As indulgent and as self-serving as the above title undoubtedly is, I trust you, fellow passionate boxing fan, will wholeheartedly agree with me when it comes to how we just have to see the following fights, the following wish-list, come true next year.
Here are five fights that need to be, have to be, hopefully will be made in 2024.
In no particular order of need-ness, are five potential classics:
Canelo Alvarez Vs. David Benavidez
A pretty obvious one to kick us off. How long has “Mexican Monster” Benavidez been calling for a chance at taking on and taking out Mexican superstar Canelo? How much has the unbeaten, take on all comers, in his prime Benavidez proven his worth as far as getting the fight? In light of his destructive stoppage of the avoided (was Canelo keen to have fought him?) Demetrius Andrade, Benavidez smashed the door down as far as being the most obvious challenger for Canelo.
As Paulie Malignaggi said in a recent episode of his YouTube channel, “Paulie TV,” it will be a big blotch on Canelo’s resume/legacy if he doesn’t give us what we want, and that’s a fight Benavidez.
Artur Beterbiev Vs. Dmitry Bivol
Another pretty obvious pick, I hear you cry. Yeah, but that doesn’t alter the fact that we need to see this fight. Why? To see 175 pound supremacy crowned, that’s why. And this one would be a heck of a fight. Two Russian stars who have different styles, both of whom want to achieve greatness. Who isn’t desperate to see this fight while both guys are still at their best, and in their prime?
Terence Crawford Vs. Boots Ennis
Don’t try and tell me Boots hasn’t earned, or isn’t worthy of, a fight with the superb Crawford. Yes, “Bud” wants to see out the remainder of his career with the biggest, most lucrative fights he can get (one with Canelo being a fight Crawford has spoken of quite a bit), but nobody, not Crawford or his supporters, can say Ennis is not THE welterweight most capable of testing Crawford the hardest. This one would either see Crawford cement his legacy by taking on and defeating the baddest, most talented young stud out there, or this fight would, with a Boots win, prove to be a classic changing of the guard.
Gervonta Davies Vs. Shakur Stevenson
Two of the most naturally gifted lower weight fighters doing their thing today. Both men want the fight, with Stevenson saying it could be the biggest fight out there if/when it happens. Tank is a skilled operator with chilling punching power. Shakur is arguably the most naturally blessed boxer since Floyd Mayweather. Also, rest assured, this one would/will not be boring if/when it happens!
Katie Taylor Vs. Amanda Serrano II
Why? Because, quite simply, the first fight between these two first ladies was superb. It was epic. It was also closer than close. Taylor, a genuine icon, is back on top due to her brilliant revenge win over defending 140 pound champ Chantelle Cameron. And, as much as we’d love to see the rubber-match between those two, a return between Taylor and Serrano tops it as far as this wish-list article goes.
When Taylor edged Serrano in New York, it came at the conclusion of a special night, with fans witnessing a special fight. A sequel would perhaps prove to be a ‘Godfather Part-Two’ of the boxing world, as in the rematch would top the first fight in terms of, well, everything that makes this sport of ours so awesome.
Bring on 2024, and let the wishes of all fight fans come true.