No matter what people tell you, true boxing fans know the sport is alive and well, regardless of how popular mixed martial arts has become. Boxing is one of the oldest sports in the world. It has built a massive fan base consisting of, generally a more mature audience. But it also does a good job of bringing in the younger crowd with its next-generation rising stars.
There is no shortage of amazing fights to see this year. Some of them have already been inked and are imminent. The first one that comes to mind is the highly-anticipated “The Gypsy King” Tyson Fury vs. Anthony “AJ” Joshua showdown. Another one in the works is the return of Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, who is putting together a showdown with top pound-for-pound fighter Terence “Bud” Crawford.
You get the point. The bottom line is, boxing fans have a lot to look forward to this year. We’re already a few months in, but there is plenty of time to get things done and book these big fights.
What’s good in boxing this year? We’ve come up with a few fights that boxing fans would love to witness go down in the ring.
Today, Evolve Daily shares seven exciting fights boxing fans want to see in 2021.
1) Mike Tyson vs. James Douglas II
Heavyweight legend “Iron” Mike Tyson made headlines in 2020 with his blockbuster comeback that no one saw coming. While some called the fight against equal legend Roy Jones Jr. an embarrassment, others thought it was actually an entertaining affair.
Triller is in the business of making these circus fights, and the upcoming Ben Askren vs. Jake Paul showdown is a testament to that. And while Tyson’s best days are without a doubt behind him, fans wouldn’t mind seeing “Iron Mike” back in the ring again.
The fight to make now is Tyson vs. James “Buster” Douglas II — a rematch with the man who derailed his hype train in the early 90’s. That and a rematch with mortal enemy turned friend, Evander Holyfield, would definitely sell.
2) Ryan Garcia vs. Gervonta Davis
All jokes aside, one of the biggest fights to make in boxing this year is a long-awaited clash between super featherweight talents “King” Ryan Garcia and Floyd Mayweather protege Gervonta “Tank” Davis.
Fans have been asking for this fight since forever. These men are, without a doubt, the two best fighters in the super featherweight division currently. Garcia has called out Davis multiple times in the past, while the latter hasn’t responded with much fervor.
Backed by The Golden Boy himself, the 22-year-old Garcia is one of boxing’s biggest stars at the moment, especially among the younger crowd. Davis, on the other hand, is a Mayweather Promotions product. Hopefully, this year, the two sides finally come to an agreement.
3) Teofimo Lopez vs. Gervonta Davis
Exciting and talented, these are two words that best describe rising star Teofimo “The Takeover” Lopez. The undefeated lightweight just got done taking care of business against the highly-regarded Vasiliy Lomachenko last October, much to everyone’s surprise.
The 23-year-old wants to stay true to his moniker and “take over” the game. He’s certainly headed in the right direction, but to further cement his legacy, he has to take on the biggest names in and around his division. That includes a mega-fight against Davis.
The unbeaten Davis earned 2020 Knockout of the Year honors with his sixth-round destruction of Leo Santa Cruz last October, setting up this blockbuster proposition. Two undefeated lightweights lock horns, what more could fans ask for? Somebody’s ‘O’ has got to go.
4) Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin III
No matter how much Alvarez thinks he dominated Golovkin in their second fight back in 2018, his legacy will take a hit if he doesn’t fight “GGG” again. A trilogy fight — both fighters need it. Fans need it, if only to give closure to an epic rivalry.
Pacquiao vs Marquez, Gatti vs Ward, Barrera vs Morales, Ali vs Frazier — boxing biggest legends all have trilogies to show for. Alvarez can get his too, if he decides to face Golovkin again.
Golovkin may indeed be well past his prime, but there’s no denying that Alvarez can bring out the best in him. These two need to fight again this year at the soonest possible time.
5) Terence Crawford vs. Errol Spence Jr
Is there any question as to who the two best welterweights in the world are? It’s Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr., hands down. They are number one and number two, respectively, when it comes down to it.
In this weight class, it’s the fight to make. For whatever reason, whether it’s business/promotional, or both fighters unable to come to equal terms, or Spence getting into a car crash, the fight just hasn’t materialised yet.
Crawford is still at the top, taking on a bunch of no-name fighters not on his level. And Spence has since recovered from injuries stemming from his vehicular accident. But if we’re not careful, this could turn into Pacquiao-Mayweather real quick, and we won’t get to see them fight until one is way past his prime.
6) Manny Pacquiao vs. Errol Spence Jr
Speaking of Pacquiao, the 42-year-old has proved against previously unbeaten Keith Thurman in 2019 that he can still beat the best guys in his division.
“Pacman”, who is speculated to be running for the Philippines’ highest office in the 2022 Presidential Elections, is trying to make a fight with welterweight’s top dog in Crawford. That fight isn’t a done deal, and if it falls through, the best option would be to turn his attention to Spence.
Spence offers a slightly lower risk for Pacquiao, but still, the big-name opponent that Pacquiao craves in order to remind people, that even at his age, he can still crack.
7) Manny Pacquiao vs. Ryan Garcia
This fight almost got made earlier this year. Let Ryan Garcia tell you all about why negotiations fell through. The 22-year-old social media sensation was legitimately disappointed his ‘dream fight’ didn’t happen, but that doesn’t mean the door is completely closed.
Pacquiao is all about trying to face the best fighters in the welterweight division. Garcia is a great fighter, but he’s not a welterweight. There has been talk of Pacquiao finally moving back down to lightweight or junior welterweight for his final fight, just to prove that he could do it, more to regain the ferocious power that hasn’t translated well at 147-lbs.
If Pacquiao returns to the lighter weight divisions, a fight with Garcia makes absolute sense.
This article, "7 Exciting Fights Boxing Fans Want To See In 2021", originally appeared on Evolve MMA, Asia’s No. 1 martial arts organisation.