Boxing fans have already enjoyed an exciting and exhilarating first half of 2023. But there are more big fights coming up before the end of the year. There are plenty of titles on the line, as fight fans get ready to find out who will become the new champions of the world across a range of weight divisions.
Although boxing is not quite the draw across the board that it used to be in the days of Ali, Tyson and Foreman, when the big fights come around there is always a renewed buzz of interest. It may be because boxing is the individual battle between two people at its most pure. But, whatever the reason why, we know that millions will be tuning in to watch some of the huge bouts in the remaining months of the year.
All the best boxing betting sites are already predicting who will be lifting the world championship belts above their heads. But we thought we would take a look at some of the biggest fights in the next few months and offer our own thoughts on how they might go.
September 15, Texas, USA – Luis Alberto Lopez vs. Joet Gonzalez
The next big title fight coming up this year will take place in Corpus Christi, TX and will see “El Venado” attempt to defend his IBF Featherweight world title against Joet Gonzalez. After moving down from junior lightweight in 2021, Lopez earned a shot at the featherweight title, eventually beating UK fighter Josh Warrington in front of his hometown crowd.
Lopez had to travel for his first defense and is now rewarded with a Mexican Independence Day Weekend extravaganza against Joet Gonzalez. This is the 29-year-old’s third attempt at a world title and he is confident, even though he will go into the ring as underdog.
September 23, London, UK – Zhilei Zhang vs. Joe Joyce
Joe Joyce had been on an upward trajectory earlier in the year. He was already looking forward to a go at facing one of the big names in the heavyweight division for a belt fight. But then he stepped in the way of the huge fists of Zhilei Zhang in April. The Chinese fighter upset the odds and battered Joyce to submission.
Now Joyce gets the chance of instant redemption and will be hoping that the crowd at Wembley – in his hometown of London – will be able to help him get revenge for the first fight. Zhang is no mug though, and Joyce will have to erase all thoughts of future title fights out of his mind and concentrate on trying to get past the giant Chinese boxer.
September 30, Las Vegas, USA – Canelo Alvarez vs. Jermell Charlo
This is the big one for many fight fans. Jermell Charlo may be the taller man but he has moved up two weight divisions for the chance to become the undisputed super middleweight champion of the world. The only real problem for Charlo is that he needs to beat Canelo Alvarez for that to happen.
Alvarez is arguably the biggest name in the sport at the present time. But he has looked below par in his last two fights and seems to be in decline. If Charlo does emerge victorious, he can send his own career into overdrive. If the champion does lose this one it could be the last time we see Alvarez in the ring – but the jump up onto weight for Charlo could have a huge effect on the outcome.
October 7, Sheffield, UK – Leigh Wood vs. Josh Warrington
Into October now – and yet another title fight. This time it is the all-British encounter between Leigh Wood and Josh Warrington for the WBA featherweight belt. Wood beat Mauricio Lara in May to reclaim the title he lost to the Mexican fighter just months earlier. But he will be very confident of holding onto it in Sheffield.
Warrington has fought just once since losing his own IBF world title to the aforementioned Luis Alberto Lopez. The Leeds-born fighter hasn’t actually won a fight for around 18 months and could do with a victory. A mouthwatering bout against super featherweight Joe Cordina is a potential prize for the man who does come through this battle.
October 28, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou
Another big night of heavyweight action is set to take place in Saudi Arabia at the end of October. MMA fans will be especially keen to see this one, with former UFC champion Ngannou set to enter the ring against one of the most charismatic fighters in the sport.
It had long been said that Ngannou was probably the best “boxer” in UFC and now he has the chance to prove himself against Tyson Fury. A win for Ngannou would be an upset but the French-Cameroonian fighter will be desperate that he performs in this kind of ring. Fury should be able to deal with his punching power though.
Figure 2 Mark your calendar with the top bouts
November 25, Dublin, Ireland – Chantelle Cameron vs. Katie Taylor
Rematches are always highly anticipated. But they don’t always break through the hype and actually deliver. But there is a feeling that Cameron vs. Taylor 2 will be just as good as the first fight – if not better. Undisputed super lightweight champion Cameron, once again, will enter the fevered atmosphere in Dublin to face local hero Taylor.
Cameron will face an intense cauldron of passion in the same city in May and ended up winning by majority decision, to the dismay of the partisan crowd. The champion has to be applauded for being able to return to Dublin to prove her worth all over again. Taylor will need to keep her own feelings in check if she is to get to celebrate in front of her Irish fans.
December 16, Arizona, USA – Jesse Rodriguez vs. Sunny Edwards
Our final big fight of the year is coming around a little later than originally planned. But as Rodriguez suffered a broken jaw in his last bout, the prolonged wait is understandable. Edwards will be fighting, once again, outside of the UK - and will hope that he can claim the IBF and WBO flyweight titles.