Boxing is a sport that seems to have lost its way a bit in recent years, and it has come under fire from pundits, fans and even fighting professionals (both past and current) alike for what is becoming. Of course, we are talking about the rise of ‘YouTube bouts’ that started with Logan Paul vs. KSI and continue to grow in popularity at a rate of knots.
There are solid arguments both for and against these fights, but they are going nowhere anytime soon and some of the biggest names in the sport are starting to get involved. It’s easy to blame these fights for boxing’s slight fall in grace, but the lack of blockbuster bouts has also played its part — particularly in the heavyweight division, where fans are crying out for Tyson Fury to take on either Oleksandr Usyk or Anthony Joshua.
A fight of that magnitude would certainly put the sport back on the map and attract the attention of millions all over the world. But for now, let’s take a look at some of the biggest bouts currently pencilled in to take place between now and the end of the year. Trigger warning: YouTubers may feature!
Zhilei Zhang vs Joe Joyce 2
Joe Joyce was dealt the first defeat of his professional career by Zhilei Zhang when they pair met at the Copper Box Arena in London earlier this year, as the Chinese veteran ended the fight in the sixth round with a TKO.
Joyce lost his WBO ‘interim’ heavyweight title as a result, but he has the chance to win it back as the pair are going to trade blows for a second time at Wembley Arena on September 23. An all-British clash between Anthony Yarde and Ricky Summers also features on the card.
Canelo Alvarez vs Jermel Charlo
Every time Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez takes to the ring, it’s sure to attract plenty of interest, and his upcoming bout against Jermel Charlo will be no different. Considered one of the best fighters on the planet, the Mexican has won an array of world titles across four different weight classes.
Dmitry Bivol caused a huge upset in the boxing betting when he beat Canelo at light heavyweight in 2022, but he’s since returned to super middleweight and dispatched of Gennady Golovkin and John Ryder. Jermell Charlo (19-1-1) is next in the firing line, with the bout set to take place in Las Vegas on September 30.
Leigh Wood vs Josh Warrington
October 7 will see Leigh Wood and Josh Warrington trade blows for the WBA featherweight title at the Utilita Arena in Sheffield. It’s a huge battle of Yorkshire, with Leigh fighting in his own backyard while Warrington’s roots are in Leeds, and the atmosphere on the night is sure to be electric.
35-year-old Wood, who currently holds the WBA world title, is the favourite going into the bout as Warrington’s form is a bit of a concern after just one win in his last four. However, rule the 32-year-old out at your own peril, because he is no stranger to being the underdog in all-British fights.
KSI vs Tommy Fury
Let’s face it, Tommy Fury was never going to fill the shoes of his older brother in the ring. Therefore, who can blame him for straying away from the more traditional route to earn a pretty penny? He probably made more from his fight against Jake Paul in Saudi Arabia than his other eight professional bouts combined.
Millions will hit his bank again after his upcoming fight with British YouTube sensation KSI at the AO Arena in Manchester on October 14, and this should be an easier contest for Fury as Paul is arguably a better boxer than KSI. Logan Paul vs Dillon Danis, a training partner of Conor McGregor, will feature on the undercard.
Tyson Fury vs Francis Ngannou
Fury has toyed with the idea of an exhibition fight for a couple of years now, previously going back and forth with Icelandic strongman Hafthor Bjornsson before ultimately stepping back into the ring to face Dillian Whyte and Derek Chisora in 2022.
With fights against Usyk and Joshua not coming to fruition, Fury is entering the world of cross-sport contests by taking on Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia on October 28. However, despite rumours it would be an exhibition, the bout has been confirmed as a ten-round official fight (without Fury’s titles on the line).
Chantelle Cameron vs Katie Taylor 2
Irish phenomenon Katie Taylor waited a long time for her homecoming bout and there was plenty of excitement when an undisputed light-welterweight fight against Chantelle Cameron was announced at the 3Arena in Dublin for last May.
It was a brutal contest that lasted the entire 10 rounds as both women gave it their all. However, Cameron spoiled the Irish party with a victory via majority decision. Taylor will get the chance to right her wrongs when the pair clash back at the 3Arena on November 25.