The first half of 2022 was one of the best six-month stretches for the sport of boxing in the 21st century. Boxing fans were treated to the consolidation of the lightweight and Jr. middleweight championships, an upset of the sport’s biggest star, additional title unification at bantamweight, Jr. lightweight, welterweight, middleweight, and light heavyweight, a monster heavyweight stadium show, and arguably the biggest women’s fight of all-time. 

The next couple months saw a cool-off but still had big fights like Oleksandr Usyk-Anthony Joshua II to keep the fire burning for a fall slate rich with promise. 

The centerpiece of anticipation was a years-in-the-making welterweight showdown between WBA/WBC/IBF titlist Errol Spence and WBO titlist Terence Crawford. While both are at an age where ‘are they still in their prime’ might have been a question, recent form for both suggested this was still every bit the generational clash in the ring that it is on paper. 

It’s not happening in 2022. 

It was clear there was turbulence when early speculation and reports about a November date never led to an announcement. The promotional window for November closed and by this last week, reports including here at BoxingScene that the hope was for a February 2023 clash. 

It remains stunning that not only did none of this come together, but we are left now with a fight almost no one asked for (Crawford defending against David Avenysan) on an obscure app the same almost no one had ever heard of, and no current opponent for Spence. 

When fights don’t happen, there is always an argument for what both sides could have done to make it come together. In this case, all indications point to Crawford being the one to ultimately walk away from the table. Whatever Crawford didn’t like about the Spence fight, whether monetarily, contractually, or in terms of scheduling, he emerged with his backup plan and moved on.

Any optimism about this fight coming together in 2023 instead should be tempered. Errol Spence returned from an injury in April to defeat Yordenis Ugas. That wasn’t enough time to make the fight. Spence has already made public statements about a potential move up the scale. In the meantime, Spence has a solid crew of leading contenders for his belt (Keith Thurman, Jarron Ennis, Eimantas Stanionis) should he fight at welterweight again this year. 

Could this all come back together next year? Yes. Will it? Don’t get hopes up too high. The numbers being thrown around for Crawford-Avaneysan are hard to believe. ESPN’s Mike Coppinger reported sources provided Crawford will get an eight-figure payday for the fight. Eight-figures means a minimum of $10 million.

That’s some remarkable math. The suggested price for Crawford-Avaneysan is $39.95. In order to generate just $10 million of revenue, minus any gate figures in Omaha, Nebraska, the fight would have have to do north of 250,000 buys. Crawford versus Shawn Porter reportedly did not even reach 150,000 buys with a major media outlet, ESPN/ESPN+, to support it. It’s hard to see how these numbers make sense without someone seemingly just willing to take an enormous loss.    

If that’s the case, more power to Crawford for a remarkable payday for a fight with no real public interest or established distribution hub. The numbers being floated defy logic, but logic isn’t always a prerequisite in boxing.

Along with the Crawford announcement, fans also got the announcement that Tyson Fury will defend the lineal heavyweight crown against Dereck Chisora. Fury got some hopes up about an Anthony Joshua fight but the short window to make it, and Joshua coming off consecutive losses, always made that idea seem like it would be tough to pull off.

But Chisora?

Usyk has stated he won’t be ready to go again until 2023 so that was off the table. There might not have been a lot of good options but it’s hard to believe nothing else could have been delivered. Chisora is a better opponent than Manuel Charr but he’s also someone Fury beat twice already on the way to the title, and beat in fights that weren’t particularly memorable or competitive. It’s not the Wilder series where the first fight fed drama going into two more. 

There is reason to believe we could see Fury-Usyk next year and Fury-Chisora will surely put butts in seats, but it’s hard to get too excited about it. Chisora winning this fight would make Buster Douglas look like a mild ripple in the pond. 

The heavyweight division goes out with a whimper to end 2022.           

Futures: What we won’t see to end the year is disappointing but boxing fans still have plenty to look forward to. Any down feelings right now will go away eventually and 2022’s slate will be able to be viewed from end to end. Some of what is remaining could still make this one of boxing’s great years. 

We just finished a phenomenal October 15th with several excellent fights and memorable knockouts around the world. Boxing fans are scheduled to see the completion of bantamweight unification (Inoue-Butler), a Jr. flyweight unification barnburner on paper (Kyoguchi-Teraji), the Jr. bantamweight rubber match of one of this generation’s greatest rivalries (Gonzalez-Estrada III), a clash of divisional queens (McCaskill-Cameron), and what could be a terrific light heavyweight title fight (Bivol-Ramirez). That’s just some of the notable fights remaining in 2022. 

Maybe there will be a surprise or two added to the schedule before we’re done. There is a lot to look forward to.

2022 isn’t over and the hell with fights that can’t get made. The loss of one fight is just that. One fight. On to the next.    

Cliff’s Notes…

Mauricio Lara deserves a title shot in a big way. Whether it comes in a third fight with Josh Warrington or someone else, Lara has emerged as a fighter everyone should be wary of at featherweight…McWilliams Arroyo having one foot out the door before his rematch with Julio Cesar Martinez might not be a good sign for that fight…Bob Arum weighing in on the possibility of Naoya Inoue-Stephen Fulton should probably be taken positively given the size of the fighters. Jr. featherweight fights that can make big money aren’t easy to come by. That one might be.    

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at