From the exhibition boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor, seeing both pocket well over $50Million. To the controversially scored GGG Vs Canelo bout and, of course, the enormous Wembley sell out of Joshua Vs Klitschko. There’s no denying it has been a bumper year for Boxing, and there’s every chance 2018 could be even bigger. Ultimate Boxxer explore ten potentially mammoth encounters, in various weight classes, that could be coming to a stadium near you in the new year.
Could 2018 be even bigger?
Linares Vs Crolla III
Following his win over Ricky Burns in October, Anthony Crolla is looking for every chance to take on a World title fight again. Having already been beaten by the Venezualan twice there is every chance he is looking to close out a trilogy of fights with a win, reclaiming the belt he lost to Linares in September 2016. With Luke Campbell’s valiant effort against the 32 year old coming just before Crolla’s winning comeback to the division, Crolla may just be thinking he has one last shot at taking on the man he lost his belt to. One thing is for sure, Crolla will always bring in a crowd, especially in his hometown of Manchester, and with the global appeal of Linares this fight could very well be on the cards in late 2018.
Frampton Vs Santa Cruz III
Another closing of a trilogy that would be greatly received. Evenly poised after Frampton lost his WBA Super World Featherweight title to the Mexican in January 2017. With Frampton’s ‘rebirth’ taking place in his native Belfast this coming weekend, his team may very well start thinking about another title shot in 2018. Currently ranked 3rd in the Featherweight division he might just be priming himself to hear ‘And the new…’ said once more, against the very man he won the belt off in July 2016.
Selby Vs Warrington
Very little can stop this fight from happening with Selby the current IBF World Featherweight Champ and Josh Warrington the mandatory challenger. Expected for April 2018 this fight has all the makings to be a great contest between two impressive British fighters. The question is whether Selby will choose a chance at unification against the WBC Champ Gary Russell Jnr, also possibly coming in Spring 2018. If that fight is the preferred option for the Welshman, there is still every chance this fight is just pushed back for later in the year.
Joshua Vs Fury
The most time spent on this list was where to rank this fight. Of course, it would be an enormous fight if it were to happen. There may only be a slim chance of this fight occurring before the year is out, as Fury firstly needs to secure his boxing licence, lose several stone worth of his current 25st weight and regain his former boxing skills, that just between the fighters. The cross over deal between broadcasting rights from Eddie Hearn with Sky and Frank Warren with BT Sport’ Box Nation could make negotiations for this fight challenging. The lucrative attraction of this match, would surely drive negotiations, as there is every chance that Joshua would going into the fight with all three of four heavyweight belts in grasp. Take into account Hearn’s and Joshua’s desire to have fight outside the UK in 2018, even quoting Africa as a possible destination, this fight seems like the right opportunity to do so. It would have the perfect ingredients to create a boxing match asresembles familiar characteristic of ‘The Rumble in The Jungle’.
Factor in mandatories and Fury may well just have to wait until the following year to stamp his mark on boxings blue ribbon weight class once more.
Groves Vs Eubank Jnr
This fight is definitely happening thanks to the World Boxing Super Series. This ‘battle of Britain’ is the first of two semi finals in the Super Middleweight category of the inaugural competition which also see’s Brit Callum Smith fighting in the other Semi Final. The fight is set to take place in Manchester, in February and has already sold out.Both Groves and Eubank Jnr go into the fight in great form with Knockouts ending their quarter final bouts in rounds 4 and 3 respectively.
Whyte Vs Miller
With all the commotion of a potential fight between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder (which will be discussed) it’s easy to forget that the initial plan, certainly for Whyte’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, was for Wilder to fight Dilian Whyte. But with the American’s sights now set firmly on a huge unification showdown with AJ the question is where Whyte goes next following his win over Robert Helenius on the Joshua/Takam card. In fact, Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller openly questioned Whyte’s inability to finish off Helenius inside 12 rounds following his TKO win over Mariusz Wach last Saturday. Both seem to be at a stage of not yet being quite ready for title contention whilst at the same time good enough to certainly put on a hell of a contest. It’s possible this one could be seen as far forward as 2019, but with Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn planning some huge fights next year, and not just for Anthony Joshua, there’s every possibility this fight could make its way onto one of those cards.
Saunders Vs GGG
A long shot but for Golovkin the chance to become the undisputed Middleweight champ, already holding the WBC, WBA and IBF belts. Saunders fights David Lemieux in December and it does look a very close contest awaiting the Brit in Canada, fighting the native Canadian in his own back yard. If he can keep hold of his belt though there is simply no way the aging Khazack’s team could say no to the chance of holding all four belts, it there?
Canelo Vs GGG II
… Well maybe. This fight was billed as one of the biggest of 2017 and for very good reason, on paper it was a mouthwatering prospect. 12 rounds and a very debatable scorecard later, and many felt let down by the outcome of the fight. Spoken about a lot during the build up to the fight was GGG’s age, at 35 there is every chance 2018 could be the year we see him bow out, will he want to leave this question mark on his record? Or will he come back to try and set the score straight and leave no questions unanswered? Only time will tell.
Joshua Vs Parker
By now its clear to everyone that Anthony Joshua wants to do one thing and one thing only in 2018, hold the IBF, WBO WBA and WBC belts, making him the undisputed Heavyweight champion. Joseph Parker saw off Hughie Fury in September to hold on to the belt he won in late 2016 and there’s no doubting the Kiwi wants to put the Oceanic boxing scene on the map. This fight has recently been confirmed to take place in March at Cardiff
Joshua Vs Wilder
The first fight I remember watching was in 2002. It was huge. Billed as the boxing match of the century, even with the century only being two years old at the time. It was a Heavyweight fight between two of the greatest fighters ever to box in that weight class with the WBC, IBF and IBO belts on the line. It was between Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson. Britain Vs USA. In 2018 there’s a chance for another cross atlantic Heavyweight clash to unify 3 belts. Wilder has not been shy about how he thinks the fight would go, and for as cool and composed as Joshua holds himself, there’s no doubting the Bronze Bomber’s words wrangle for the man from Watford. Joshua has never been a fan of loud fighters, one only needs to cast their mind back to the Breazeale fight for how he emraces the challenge of leaving the talking for the ring. One thing that the ‘big talk’ brings with it though is the audience. It allows boxing fans the chance to talk about Ali/Fraser, Tyson/Lewis, the biggest fighters going toe to toe after weeks of insults in the media. Factor in the ‘someone’s 0 has gotta go’ element with this one and this boxing match could go down in history as one of the biggest to ever take place in the division. Both men want it to happen. Talks are ongoing, and with it representing a chance of a Vegas or New York clash for Joshua this one could well leave all other fights paling in comparison in 2018.
So that sums up Ultimate Boxxer’s top ten most appreciated fights of 2018!
Do you agree with our list? Leave your comments below.