2022 is set to be a massive year for the sweet science, and for several boxers, the next twelve months could be their last opportunity to win world honours.
Fans are excited for all there is to come next year. There’s potential for a heavyweight unification bout between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk, a massive showdown between Canelo Alvarez and Ilunga Makabu and perhaps even a sprinkling of Jake Paul vs Tommy Fury.
AJ was once the golden child of British boxing. But since his loss to Oleksandr Usyk on September 25, the once-beloved heavyweight appears to have been disregarded.
There are very few pundits who expect him to find a way to win the rematch with the Ukrainian wizard. Hence, some fans believe that Joshua’s time at the top is over.
However, the Watford man still carries freakish power and athleticism, which could give him a chance in the rematch if utilised correctly. Joshua attempted to outbox a superior craftsman in his first encounter with ‘The Cat’. But if he can lean on him and make it rough and tough, his physical presence could potentially wear his opponent down.
The Brit is expected to remain with Rob McCracken for the rematch. However, that may not be the correct decision. It’s always difficult for boxers to leave their coaches, but if Joshua wants a big 2022, he may have no other choice.
Following his second fight with Fury, the ‘Bronze Bomber’ was entirely written off from competing at the highest level again. The seventh-round defeat he suffered was so comprehensive that the trilogy bout between the two most charismatic heavyweights on the planet didn’t even seem to make sense.
After their last contest, Wilder made so many excuses. But he made up for everything he had said with a fantastic performance in October.
In one of the best fights in boxing history, The Alabama man and the ‘Gypsy King’ went to war in an absolute slugfest. The pair exchanged five knockdowns in total, and although Wilder eventually lost the bout, fans are still clamouring to see more of him.
He proved that he has unbelievable amounts of heart and his frightening power is still as ferocious as ever. Therefore, the American could still have plenty of exciting nights ahead. It seems of all the boxers who need a big 2022, Wilder could have the most desire of them all.
Teofimo Lopez is in desperate need of a big 2022. This time last year, the American was on top of the world. He was enjoying Christmas as the undisputed lightweight champion following a massive upset win over Vasiliy Lomachenko. But the supremely-gifted athlete wasn’t even capable of making a single title defence.
The 24-year-old’s performance against ‘The Matrix’ was so impressive that many expected him to go on to dominate the division for many years to come. He was rated so highly that when a fight with the infamous trash-talker George Kambosos was arranged, Lopez was expected to walk straight through him. But the Aussie didn’t read the script.
To the world’s shock, an absolute thunderbolt of a right hand sent Lopez hurtling towards the canvas inside of the opening round. Throughout the rest of the contest, he tried to fight back. But it seemed his Australian opponent was always one step ahead.
Following twelve hard-fought rounds, Kambosos was the new champion, and without a rematch clause in the contract, Lopez wasn’t going to get an opportunity to settle the score.
The talented fighter is now expected to move up to superlightweight, where he will chase a fight with Josh Taylor.
But firstly, it is of paramount importance that Lopez returns to full fitness. After his last bout, the talented athlete was diagnosed with ‘pneumomediastinum’ with ‘extensive air in the retropharyngeal space‘ by emergency room doctors during his postfight visit.
His condition was so severe that the medical experts claimed he could have died had it been left untreated. Therefore, the whole boxing world is wishing him all the best in his recovery.
Following his loss to Lopez, some felt that maybe Vasiliy Lomachenko’s best days were behind him. But ‘Hi-Tech’ returned to his mesmeric best as he cruised past Richard Commey on December 11.
His footwork, punch selection and overall fight IQ looked as good as ever in a performance that warrants another title shot.
It seems he may get this as the new king of the lightweights, Kambosos, is seemingly willing to give him the opportunity.
If Lomachenko wants that fight, then he’d have to go Down Under. However, this won’t deter the all-time great. The Ukrainian has spent his entire career away from his native country. If the Aussie wants the contest, the legend will surely answer his calls.
Many boxers crave a big 2022, but the all-time-great may need it the most. He may be slightly past his prime, but Lomachenko still has so much left to offer. His skill level is far beyond anybody else in the division, and maybe the motivation of achieving his ultimate goal will help him put in one final big performance.
Roman Gonzalez is one of the most beloved fighters on Earth. His entertaining style and warm character have helped him connect with fans in a way that no other man of his size had done before.
Sadly, the media largely ignored the lower weight classes in the past. Gonzalez changed all of that. The 5ft 4in Nicaraguan’s incredible run generated the interest of HBO and Sky Sports as the legend chased Floyd Mayweather‘s undefeated record. But his career ground to a halt following two shock losses to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.
However, the pound for pound great bounced back incredibly by picking up another world title against Kal Yafai. Following this victory, calls began for a rematch with Juan Estrada, whom he had defeated back in 2012. The bout eventually materialised in March last year, and the contest didn’t disappoint.
Following an immense all-action war, according to the commentary team and the ringside media, ‘Chocolatito’ had done enough to win the contest comprehensively. However, as is often the case, the judges saw it differently. It seems all but guaranteed that we will see a trilogy bout next year, but Gonzalez is already 2-0 up in all reality.
The Nicaraguan is perhaps the most adored super flyweight in combat sports history. Therefore, of all the boxers who fans want to have a fantastic 2022, the legend, Chocolatito, could top the list.
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