The hottest upcoming boxing matches we could still see this year
After a bumper year of great boxing in 2019 that saw Anthony Joshua win back his world heavyweight title against Andy Ruiz Jr and also saw victories for rising stars Daniel Dubois and Tommy Fury, 2020 promises to be another exciting year for boxing, once we get back to normal.
Here are some of the hottest upcoming boxing matches scheduled so far this year.
Michael McKinson vs Louis Greene (Welterweight)
Due to take place on April 18th at the York Hall in Bethnal Green, London as part of the MTK Fight Night (broadcast on ESPN), this match promises to see McKinson defend his undefeated record against Greene who hails from the home counties. McKinson is somewhat of a rising star and his fight against Greene is the next for McKinson who is hoping to reach a world title opportunity later in the year. This match is definitely an interesting opportunity to place a bet on either Michael or Louis Greene. Make sure to check out the current top betting sites before making a choice.
Callum Johnson vs Igor Mikhalkin (European Light-Heavyweight Title)
Scheduled for May 2nd in Manchester, this fight will see Johnson and Mikhalkin battle it out for the coveted EBU European Light-Heavyweight Title. Hot off the back of Johnson’s cracking match against Artur Beterbiev when the two met in the ring to compete for the IBF World Light-Heavyweight Title, this match promises to be a great show with all eyes on Johnson to send Mikhalkin packing, but it won’t be an easy task. Mikhalkin previously held the European Light-Heavyweight Title for two years and has a reputation as a strong competitor. Johnson himself acknowledges his competitor’s place in the boxing world, but is excited to meet him in the ring, saying “I’m expecting a very hard fight but it’s a fight that I’m looking forward to and I’m confident I can win.”
James Tennyson vs Gavin Gwynne (British Lightweight Title)
Meeting on May 9th, Tennyson and Gwynne will go head to head and fight it out for the vacant British Lightweight Title, due to take place in Cardiff. Despite losing out to Tevin Farmer a couple of years ago, Tennyson has more than made up for lost time and has several knockouts now under his belt. Gwynne too has suffered some setbacks, losing the title previously to Joe Cordina in August 2019, so it will be interesting to see which of these will come out holding the title.
Jose Pedraza vs Javier Molina (Super-Lightweight)
Due to take place on May 9th, Pedraza also known as ‘Sniper’ is scheduled to meet Molina ‘El Intocable’, who is also a former boxer for the US Olympic team. The fight is set to be televised on ESPN from the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California and Pedraza has acknowledged the importance of the fight, saying “this is an important fight and I will use everything in my power to return to the winning route against a world-class opponent”. Both are after a shot at the Super Lightweight world title with Molina weighing in at 140 pounds, so it will be exciting to watch these two battle for the Super Lightweight Title victory.
Claressa Shields vs Marie Eve Dicaire (WBA, WBC, IBF & WBO Super-Welterweight Titles)
In the world of women’s boxing, Shields and Dicaire are set to fight on May 9th, with Shields looking to add more titles to her already impressive record of WBO and WBC super welterweight victories. Dicaire herself is a IBF champion and although she has never fought outside her native Canada before, she already has seventeen wins under her belt.
Mairis Briedis vs Yunier Dorticos (IBF Cruiserweight Title)
On March 21st, Briedis will meet Dorticos at the World Boxing Super Series taking place at the Arena Riga in Riga, Latvia which is also Briedis’s home town. Briedis has won the title twice previously but as he was stripped in November of the world title, it seems as if this fight against Dorticos is more down to Briedis’s contractual obligations to the World Boxing Super Series. This hasn’t dampened Briedis’s spirts however, who is proud that Latvia is hosting such a huge boxing event, with “millions and millions of eyes worldwide will be watching what’s happening at the Arena Riga on fight night” and he has made no secret of the fact that he is looking to score a win on home soil. Dorticos, also known as the “KO Doctor”, has been talking a good game already, warning Briedis to prepare himself as “the Muhammad Ali Trophy has my name engraved already”, so this promises to be a fiery match between the Latvian and the Cuban.
Oleksandr Usyk vs Derek Chisora (Heavyweight)
Set to meet May 23rd at London’s O2 Arena, the fight will be only the second time Usyk has fought on UK soil. Due to be screened by Sky Sports on pay-per-view, this looks to be an exciting clash of these two heavyweights. Usyk, once a cruiserweight who has now moved up to be a heavyweight champion, is the mandatory heavyweight challenger and has beaten pretty much every opponent his has met in the ring scoring some big name titles along the way. Chisora’s record has been some what more patchy, incurring nine losses in recent months. However, Usyk acknowledges that his opponent could still pose a threat as he is “strong, tough and resilient” who has come up against big name boxers in the ring before, like Vitali Klitschko. Chisora too is not backing down, telling Usyk that “this is WAR” and even promoter Eddie Hearn is getting in on the trash talk, revving fans up with the promise that this match will indeed be “absolute WAR!!”.
Unfortunately, several matches have been put on hold due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, including Jose Ramirez vs Viktor Postol, with Ramirez having been scheduled to fight to retain his WBO and WBC titles. Other matches that have currently been postponed include Daniel Dubois vs Joe Joyce, a fight that was due to take place as part of the European, British and Commonwealth Heavyweight Titles on April 11th at London’s O2 Arena. Dubois, along with his sister, are on the cusp of emerging as big stars in the boxing world and it is unclear how this postponement, as well as the possible cancelling of the Tokyo Olympics entirely, will affect their careers. ‘Dynamite’ Dubois and ‘Juggernaut’ Joyce, himself a silver Olympic medal winner, had been teasing fans with a possible match since summer of last year. Both are right at the top of their game and either could easily snatch the world heavyweight title, so fans will just have to wait a little longer to see when a rescheduled fight may be due to take place. Dubois has said previously that a fight against Joyce would be “the biggest of my career” and Joyce too knows that taking on Dubois in the ring will be “a massive fight there’s no denying that there’s a lot on the line on both sides”, so it looks as if when they do finally meet in the ring, it will be a fight worth waiting for. One boxer however who perhaps need not worry as to how these postponements will affect him is current world heavyweight title winner, Anthony Joshua who was due to fight Kubrat Pulev in June of this year. Pulev, himself a former super heavyweight champion, has expressed his disappointment but hopes a rematch with Josuha will be able to take place towards the end of the year. For now, fans will just have to watch and wait.