You can put my opinion on repeat: “2016 has been a dud of a year for boxing!” But with a flurry of fight deals being made, a certain heavyweight champ being (or about to be) stripped of his titles, and an inconspicuous red head getting hurt, the year seems to be going out with a bang.
Is what confuses most boxing fans is why can’t boxing have a strong schedule year round? Certainly the talent is there and the number of channels willing to televise it has never been higher. Sparing you the obvious, I won’t go into detail on the depressing politics of boxing, its promoters, network executives, or the boxers themselves who strive more for their dare to be rich fight rather than a dare to be great fight.
Here’s a quick rundown of what’s on tap and the rumors swirling!
- Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury looks to be stripped of his titles and suspended indefinitely after positive drug tests that turned up cocaine use. The two titles may either be given back to former champion Wladimir Klitschko or could be made available to the winner of a proposed fight between him and IBF champion, Anthony Joshua.
- Canelo Alvarez injures his hand in a fight nobody asked for and instead of him fighting for a third time this year, HBO saves millions of dollars on what would’ve been Canelo’s purse and used it to make two action stacked main events! Takashi Miura vs Orlando Salido is one of those and will be for the WBC interim super featherweight championship with the winner set to face the now injured champion Fernando Vargas, sometime next year. The second will be Vasyl Lomachenko vs Nicholas Walters for Lomachenko’s WBO super featherweight title. Let’s hope we see a unification between all of those winners next year!
- Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin is still in negotiations to face Daniel Jacobs in what would be his fiercest middleweight opponent to date. Triple G holds the WBA, WBC, and IBF titles in the division while Jacobs holds a lower class version of the WBA title. The WBA has asked for negotiations to take place and be finalized by October 12th and if they’re not then a purse bid will take place. Jacobs and his advisor Al Haymon are asking for a lot of extra monies that don’t seem to be deserved so we’ll see whether or not the fight will take place or if Jacobs will retreat in the 11th hour just as Eubank Jr. did last summer. Andy Lee could be a replacement opponent for Triple G if necessary.
- A unification between super welterweight champions James Degale and Badou Jack has yet to materialize as have most fights for boxers underneath advisor Al Hayman. Other Haymon fighter’s Gary Russell Jr. and Lee Selby, once on track for a unification fight with each other, also have no fight date on their plates while Danny Garcia, a notorious cherry-picker is gearing up for another easy test against a yet to be named sucker opponent. Adrien Broner may be the only boxer on Haymon’s roster with a decent fight that’s proposed to be made other than Daniel Jacobs. Broner could face Ricky Burns for the lightweight title.
- In the Japanese fight scene, Takashi Uchiyama will try to prolong his storied career by getting revenge on his lone defeat to Jezreel Corrales and win back the WBA super featherweight title. Pound for pound champion Naoya Inoue is being avoided as much as Triple G and is still searching for an opponent. A unification with Jerwin Ancajas seems unlikely as Ancajas has other goals besides fighting the best. As mentioned above, Takashi Miura will be in his toughest fight of the year when he faces the electric Orlando Salido. There’s sure to be fireworks in this one and the winner will be up next in line for another HBO telecast and the chance to get a rematch with Fernando Vargas, whom both boxers lost to.
- A clash of pound for pound rated fighter’s in Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev will go at it November 19th while on November 5th all-time great Manny Pacquiao will get the spotlight against Jessie Vargas.
Look out folks! There’s actually going to be some good fights to watch this holiday season! Stay tuned for more here on No Sparring.