2021 is set to be a fantastic year for the heavyweight boxing division. We have several fights to look forward to and it will be great to get back to a regular calendar of heavyweight action following the outbreak of coronavirus. Which flights have the potential to be the top three contender heavyweight matches in 2021?
Dillian Whyte vs Andy Ruiz would be a thrilling contest especially as the pair have been at each other for several months via the media. Whyte has recently spoken of how his team contacted Ruiz to offer them the opportunity of a fight in 2020 but the American turned down the opportunity, not once but twice. The reasoning given by Ruiz is not clear but Whyte (below) said he believed the American did not want to have two big fights in succession.
In the words of Whyte, ‘He (Ruiz) wanted a warm-up fight. I think he’s going to fight Chris Arreola, who is like a thousand years old.’ For the time being, Whyte has his sights set on Alexander Povetkin, with the contest due to take place in August at the Matchroom Fight Camp. However, Whyte and Ruiz continue to call each other out on social media and a fight in 2021 is surely brewing.
Another long awaited meeting we could finally see take place in 2021 is the fight between Derek Chisora and Oleksandr Usyk. Having faced-off at a press conference in March, the original meeting between the pair was postponed due to COVID-19. The news came as a huge disappointment to boxing fans, who were really looking forward to seeing the clash between Chisora and Usyk. The promoters have been working hard to try and find a way to get the match to happen in 2020 but it now appears 2021 is a more realistic target.
The winner of this fight could go on to meet Anthony Joshua in the squared circle later in 2021, so there is plenty on the line for both fighters. It is thought that a defeat for Usyk could be the end of the road for the 33-year-old Ukrainian and he faces a man who comes into the contest on a winning streak. Since his defeat against Dillian Whyte, Chisora has beaten David Price, Artur Szpilka and Senad Gashi, so he has every right to be confident.
For those who are interested in having a wager or any of these fights, the BetRivers Sportsbook has launched in Colorado. This gives boxing fans in the state a great opportunity to bet on all of the top three contender heavyweight matches in 2021.
The final of the three fights that could take place in 2021 features Joseph Parker and Filip Hrgovic. Having suffered two consecutive defeats at the hands of Dillian Whyte and Anthony Joshua, Parker has embarked on a three fight unbeaten run. His final fight took place in February 2020 whereas you must go back to December 2019 to find the last time Hrgovic was in action. The Croatian heavyweight knocked out Éric Molina in the third round and that was his 10th straight victory as a professional.
Interestingly, Parker and Hrgovic have history as they met as amateur boxers at the 2010 AIBA Youth World Championships.
It was a very closely fought contest with Hrgovic narrowly coming out on top 8 to 6. Both men have since matured into great professionals and it would be tremendous to see them fight again in 2021.