The Best Boxing Matches Still to Come in 2018
Two-thousand-and-eighteen is shaping up to be a banner year in boxing–and we’re barely three months in. Top names will be squaring off in the ring, with belts on the line in a few cases. With the return of Keith Thurman, the unification fight this weekend, and the attempt at revenge by a humbled James DeGale, there’s a lot to look forward to in the next few months.
March 31: Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker
This Saturday will see Anthony Joshua, who currently holds the IBF, WBO (Super), and IBO championships take on Joseph Parker, who holds the WBA belt. This fight will be a unification bout, with the winner taking all four home. For his part, AJ is sitting on a pretty 20-0 record, all of them by KO, and he’s held the IBF since 2016 and the other two since last year. Parker has also held his title since 2016, and his 24-0 record boasts 18 KOs. This should be a slugfest, as both of these giants try to give the other his first loss — and both will be swinging for the jawbreaker.
April 7: Caleb Truax vs. James Degale
The biggest upset of 2017 was when Caleb Truax outlasted and outfought James DeGale, who entered the fight unprepared and cocky. Golden, however, was well-prepared, and he earned every bit of the IBF super middleweight belt he took from DeGale that night. But in a few weeks, Chunky will have the chance to prove that he has humbled himself in the rematch on April 7. While the smart money is probably with the 26-2 DeGale, but the 28-3-2 Truax isn’t going to take this fight lightly — he knows he won against a man who was recently coming off of shoulder surgery and was not taking the fight seriously in December.
May 5: Tony Bellew vs. David Haye
These two dudes hate each other. Like, not in a “I dislike my opponent” kinda way, but in a “Imma pop you in the parking lot” kinda way. They threw down after a press conference, with Bellew receiving a Haymaker from the Hayemaker that left a shiner on his face. They faced off once before, with Haye injuring his ankle, forcing his trainer to throw in the towel in the 11th round, despite Haye wanting to continue. Bellew didn’t escape unscathed either, having broken his hand early in the bout and even contemplating retirement afterward. But the Bomber stayed in the game, and he will bring his 32-2-1 record against his old foe’s 31-3, with both hoping to continue the streak of the other sustaining serious damage outside of the loss itself.
May 19: Keith Thurman vs. TBA
Okay, so it may seem a little unusual to look forward to a fight that has yet to have both pugs in, but hear us out. Thurman is easily the best welterweight in the business right now, with a 28-0 record in 19 fights, with one no contest early in his career thanks to a freak headbutt that took both men out. He has 22 KOs, and he has held the WBA belt since 2015 and the WBC since last year. While it isn’t certain who will be taking on One Time this May at Barclay’s, what is certain is that he is one of the most fun fighters to watch with a fist that might as well be made out of concrete.
(Cropped image courtesy of Mike Hoff via Flickr.)