21 Rounds: Pondering What Boxing Will Offer Us In the New Year
Hey! Don't sleep
Pillows bleed off of lead
I'll swiss cheese ya head
Like a fan in Green Bay
In other words, I'll blow your mind. That's certainly what Teofimo Lopez did to many in the boxing world by outboxing and Agent-Smithing The Matrix, Vasiliy Lomachenko via 12 round UD shocker. There was no moment from any fighter more compelling than Lopez, as any expert would be hard pressed to reveal their crystal ball saw Teo just flat outboxing a generational talent and one of the best pure fighters of all time.
In 2021, Lopez is the man to beat at lightweight should he decide to stay (it says here he will), with no shortage of star matchups. Personally, give me Teo opposite Gervonta “Tank” Davis, in an A grade steak duel minus any annoying marination.
As for Loma, who always wants the biggest challenge, his frame proved too small for lightweight as far back as his May 2018 off the canvas KO of Jorge Linares. He should move back down to super featherweight, where he's most likely to look like Neo against anyone there. He would run into another Agent Smith in Shakur Stevenson (I can't see Bob Arum making that fight), who I expect will be a breakout star in 2021.
Who wouldn't want to see another thriller between Jose Zepeda and Ivan Baranchyk in what I pegged as Fight of The Year? What about the potential of Edgar Berlanga? Ryan Garcia takes a huge leap up in class to face a tough Luke Campbell. Does a win there do enough to go to war with Tank Davis and settle their social media laced beef? Does Devin Haney get a star making fight in 2021? He should.
What happens with Deontay Wilder in 21? Does he get another go with lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury or does the Gypsy King seek out a huge bonanza against Anthony Joshua? If the latter happens, who do we see a come backing Bronze Bomber against? Count me among those who feel Wilder must earn another shot at Fury, who I thought clearly beat Wilder the first time. Can Naoya Inoue be on the verge of a “Monster” year? Does Oscar De La Hoya really come back? And if so, could he lure Floyd Mayweather back in what would be much more than an exhibition?
What will it take for selfish promoters to put their differences aside to make Terence “Bud” Crawford vs Errol Spence Jr? Boxing needs that fight yesterday, for it would be a travesty if that fight doesn't happen. “The Truth” should just tell it like it is and demand that fight for legacy. He's all but admitted he's outgrown 147 and is threatening to Usain Bolt the star-studded division for a potential big money fight with Canelo Alvarez.
Speaking of Canelo, what about a tantalizing war with Dmitry Bivol or even Artur Beterbiev? Does Andre Ward get lured out of the ESPN booth to face Canelo at a catch-weight?!
Just a few things on my mind for what shapes up to be a fan friendly boxing 2021. All of the pressure is on the promoters to produce star fights, and leave the bullshit marinating for chefs. Because if you didn't get what you wanted for Christmas in the Covid-19 stained 2020, 21 Rounds the corner to give us all we need, in what should be a spectacular New Year for us hardcore fans and casuals alike.