It’s too fantastical to believe that Martin Luther King had boxing fans in mind when he said, ‘We must embrace finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.’ .
Connoisseurs of noble art are always immeasurably frustrated because they rarely get the chance to see the best fights.
A year ago, in this column, we picked six matches British punters would love to see in 2022.
Tyson Fury vs. Anthony Joshua, Terry Crawford vs. Errol Spence, Anthony Yard vs. Joshua Bouatzi, Josh Taylor vs. Gelbonta Davis, Mylis Breedis vs. Lawrence O’Colley, Gennady Golovkin vs. Chris Eubank Junior.
All potential box office returns. But I warned that it would hardly happen, if at all, because of the cynicism and greed of the world’s governing bodies, and the ruthless attitude of rival television companies.
Surprise, surprise, no one did.
Therefore, even though the new year is about to begin, it makes no sense to suggest future matchups as the situation in 2023 will not change.
But at least promoters Bob Arum and Frank Warren have assured me that I can look forward to a world heavyweight unification fight between Fury and Oleksandr Usyk in the spring.
“They both want it and there is no issue with broadcasting.
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“We still need to decide on a venue.”
Wembley Stadium has also been mentioned and is sure to draw another 94,000 spectators.
There is no doubt that heavyweights will dominate next year too – and there are so many tantalizing and tantalizing possibilities for big boys.
Imagine Deontay Wilder against Joshua, the return of Joe Joyce-Danny DuBois, Joshua-Joyce, Wilder-DuBois, DuBois-Joshua, or Joyce-Wilder.
If Fury defeated Usik, he could have defended against British rivals Joshua, Joyce, and Dubois. Well, we can dream, right?
Next month, Russian-born Canadian Artur Beterbiev will defend his WBC, IBF and WBO light heavyweight titles against Anthony Yard at Wembley Arena on January 28th.
Beterbiev, who turns 38 a week before he faces us, is a ferocious puncher with an astonishing record.
It’s no surprise that he’s a big 1-7 favorite to keep the belt, and even if Yarde finds a way to win, it’s doubtful there’ll be an even bigger upset in the next 12 months.
At least the Ilford man now has good advice from former British and European super-middleweight champion James Cook.
Cook told me
Yard runs eight miles (8 miles) on London roads twice a week from 3am.
He takes an impressive 1 hour and 15 minutes.
But as the immortal Joe Louis remembered saying before defending Billy Cong, “He can run, but he can’t hide!”