Top boxing fights to watch out for in 2021, plus predictions
Boxing fans are in for a treat during the second half of 2021, with the upcoming schedule packed with some truly top-class events.
British boxers feature heavily, with Conor Benn, Josh Warrington, Anthony Joshua, and Tyson Fury amongst the fighters who will step inside the ring before year-end.
Joshua and Fury were due to meet in 2021, but their respective camps could not reach an agreement, and they now face different opponents.
We take a look at some of the top boxing fights to watch out for over the next few months and offer our predictions for each contest.
Conor Benn vs Adrian Granados – July 31
Conor Benn will bid to continue his rise up the world rankings when he faces veteran Adrian Granados in Brentwood, Essex, at the end of this month.
In April, the unbeaten welterweight was hugely impressive in his last outing, producing a stunning first-round knockout against Samuel Vargas.
Granados boasts plenty of experience, and he should give Benn plenty to think about having been stopped just once in his career.
Prediction: Benn by knockout.
Kid Galahad vs. James Dickens II – August 7
The clash between Kid Galahad and James ‘Jazza’ Dickens for the vacant IBF featherweight title promises to be a cracker.
Galahad suffered a disputed 12-round decision defeat against Josh Warrington in his previous title bid, and he will be eager to gain redemption against Dickens.
However, Dickens could prove to be troublesome as he seeks to avenge the defeat he suffered against the Sheffield star in 2013.
Prediction: Galahad on points.
Manny Pacquiao vs. Errol Spence Jr – August 21
In August, Manny Pacquiao returns to the ring to face undefeated American Errol Spence Jr for the WBC and IBF welterweight titles.
Pacquiao has not fought since defeating Keith Thurman by split decision in July 2019 but remains keen to show that he can still cut it at the top level.
Spence is unbeaten in 27 fights as a professional, with 21 coming by knockout, and he should possess too much firepower for the veteran Filipino.
Prediction: Spence on points.
Josh Warrington vs. Mauricio Lara – September 4
In early September, Josh Warrington will be out for revenge when he faces Mauricio Lara at Headingley Stadium in Leeds.
The former IBF featherweight champion was surprisingly stopped in nine rounds by the Mexican in February, but he will fancy his chances of avenging that defeat in front of 20,000 fans.
Warrington can ill-afford another loss on his record, particularly if he wants to secure another title shot further down the line.
Prediction: Lara by knockout.
Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk – September 25
Anthony Joshua will defend the world heavyweight title against Oleksandr Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 25.
The 31-year-old puts his IBF, WBA, and WBO belts on the line against the Ukrainian, who has previously been a world champion at cruiserweight.
Joshua will view the fight as a stepping stone to a long-awaited meeting with Fury, although he would be well-advised not to underestimate the threat posed by Usyk.
Prediction: Joshua by knockout.
Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder III – October
The third fight between Fury and Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas was due to take place in July but is likely to be rescheduled during October.
Fury impressively defeated Wilder to become the WBC heavyweight champion in February 2020, avenging a controversial draw against the American 14 months earlier.
The British star was by far the better boxer on both occasions, and he is strongly fancied to put Wilder in his place when they next meet.
Prediction: Fury by knockout.