Boxing was off to a hot start through the first six months.
Summer has been a bit of winter for the game.
July was a bit slow and August isn’t much better but it won’t be without its charms. Circle August 20. It’s a loaded date on the calendar with big cards on Showtime, ESPN, and DAZN. DAZN will have the biggest show of them all with:
- 08/20: Hvy - TBRB #1 Oleksandr Usyk (19-0, 13 KO, WBA/IBF/WBO) vs. #2 Anthony Joshua (24-2, 22 KO)
Olympic Gold Medalist and former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk made his case as the biggest threat in the division to lineal king Tyson Fury when he outboxed and outfought Anthony Joshua to win three belts last year. Now Usyk will be asked to do it again.
Tyson Fury keeps saying he’s retired now but he hasn’t given up his WBC belt yet and Fury is very good at saying things that get lots of attention and amount to little. Fury’s accountants are probably rooting for Joshua. Fury probably is too. There probably isn’t a richer heavyweight fight than that all-UK showdown and that will be true even if Usyk wins again.
However, if Usyk does win again, it would be hard to say Fury truly finished his era without fighting him. Fury beat the long reigning champion in Wladimir Klitschko. He turned back to the most feared puncher in his class. Is Usyk the one with the skill set and smarts to solve the massive combination of skill and size Fury possesses?
Uysk will have a chance to make a statement. Joshua will have a chance to make one too, avenging another loss and rewriting his story once again. It’s big-time heavyweight boxing.
Additional Title Fights in August
08/20: 140 - Alberto Puello (20-0, 10 KO) vs. Botrizhon Akhmedov (9-1, 8 KO); vacant WBA belt
08/20: 130 - #2 Roger Gutierrez (26-3-1, 20 KO, WBA) vs. #5 Hector Garcia (15-0, 10 KO)
08/20: 126 - #2 Emanuel Navarrete (35-1, 29 KO, WBO) vs. Eduardo Baez (21-2-2, 7 KO)
08/30: 105 - #2 Petchamanee CP Freshmart (38-1, 23 KO) vs. Tsubasa Kuora (15-2, 10 KO)
08/06: 112 - Marlen Esparza (12-1, 1 KO, Ring/WBA/WBC) vs. Eva Guzman (19-1-1, 11 KO)
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.