Boxing is a sport of dreamers, both from the perspective of the fighters in the ring and the people who pay to see their favourites go as many rounds as they can.
Depending on your perspective, boxing can also be a sport of disappointment, as fans are starved of dream matches because of fighters backing out or because the event was too outlandish to come into reality.
Fury and Usyk
The most prominent example of this is Antony Joshua vs Tyson Fury. The former boxer’s second loss to Oleksandr Usyk in 2022 was the beginning of a downward slope in the 33-year-old’s career.
Joshua vs. Fury is still listed on some websites as one of 2023’s perfect match-ups, but as Joshua chose to ignore Fury’s callout and fight Jermaine Franklin instead, it seems unlikely.
For those betting on boxing, the years' most anticipated events include a New Year’s Eve clash between Fury and Usyk. Fury is 2/5 to defeat his Ukrainian opponent in an event that will be financially split 70/30 in favour of Fury. If Joshua had risen to Fury's challenge, the former would have received a much more favourable purse of 60/40, again, in favour of Fury. Regardless, the largely forgettable Joshua vs. Franklin match will take place in April.
Joshua has been tipped in some places to fight the vastly more experienced Deontay Wilder, despite being warned last year that Wilder could end his career. The prospect of Fury vs. Wilder III has also set some hearts racing, but Usyk is much more likely to sign for a Fury fight.
Golovkin and Munguia
While a handful of names dominate the boxing headlines, many other potential fights are swept under the rug. Chris Eubank Jr. vs Conor Benn, known as Born Rivals, is another major event that could happen in 2023. However, the prospect hasn’t received much attention from fans or the media simply because it has already been cancelled once before.
A handful of all-American matches have made pundits’ wishlists for bouts in 2023, including Terence Crawford vs. Errol Spence Jr, which could take place in Las Vegas towards the end of this year. Both fighters are currently undefeated, making the fight a difficult one to call at this stage. Gervonta Davis or Devin Haney vs. Shakur Stevenson, and David Benavidez vs. Jermall Charlo are just a few more of the potential battles in US boxing.
Finally, talk of Golovkin vs Munguia has made the rounds on social media, simply because the latter fighter is one of the more complacent athletes in the business. Munguia seems to be chasing as many victories as possible at the cost of ignoring challenges from comparable boxers, such as Janibek Alimkhanuly. The one concern with the Golovkin fight is that GGG is nearing retirement.
Overall, everybody has something to say about who could take to the ring in 2023, even if the bouts are unlikely.