface my predictions for boxing in 2021 by saying that it should be an interesting year. Using that specific adjective can sometimes feel like the actions of a cop-out, but I wholeheartedly think we’re in for one of the best years in boxing history.
Well, in recent boxing history, anyway.
But it’s not all going to be big fights and emerging stars. We’re not going to see some bouts happen, and I think we should start by addressing the elephant in the room before we go any further.
Yup. That one…
Spence vs. Crawford Won’t Happen in 2021
Look, we all want Errol Spence Jr. vs. Terence Crawford to happen as soon as possible.
But I would be nothing short of astounded if we saw this scrap in 2021. In fact, I would be surprised if we ever get to see these two share the ring in their primes, as heartwrenching as that is to admit.
Spence and Crawford are the two greatest welterweights in boxing right now. The bout sits on top of most fans’ wishlist, sure, but the old, familiar obstacles of money and boxing politics make the super fight about as realistic as getting mugged by a golden unicorn.
Let’s not forget that Spence is a Showtime fighter, while Crawford currently fights under the Top Rank banner. That might not mean much to the average guy on the street, but to boxing fans, it’s akin to asking the Bloods and the Crips to join forces in a pro-Trump rally.
With Showtime suing Top Rank for legal fees relating to the Mayweather-Pacquiao bout in 2015, all hope of this one going ahead in 2021 is surely gone.
Like Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, our best chance of betting on Spence vs. Garcia will likely be when both men are fighting over the last piece of cheesecake in the nursing home.
And that sucks.
Fury vs. Joshua Will Happen This Year
Among the best betting predictions for Fury vs. Joshua is this — the fight will happen in 2021.
Not everyone is as confident as I am of the fight happening, of course. And understandably so.
Boxing fans have grown accustomed to being disappointed, so when a fight of this magnitude arises, typically, it fails to come to fruition. See prime Mayweather vs. prime Pacquiao, Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Aaron Pryor, Felix Trinidad vs. Ike Quartey, Erik Morales vs. Juan Manuel Marquez, and so on and so forth.
According to various sources, Fury and Joshua will fight in the summer of 2021 with a mandatory rematch later in the year. Depending on how things go, we could see Fury vs. Joshua fight each other twice this year.
I’d settle for one fight.
Ryan Garcia Won’t Fight the Big Names
When Garcia floored Olympic gold medalist and high-level pro lightweight Luke Campbell on January 2, his stock exploded.
But I felt the forecasts of Garcia’s greatness and the general hype following the fight to be a little, well, uncomfortable. Perhaps even a little premature.
The fight-ending liver shot was beautiful, sure. You can’t take that away from the kid. He showed great heart in getting up from being floored in the 2nd, and his instinct to force Campbell back in order to buy himself more recovery time was impressive.
But — and this is a big but — there were some worrying holes in the armor of “The Flash” exposed by the Brit. If he is to make good on his potential, the biggest problems Garcia has to address are his lack of head movement, his footwork, and his inability to be as dangerous when on the back foot. His general movement is amateurish, compared with some of the other fighters in the division.
Look, he is still green and certainly in no position to be calling out the likes of Teofimo Lopez, Tank Davis, or Devin Haney just yet. Certainly not Vasyl Lomachenko, who would make him look ridiculous.
But Garcia is still just 22. He has Eddy Reynoso — who also trains Canelo Alvarez — in his corner. There is no doubt that his god-given power and hand speed makes him a very dangerous prospect, but there is plenty of work to be done when it comes to sharpening the fundamentals.
Garcia needs to take his time, and I believe that will happen. So don’t expect any fights with the top boys in the division this year.
Floyd Mayweather’s Next Fight Will Tank
If the money was right, Mayweather would fight your grandma.
That’s not exactly news. We all know the “Money” man just loves the color green, especially when the color surrounds the half-smiling face of Founding Father Benjamin Franklin.
But fans aren’t always keen on the opponents the Michigan-born ring legend chooses to dance with. In his last exhibition fight, Mayweather took on 20-year-old Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa, knocking the kid out in the first round.
Before that, he stopped MMA legend Conor McGregor in ten. It was the Irishman’s professional boxing debut. It was Mayweather’s 50th win from 50 pro fights.
But anyone expecting Mayweather to return to professional boxing against a fighter capable of challenging him will be disappointed. The 42-year-old takes on YouTuber Logan Paul in an exhibition fight on February 20.
As I covered in an early Mayweather vs. Paul betting preview, wagering on the bout will be popular. But as a spectacle? It will tank.
Pacquaio vs. McGregor Gets the Green Light
Will Mayweather vs. Pacquiao 2 happen in 2021? I don’t think so.
That doesn’t mean that I am completely ruling out the possibility of both men stepping back into the ring for one last, final payday at some point.
What I can see for Pacquiao, however, is at least one defense of his WBA (Super) welterweight title. I would bet that Pacquiao vs. Mike Garcia is the fight that happens at 147-pounds for the Filipino icon.
But, something tells me that we could also be wagering on Pacquiao vs. McGregor in 2021…
Daniel Dubois Bounces Back
Among the best young boxers in the world, Dubois will bounce back from his loss to Joe Joyce.
Dubois turns 24 in September, meaning he has a lot of time to develop on what is already a very promising skillset. He has the power, the poise, and the nous to go very far in the heavyweight division, and I believe he will show more of this by the end of next year.
That loss to Joyce was his first as a pro. At this stage, there’s no reason to be hitting the panic button. He will get his opportunity to make amends for that defeat, and it does not necessarily have to come against his fellow Brit.
Dubois will be back and will be better for the experience.
Wilder Wins the Bridgerweight Championship
The WBC hand belts out for fun.
It seems as though the Mexico-based professional boxing sanctioning body comes up with a new reason to create a title on an annual basis. Whether it’s Diamond belts, Franchise Championships, crocodile leather “Money” belts… you name it, the WBC has done it.
The council took things one step further in 2020 when they announced that they would be introducing a new weight class, set to be known as the bridgerweight division. This new class would act as a “bridge” from cruiserweight to heavyweight, providing several fighters with a brand new playground to explore.
The name of the division was also inspired by the heroics of little Bridger Walker, a six-year-old that saved the life of his four-year-old sister when she was attacked by a dog.
It was awesome for young Bridger to receive such recognition, and his bravery puts him up there with any champion on the planet.
But who is set to benefit from the new division named in his honor? Perhaps former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder? I mean, Wilder has regularly clocked in at under 220 pounds for fights, meaning that making the threshold of 224 pounds will be a piece of cake.
If Wilder’s request for a rematch with Tyson Fury falls on deaf ears, perhaps the “Bronze Bomber” will fight for the inaugural bridgerweight crown. I can see it happening in 2021. The question is, who will he fight?
Wilder vs. Usyk, perhaps? Now that’s a fight I can get behind!
Will 2021 Be Better Than 2020?
2021 has to be better for boxing than 2020, right?
I’m not one for counting my chickens until they have hatched, but there is a lot of room for optimism this year. From Fury vs. Joshua to a potential scrap between Wilder and Usyk, we could be set for twelve months to remember.
Well, that’s me done for now. But if you’re looking for some quality reading material, check out more of our popular content below.
Until next time!