The beauty of boxing is there’s usually another big fight to look forward to around the corner. This spring is no different.
Here we take a look at three bouts that will garner plenty of attention and be box office draws. Some of your favourite fighters may feature, so sit back and savour these upcoming encounters.
ANTHONY JOSHUA VS. JOSEPH PARKER
New Zealand native Joseph Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) defends his WBO title against the UK’s WBA (Super), IBF and IBO champ Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs), who seeks to unify the heavyweight division.
Given that 100 percent knockout record, AJ is a hot favourite with the bookies to enhance his flawless pro streak to a 21st consecutive victory. There is form lines through Carlos Takam – a fighter Parker could only beat on points – justifying why the Watford native is so fancied.
As an outsider to upset Joshua at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on March 31, Parker has the proven stamina if the fight goes the distance. AJ did go 11 rounds before stopping Wladimir Klitschko when winning two of his three belts, however, and took 10 to beat Takam.
While a fight going the whole 12 rounds is possible, betting offers are available on various outcomes to the Joshua v Parker bout. With bookmakers suggesting it won’t go the distance, Paddy Power’s £20 risk-free bets for new customers may tempt those looking for an outsider 12-round gamble. Or will the heavy hitting AJ take down his arguably nimbler opponent from Down Under?
TONY BELLEW VS. DAVID HAYE II
British heavyweights Tony Bellew (29-2-1, 19 KOs) and David Haye (28-3, 26 KOs) duke it out again after injury to “The Hayemaker” caused his corner to throw in the towel during round 11 of his initial encounter with “Bomber” last March.
This rematch has been a long time coming with Haye suffering further setbacks since damaging his Achilles in the middle of the Bellew bout. Both Britons will do battle again at The O2 Arena in London on May 5.
Bermondsey born boxer Haye has had the more high-profile fights in his career to date, losing a heavyweight division unification encounter with Ukrainian icon Klitschko before bouncing back by beating Dereck Chisora and then retiring.
The Hayemaker returned to the ring in 2016 and won his first two fights back before the defeat by Bellew. Liverpool’s own is a former WBC cruiserweight champion, with the only blemishes on his record being losses at light-heavyweight to Nathan Cleverly and Adonis Stevenson, plus a draw with Isaac Chilemba.
SAUL CANELO ALVAREZ VS. GENNADY GOLOVKIN II
Another hotly anticipated rematch, only this time with most major middleweight boxing belts on the line, comes live from Las Vegas on the night of May 5.
Cinco de Mayo is an annual holiday in the USA and neighbouring Mexico, where Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) hails from. The second fight with Kazakhstan’s Gennady Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) after their controversial split decision draw last September should decide the division’s kingpin.
The WBA (Super), WBC, IBF, IBO, The Ring and vacant lineal middleweight straps are all again at stake, and a decisive outcome will tell boxing fans who the best pound-for-pound fighter is. It’s the perfect storm of GGG’s accurate powerful punches and clever movement under pressure up against the counter-attacking and big body blows of Alvarez.
Golovkin has never been knocked down either as a pro or amateur, while his Latino foe suffered a sole career loss when outpointed by modern era legend Floyd “Money” Mayweather. Something’s got to give in their second showdown.