Aleksandr Usyk

Ranking The 5 Most Enticing Matchups Left In 2018

The 2018 boxing calendar has been filled with great fights.

We witnessed Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin engage in an epic Middleweight contest that saw Alvarez prevail and put an end to Golovkin’s consecutive streak of Middleweight title defenses.

Shawn Porter recently defeated Danny Garcia in a close fight for the vacant WBC Welterweight title.

Jarrett Hurd and Erislandy Lara might be leading the club house for fight of the year. Hurd managed to knock Lara down in the final round to seal his split-decision victory to become unified champion at Junior Middleweight.

I haven’t even gotten a chance to mention Aleksandr Usyk’s dominant win over Murat Gassiev to become the undisputed unified Cruiserweight champion.

How about Vasiliy Lomachenko climbing off the deck for the first time in his career to stop Jorge Linares in a great fight.

Hell, we even saw Adonis Stevenson get in the ring with a live opponent when he fought Badou Jack to a draw earlier this year.

It’s been a great year for boxing fans and although the year is coming to a close there are still plenty of matchups left to drool over.

Let’s take a look at the five best remaining fights on the schedule.


5. Canelo Alvarez vs. Rocky Fielding

Brant Wilson/RBRBoxing

Coming off of his career defining victory over Gennady Golovkin, Canelo Alvarez decided to move up to the Super Middleweight division in a decision that shocked just about everyone.

He’ll be taking on WBA regular titlist Rocky Fielding. Many thought Alvarez would stay at the Middleweight division and take on knockout artist David Lemieux.

Instead he’s making a peculiar move in facing Fielding. Is this a dare to be great moment by moving up and taking on a bigger man? Or is this just an easy fight for Canelo, which many believe it is.

Listen, Canelo is a major star so whenever he fights we all will watch, but he checks in at No. 5 on this list because there are much more intriguing matchups left to talk about.


4. Josh Warrington vs. Carl Frampton

Action Images/Adam Holt

We have to go across the pond for matchup No. 4 on our list as Carl Frampton takes on Josh Warrington for Warrington’s IBF title.

It’s a fight that might not hold the biggest intrigue of fans in the US, but it’s a massive draw in the UK.

Frampton has to be the favorite going in. He has after all defeated the likes of Leo Santa Cruz, Nonito Donaire and Scott Quigg–to name a few.

Warrington did overcome the odds in his last fight when he lifted the title off of Lee Selby, so he should be coming in with plenty of confidence.

It should be an action-packed fight.


3. Aleksandr Usyk vs. Tony Bellew

UK Sports Agency / Shutterstock.com

Aleksandr Usyk entered rarefied air when he easily defeated Murat Gassiev in the World Boxing Super Series final and became unified champion at Cruiserweight.

There was nothing more to prove in the division and Usyk seemed poised to make the jump to Heavyweight. That was until Tony Bellew came calling.

Bellew was the man to beat at Cruiserweight until a venture at Heavyweight against David Haye made him change course. The fight between Usyk and Bellew will prove who’s No. 1 in the division.

Sure Bellew will be the underdog, a heavy one at that, but let’s not forget that he was a gargantuan underdog against Haye in both of their fights.

Bellew won both contests emphatically. That’s what makes this matchup so interesting. Usyk seems unbeatable, but Bellew has beaten the odds before and plans to do so again.


2. Daniel Jacobs vs. Sergiy Derevyanchenko

Brant Wilson/RBRBoxing

We’ve got ourselves a major fight at Middleweight that actually does not involve Canelo Alvarez or Gennady Golovkin.

Daniel Jacobs will be going up against good friend and stablemate, Sergiy Derevyanchenko. This fight ranks so high on this list because of a couple of reasons.

One, we have two legitimate top five Middleweights slugging it out. We also have the IBF world title up for grabs. Other than those storylines we have a great clash of styles.

On paper, one would lean to Jacobs’ side as he’s fought the better opposition and he’s been a pro considerably longer.

However, Derevyanchenko was the much more accomplished amateur fighter compiling a record of 390-20 and winning just about every tournament he entered. Nobody knows how this one will go. It is legitimately a 50/50 fight.


1. Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury

Amanda Westcott/Showtime

Were you expecting another fight in this slot? I didn’t think so.

Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury is by far the best fight we have left on the calendar. What’s so great about this matchup is that none of us saw it coming. Talks were always centered around current unified champion, Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) taking on Wilder.

The news of this bout has become a pleasant surprise. It seems quite clear that Joshua does not want the Wilder fight at the moment. What we have in Fury against Wilder presents a more interesting matchup. Wilder is known for one thing and one thing only, his massive punching power.

Fury is a big man that likes to move and dance around his opponents. Will Fury box his way to a decision and add the WBC title to his collection? Or will Fury suffer the same fate as every other Wilder opponent, while also adding the Lineal title to his name as well?

It’s a great matchup, and let’s face it, when the Heavyweight division is buzzing like it currently is then boxing is in a great place.

Is there a matchup coming up on the calendar that you feel I should include? Comment below.

 

Header photo by Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

 
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