Spare a thought for the fighters who trained, sacrificed and put in plenty of work over the Christmas holidays; and thank them for the upcoming boxing schedule. It’s traditionally a pretty quiet month for the sport in January, yet here in Jan. 2019 we have a number of world title bouts to look forward to.
This month, we will see, amongst other fights, Jose Uzcategui-Caleb Plant, this IBF super-middleweight title fight being the first big (ish) world title encounter of the new year, Demetrius Andrade-Artur Akavov, in another middleweight title affair, this one seeing Andrade make the first defence of his WBO belt, Manny Pacquiao-Adrien Broner, Jaime Munguia-Takeshi Inoue in a WBO 154 pound title clash, and Keith Thurman’s return, against Josesito Lopez.
The Pacquiao-Broner showdown is arguably the biggest of these upcoming fights, but the Thurman comeback has generated plenty of interest also. In terms of which of the mentioned fights might provide the most thrilling action, the Munguia-Inoe clash could be the one. Young and recently crowned, Munguia might prove to be the next Mexican star. The 22 year old has already given us some memorable warfare, in his fights with Liam Smith and, last time out, Brandon Cook. Already 31-0(26) the warrior from Tijuana could have his hands full against unbeaten Japanese fighter Inoe, 13-0-1(7)
There are a number of Japanese fighters fast becoming stars right now and Inoue, Munguia’s mandatory challenger, has promised his fans a great fight.
It’s not a bad start to the year, but of course fans everywhere are waiting for the heavyweights to get back to action. So far, as far as the champions go, Anthony Joshua is the next set to fight, on April 13 against TBA. However, unbeaten Jarrell Miller is slated to see action on January 18th, and there are suggestions it could be against WBA heavyweight titlist Trevor Bryan.
2018 was a great year for boxing, and 2019 looks set to follow suite. In an ideal world, we will get to see Joshua against either Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury, as well as that Fury-Wilder return. And how much longer can superstar Pacquiao carry on for? Might he and Thurman collide at some point in 2019?