2021 brought us yet another explosive year in the boxing ring, with landmark victories for several of the sports’ biggest names. There’s barely time to pause for breath, however, since 2022 is already well underway, and with it comes a mouth-watering card full of grudge matches and showpiece bouts.
As a result, those who like nothing more than to bet on international boxing matches have a real treat in store for them in the months ahead. But which are the biggest fights set to take place in 2022? Here’s a rundown of the three most exciting challenges we’re looking forward to taking in over the course of the coming year.
Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk
In a much-anticipated match back in September last year, Anthony Joshua was stripped of his IBF, WBA, and WBO belts after losing to Oleksandr Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in front of a capacity crowd of 65,000 fans. Usyk put on an incredible performance to dethrone the former Olympic champion Joshua, who could not have been surprised that he suffered only the second defeat of his career via a unanimous judge’s decision.
However, it’s common practice for all title challenges to include a rematch clause and Joshua was not shy in doing so, staking his claim to wrestle his trio of belts back from Usyk just hours after losing last time round. Can the Briton vanquish his Ukrainian foe? It will take a much-improved performance from Joshua in a match the boxing world will await with bated breath.
Tyson Fury vs Dillian Whyte
Over the course of the last three years, Tyson Fury has overcome Deontay Wilder quite comprehensively. Although the first matchup between the pair was ruled a draw, many people thought that was an unfair decision from the judges after Fury rallied so impressively in round 12. Needless to say, he rectified that error with two knockouts in the next two bouts.
Buoyed by his victories in that trilogy, Fury is now looking for fresh blood and appears to have found it in the shape of Dillian Whyte. This all-British showdown is such a hot ticket that it set a new record for TV viewing rights, with Queensberry Promotions bidding an eye-popping $41 million for exclusive access to the April billing. Don’t miss this one!
The Unification Bout
Take the two winners of the two aforementioned matches and what do you get? The mother of all boxing bouts, that’s what. Although the date has not yet been scheduled and may sneak into 2023, the unification bout will pit the holder of the IBF, WBA, and WBO belts against the holder of the WBC, lineal heavyweight, and Ring heavyweight titles to crown the victor the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.
So who is the smart money on? Usyk is in red-hot form at the moment and completely outclassed Joshua last time round, so unless the Briton can pull something special out of the bag, it’s likely he will progress. In the other bout, it’s difficult to see past Fury, who is yet to suffer a single defeat in his entire career. Indeed, that draw against Wilder is the only occasion upon which he has not emerged victorious – so it’s no surprise he’s the favourite against Whyte, too.
Are you craving the intensity and excitement of the squared circle? Not to worry, since these three matches – plus a whole host of other entertaining boxing cards – are already in the calendar for the coming year.