Last year saw what boxing looks like at its best. The sport has welcomed new champions on all fronts, from single title holders to unified undisputed crowns. Additionally, the female side continued to grow massively in what is arguably the biggest fight of all time between Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano.
But it also showed that the sport was still boxing towards the end of the year, as many major face-offs were discussed and hoped to collapse in the final stages. While there is still hope to see major clashes in each sector of the sport, skepticism remains strong in a sport that struggles to meet expectations.
With that in mind, our experts have tried to make some predictions about what will happen in the new year.
Not enough boxing and MMA? Get the latest in the world of combat sports from two of his best in the business. Subscribe to Morning Combat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell Get the best analysis and detailed news.
Most ‘big fights’ really happen, but not Crawford vs. Spence
In boxing, there’s just too much lined up to finally get some of the sport’s much-anticipated fights. It’s easy to imagine the fight coming to fruition in the next 12 months, but assuming Davis doesn’t get out of prison, hopes of seeing Terrence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr. are fading. I’m here. By all reports, the fight was very close to happening in 2022 before falling apart at the negotiating table. Crawford has actually accepted independence from the promoters who control his decisions. But if he wins a career-high prize against a second-tier contender on an unknown platform, he might not be interested in giving an inch to the table. If negotiations for a fight with Spence heat up again.
As for Spence, he’s already planning to fight in April, with the WBC ordering a fight against Keith Thurman, the IBF ordering a fight against Jaron “Boots” Ennis, and a fight against Virgil Ortiz and Eimantas Stannionis. He will be the winner of the WBA “regular” title match between the two.Also lined up as a mandatory opponent. A streak of fights with these three opponents would be incredible for Spence while not having to fight Crawford and winning the battle over “opponent quality”.
Even if of Fighting to make, it feels like there are more reasons why Crawford vs. Spence won’t happen in 2023 than why the two will finally face off in the ring. — Brent Brookhouse
Jaron Ennis Wins Fighter of the Year
For the 24-year-old prodigy from Philadelphia, simply known as ‘The Boot’, the opportunity to finally match his skills with the welterweight elite couldn’t have come sooner. 2023 will be his year if Ennis wins the interim IBF title by defeating Karen Chukajian on January 7 and becomes a mandatory challenger in two sanctioning bodies for Errol Spence Jr.’s unified 147-pound crown. Right now there are no big name welterweights standing in his way seeking a fight with Ennis. In any case, Ennis could appear in three games this year. This could be the perfect amount to earn both his first full title his shot and the opportunity to prove that he’s already on par with his four-pound best of the game. I can’t. . — Brian Campbell
Jake Paul earns rankings from sanctioning bodies
Boxing purists, see this one. In late 2022, there was a tweet that Jake Paul could be ranked at the 60th WBC Annual Convention. After all, Paul had never won anyone in a boxing record until Anderson he beat Silva in September. Paul’s name wasn’t featured on the panel, but his wheels seem to be moving to further integrate the social media star, who has surpassed expectations among athletes’ celebrity boxers. is a good source of income. Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins recently presented Paul with his WBA Championship belt in remembrance. Paul still has a long way to go to fight someone near the top 10 in a given weight class, but the growing desire to see him face other boxers, financial incentives and clever matchmaking make Paul could lead to numbers in his name in 2023. — Shakiel Majuli