One optimistic boxing fan’s wish list for the new year

·2 min read

The sport endured the ongoing effects of COVID-19 to produce a solid 2021.

We received one of the best heavyweight fights in recent years, Tyson Fury’s knockout of Deontay Wilder in their third fight. Canelo Alvarez added to his sterling legacy by becoming undisputed 168-pound champion. We had upsets, including George Kambosos’ stunning victory over Teofimo Lopez.

We also saw the last of an all-time great, Manny Pacquiao, who announced his retirement after losing to Yordenis Ugas.

I’m optimistic that the new year will provide even more drama.

Here is one boxing fan’s wish list for 2022.

  • The best vs. the best. It shouldn’t be so difficult to make that happen.

  • At least two fights for the sport’s biggest stars.

  • Canelo Alvarez putting less emphasis on titles and more on his opponents. Specifically, no fight against a cruiserweight.

  • Canelo Alvarez vs. David Benavidez, Jermall Charlo or Gennadiy Golovkin.

  • One title per division per sanctioning body. No more secondary “titles.”

  • The elimination of the WBC’s bridgerweight division.

  • The elimination of the WBC’s “franchise” champion, which produces confusion.

  • At least one more big fight for Gennadiy Golovkin.

  • A formal tournament or two. They guarantee that elite fighters face one another.

  • Happiness in retirement for the great Manny Pacquiao.

  • The expansion of instant replay reviews to correct mistakes.

  • A kinder, gentler version of Floyd Mayweather.

  • Another productive year for nonagenarian promoter Bob Arum.

  • More remarkable performances from the ageless Nonito Donaire.

  • More events featuring fighters from competing entities. (This IS an exercise in wishful thinking.)

  • Less talk and more action from the talented lightweights. In other words, fight each other.

  • The return of Ryan Garcia at 100%.

  • Terence Crawford vs. Errol Spence Jr. Please.

  • A big fight for Demetrius Andrade.

  • The fans of Jake and Logan Paul becoming fans of boxing in general.

  • More fighters who lose fights saying afterward, “The better man won tonight.”

  • A full recovery by popular ring announcer David Diamante, who was injured in a motorcycle accident.

  • Tyson Fury vs. the winner of the anticipated Oleksandr Usyk-Anthony Joshua fight.

  • More big fights for Deontay Wilder, who is always fun to watch.

  • Less holding.

  • More Naoya Inoue fights in the United States. (OK, I’m begin selfish.)

  • Genuine tests for potential stars like Jaron Ennis, Vergil Ortiz, Jaime Munguia, Tim Tszyu, Conor Benn, Joe Joyce, Frank Sanchez and Chris Colbert.

  • Great Juan Francisco Estrada-Roman Gonzalez and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai-Carlos Cuadras fights, with the winners then meeting in a compelling showdown.

  • The ability of the International Boxing Hall of Fame to hold its June induction weekend, which will honor three classes. The IBHOF had to cancel the past two weekends because of COVID-19.

  • The end of the pandemic.

  • A happy and healthy new year for all of you.