Canelo Alvarez remains to be in search of an opponent to battle later this 12 months, however the remainder of the 2021 boxing schedule is rapidly filling up with title fights. Shakur Stevenson will face a take a look at in WBO junior light-weight champion Jamel Herring, Andrew Moloney and Joshua Franco will full their trilogy, Josh Taylor will make his first protection of the undisputed junior welterweight championship, and Anthony Joshua will defend his three heavyweight titles towards former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk.
Plenty of the boxing world was targeted on Tokyo over the previous few weeks, the place the U.S. males’s Olympic crew narrowly missed out on breaking its 16-year gold-medal drought, settling for 3 silvers. Two of the medalists — Keyshawn Davis and Duke Ragan — are already professionals, and crew captain Richard Torrez Jr. additionally reached the rostrum. With the 2020 Olympic Video games within the rearview mirror, will they discover the gold they’re after on the skilled stage?
Mike Coppinger, Timothy Bradley, Michael Rothstein and Ben Child take a look at these matters and extra as they kind out what’s actual from what’s not.
Shakur Stevenson will dethrone Jamel Herring as WBO junior light-weight champion
Rothstein: Actual. Herring deserves a variety of respect for what he has carried out as each a fighter and an individual, as he has helped folks in varied walks of life by sharing his story. He is inspirational. However Stevenson simply looks as if a unique stage of fighter than these Herring has confronted up to now.
Sure, Herring beat Carl Frampton, a well-known title, however Frampton was in his final profession battle when Herring knocked him out in April.
Herring will likely be Stevenson’s hardest battle, although, and this would possibly not be any type of cakewalk for Shakur. Herring can battle and trigger Stevenson some issues, particularly if he finds the correct vary early. However Stevenson’s protection goes to be problematic for Herring, and sure will likely be an excessive amount of for Herring to deal with because the battle goes on. I’d not count on a knockout right here, and would count on an in depth battle. Whereas Herring might discover a strategy to pull it off, it is a battle Stevenson ought to win.
Joshua Franco vs. Andrew Moloney 3 will likely be pretty much as good as their first battle
Bradley: Not actual. They’ve already confronted one another. They’ll make small changes, however they’ve felt one another’s energy and know what they’re up towards. Of their first battle they did not know one another a lot, and so they every did some issues that have been profitable and that made for an entertaining battle. It was an ideal motion battle. Once they watched the movie after the battle they noticed issues that they did not do or see the primary time round, and I believe they will each be extra measured and strategic.
Within the second assembly Franco was weight-drained. I keep in mind him on the scales and keep in mind his coach selecting him up from his chair and serving to him to the scales through the weigh-in, after which Franco went again to the chair. You may see how torpid he was within the first two rounds earlier than the battle was stopped, ending with that controversial no-contest determination. I believe that on this trilogy battle, you will notice a extra environment friendly Franco, extra calculated, extra like within the first battle.
They’ll each incorporate issues they realized from the primary two fights into the third. I believe Moloney understands what he must do and the way he must be extra exact towards the champion Franco. I believe Moloney is aware of the place he needs to be within the ring, what he must do and how one can beat Franco, however he must do it for 12 rounds, and that is going to be troublesome.
Moloney has all of the instruments, however he has to place it collectively. Of their second battle, the momentum was undoubtedly in his favor and he was doing every little thing proper. He was all the way in which on the within, dictating the battle from the surface with the jab. He’ll should do all that and extra to maintain Franco from getting inside this third time round.
Jack Catterall is a stay-busy battle for Josh Taylor
Josh Taylor discusses his December title protection towards Jack Catterall in Glasgow, Scotland.
Coppinger: Actual. Catterall is undefeated by means of 26 fights, however all however a type of bouts happened on residence soil within the U.Okay., towards fighters nowhere close to the extent of Taylor. Caterall’s two greatest wins got here in 2018: a choice over Ohara Davies in a intently contested 12-round battle, which instantly adopted a 10-round win over Tyrone McKenna that was even nearer on the judges’ scorecards.
Catterall will now step up several levels at school in a battle towards probably the greatest boxers on this planet. Josh Taylor is No. 7 on ESPN’s pound-for-pound checklist, and he may be even higher than that. His resume is without doubt one of the greatest within the sport, with wins over former champions Regis Prograis, Jose Ramirez, Ivan Baranchyk and Viktor Postol. Contemplating that stage of constant competitors and Taylor’s ambitions of preventing Terence Crawford for the welterweight championship sooner or later, the Catterall bout quantities to a stay-busy battle.
It is simply too dangerous the bout is going down seven months after Taylor beat Ramirez. Ideally, Taylor would have dealt with his enterprise with the obligatory challenger sooner, so he might squeeze in one other marquee battle earlier than the tip of 2021.
Certainly, Taylor will land such a battle in 2022, particularly if he certainly strikes as much as 147 kilos. Even when he does not, Teofimo Lopez and Gervonta Davis have been calling him out as each of them eye a transfer as much as 140 to satisfy him in a superfight.
Whereas Catterall does not determine to current an excessive amount of of a menace, he definitely will likely be stiffer competitors than Taylor’s final obligatory obligation. Taylor scored a first-round KO of Apinun Khongsong in September.
Every of the three U.S. males’s boxing Olympic silver medalists will win a title as a professional
Coppinger: We’ll get to Keyshawn Davis and Duke Ragan, who’ve each turned professional already, in a second. But it surely’s far too early to understand how Richard Torrez Jr. will venture as a professional, and as a heavyweight, he’ll be competing in a stacked weight class led by Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder.
After all, by the point the 22-year-old is able to battle in 12-rounders, that trio will probably be on the tail-end of their careers. To win a heavyweight championship, Torrez must show he has a heavyweight chin. He did present vital enchancment after getting brutally knocked out by Bakhodir Jalolov within the amateurs. Within the rematch with Jalolov for the gold medal at tremendous heavyweight, Torrez gained the primary spherical on three out of 5 judges’ scorecards, however Jalolov took over within the final two rounds. Torrez is undersized, however what he does possess is massive energy and great guts.
Nonetheless, when you think about his punch resistance and body, it is laborious to foretell he’ll win the heavyweight championship. For that alone, I am going to say not actual.
Ragan shocked some by claiming a silver medal, and maybe the boldness he gained within the Olympics will carry over into the professionals. He is 4-0 at featherweight, with one KO.
Of the three, Davis definitely tasks because the almost definitely future champion. The southpaw has fast palms, nice footwork, and most significantly, a powerful ring IQ. These traits served him properly towards Andy Cruz in a really shut gold-medal battle, which Davis in the end misplaced by cut up determination.
Davis has proven energy within the professionals with two KOs in his first three fights, and of the Olympians who competed in Tokyo, he has the brightest way forward for all.
Joshua-Usyk will likely be a extra aggressive battle than Fury-Wilder 3
Child: One thousand % actual. Anybody who paid the slightest consideration to Fury-Wilder II remembers how lopsided it was. Wilder is not technically proficient sufficient to maintain Fury from backing him down on this third battle, a place from which Fury can inflict the mandatory injury to supply a stoppage. Other than Wilder touchdown an enormous proper hand to knock out Fury — a punch he famously landed within the first battle, and Fury nonetheless recovered from — there’s little drama in a 3rd battle.
Joshua’s battle towards Usyk, nevertheless, is far more intriguing than folks may notice. Positive, Usyk may not have the requisite energy to be an intimidating heavyweight. However the former undisputed cruiserweight champion has a ton of ring chops. And as we all know from Joshua’s loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. in 2019, a smaller fighter who works properly in compact areas can provide the British champion loads of issues.
Do not get me mistaken, Joshua is terrific. However as a result of his protection is missing at occasions and Usyk is a powerful boxer, Joshua-Usyk will likely be an interesting battle.