Since the last edition on what has become a series of articles, the sport of boxing has made its way back but have hit some serious NYC type of potholes along the way in the form of positive COVID tests.
Whether it was a positive or false positive, the test result forced the promoters to change opponents at the last minute. While this certainly did not go over well with fans, it has become something that is occurring with some frequency, which means no fight is certain to happen during these times.
Speaking of COVID-19, an interesting move occurred back in March as the former MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren was announced to lead the Nevada COVID task force that was created to mitigate the spread. That’s an interesting move and probably one that benefited boxing making its way back into the “bubble” and more recently, the T-Mobile arena announcing that a college basketball charity game was going to be held with fans on Nov 20th and 22nd. They are currently selling tickets for the event so it will be interesting to see if this goes without a hitch. What might this mean for boxing?
Recently, Ring Magazine’s Ryan O’Hara broke the news that the Tyson versus Jones exhibition has been delayed until the 28th of November.
As early as today, rumors have run rampant that the event is possibly moving from California. I am hearing whispers that Las Vegas may in fact be in play for this event. I would not be surprised if it is held at the T-Mobile or at the MGM with a few hundred fans paying top dollar per ticket. This story will continue to remain interesting until they actually get in the ring.
We can’t have one of these articles go out without mentioning the curious case of when we will see Ryan Garcia fight and against who. After the WBC purse bid, it looks like the fight with Luke Campbell is indeed going to happen in November. I am hearing that it’s going to be in the UK and the goal will be to have it front of fans. I could see this fight resembling the audience of the GGG fight in Monte Carlo back in 2015. It will have a few hundred seats with top dollar ticket prices associated with it. The UK is one of the few places where they would pay thousands of dollars just to be one of the few in attendance.
What about Canelo Alvarez? Seems like every day that passes is another day that doesn’t see him fight on September 12th. Could it be that the Callum Smith fight does get signed and it also goes in the UK? Maybe Ryan gets billed with Canelo making the UK premiere of DAZN that much bigger. Stay tuned for more on that on the NYFights website.
It seems like lightweight contender Hector Tanajara (19-0) is going to get the opportunity he has been seeking by facing Javier Fortuna (35-2-1) in place of Jorge Linares. If this fight gets made and Tanajara is successful, he could very well face WBC Champion Devin Haney as early as the spring of next year. With Tanajara being with Golden Boy Promotions, the fight will have less obstacles to overcome in order to be made. You will then get the Ryan Garcia versus Hector Tanajara fight which has a solid back story as both men do not care for each other.
What about Fury vs Wilder III? This fight has to receive a big promotional push once again in order to see it do decent numbers. Less promotion is not going to result in higher numbers especially the way Wilder was beat. I think this fight gets pushed until February 2021 and it will be in front of a limited crowd. The Pro Bowl (Sunday, January 31, 2021) is going in Vegas next year so I’m sure both PBC and FOX will want to capitalize off of that momentum.
Let’s take a quick zoom around the boxing world and see what other fights are on the horizon.
WBA Super Flyweight Champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez will be looking to fight in September but it won’t be against “Gallo” Estrada. It will be a stay busy fight and voluntary title defense until that mega fight with Estrada can be made. If that fight doesn’t happen, Chocolatito has another unification option as he can face the winner of Kazuto Ioka and Kosei Tanaka, which is going to happen at some point within the next 6 months.
Did anyone see that Michael Conlan is now ranked #3 in the Junior Featherweight division of the WBO? His recent post on social media showed him shredded but the weight cut looked a little deeper than normal. He has been a featherweight for awhile now and this could be as a result of Emanuel Navarrete moving to featherweight. Conlan fighting at 122 would surely make for some entertaining fights.
There have been a series of tweets between Badou Jack and Jean Pascal that suggest they are looking to do it again as their first fight was filled with fireworks. From the looks of it, they want to wait until fans are allowed so that they can earn more as both men are past their physical primes. Who is up to see that rematch? Most hardcore fans are, and it will be full of back and forth action just like the first time they met.
Maybe the biggest question in 2020 will be: will we see Errol Spence Jr. actually make it inside the ring to fight Danny Garcia in November?
That is the million-dollar question (or several million if you're Errol) and one that can’t be answered at this time. If he does indeed fight and gets past Garcia, 2021 will see him fight Pacquiao and Thurman leaving the Crawford fight for 2022.
I’ll end this article with a fight that I think is destined to happen and will have a hell of a back story leading up to it and that’s Danny Jacobs versus young Edgar Berlanga.
If TR continues to put Berlanga on the fast track, this is a fight that should happen at the end of 2021 to really determine if Berlanaga is ready for the primetime. It would be the battle for Brooklyn and there is no other place but the Barclays Center to hold such an event.
One thing is for sure, 2020 will end with a bang and the next few months may very well determine if 2021 is the year we get the really big fights. If you ask me, the answer is that we will, and I am all for it.
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