Bold boxing predictions for 2022: Crawford's biggest fight and a new #1 pound-for-pound fighter (2023)

January 7, 2022

  • Michael Rothstein

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    Bold boxing predictions for 2022: Crawford's biggest fight and a new #1 pound-for-pound fighter (1)

    Michael Rothstein


    • He previously worked for and at the University of Michigan
    • Also referred to Notre Dame for the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette

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  • ben baby

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    Bold boxing predictions for 2022: Crawford's biggest fight and a new #1 pound-for-pound fighter (2)

    ben baby


    • ESPN-Author
    • Formerly a college football writer for The Dallas Morning News
    • Absolvente da University of North Texas

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    (Video) Terence Crawford Says It's 'The Perfect Time' In Career To Fight Errol Spence Jr. | SHOWTIME BOXING

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Predicting what might happen in boxing is as difficult as picking a Super Bowl champion before the NFL season has even started. But that doesn't stop us from making predictions about what the sport might look like in 2022.

This is the year we see Terence Crawford take on Errol Spence Jr. to finally crown the best welterweight fighter in the world? Will the Jake Paul train still run at full speed? Could we see a heavyweight champion holding all four major belts?

ESPN's Ben Baby and Michael Rothstein offer their bold predictions for the year ahead.

Terence Crawford will finally have a confrontation with Errol Spence Jr.

The real wildcard here would be Crawford, who decides to go it alone and try to find the best fights possible, regardless of promotion. But the reality is that Crawford should probably partner with a promotion - and PBC or Probellum makes more sense when he's trying to chase the big fights.

He dealt with Porter in November and if he wants to test himself at welterweight this is the place. Spence is here. So does defending champion Yordenis Ugas. Any belts he might try to claim - and any big-money fights he might try in the division - lie in Al Haymon's rise on the PBC. So it makes a lot of sense for Crawford to do a multi-fight deal there, take on the other champions and see what happens from there. Signing up with Probellum will also allow you to face fighters from other promotions.

We saw the attention that the fight between Crawford and Porter attracted and how it may have brought out the best in Crawford. Why not try to push even harder against the other top contenders in the division?- Rothstein

Jake Paul fights twice and again wins both fights

What is a modern boxing prediction withoutsomethingMention of Jake Paul? And despite all the criticism surrounding the man with the bot problem, there's no denying that Paul is bringing attention to the sport. He has shown some legit fighting ability and takes it seriously. How he tackled - and knocked out - Tyron Woodley in their rematch was testament to that.

Paul has become one of the biggest names in esports and one of its biggest draws. So he created a riddle. Where many fighters with five professional fights wouldn't be at pay-per-view events and not facing a name contest, Paul almost has to. It could be argued - and I have argued before - that your next step should be to face someone with a pure boxing background, the way most young fighters progress through their careers.

But Paul isn't the greatest fighter, which makes things more difficult. Should he eventually fight someone with a more typical boxing background? Yes. And Tommy Fury, if that fight happens in 2022, would suit that type of matchup. But it has to be a big name – or the kind of name that other factors allow Paul to help defuse the intrigue, as in the case of Fury. If there isn't a fight like this out there, Paul - who said he was taking a real vacation after his last fight - should probably continue on the path he's on and fight some of the best fighters in mixed martial arts.

If you're a fighter at just about every level of MMA or boxing, why wouldn't you fight Paul? If you lose, you are still in the most important phase of your career with a good payout. Win - become the person who beats Jake Paul - and your esports star rating will become something elusive, even for some of your champions. It's a win for many fighters if they - and Paul - are willing to try.- Rothstein

(Video) Manny Pacquiao has a case for the best pound-for-pound fighter ever | Max on Boxing

None of boxing's "four princes" fight each other

Once upon a time there were four princes, all young and talented, inspired by boxing to conquer the world - and each other.

Well, like most fairy tales, this wishful thinking was too good to be true. In 2021 there hasn't been a fight with a combination of Gervonta Davis, Ryan Garcia, Haney or Teofimo Lopez. In fact, Lopez lost his crown after losing to George Kambosos. Garcia retired from the sport to tend to his mental health, and then an injury sidelined him from a fight with Joseph "JoJo" Diaz. Meanwhile, Davis shares continue to rise.

We come to the point in history that boxing fans know all too well - the dreaded "marination period", when the money people wait until big name fights are supposed to make the most financial sense.

Certainly any combination of these fights will generate enough buzz to sell fight and rematch tickets, but that doesn't seem to be on the horizon. Instead, all princes will remain in their respective realms. Reality stinks, doesn't it?-- Baby

A year of superfights sees women's boxing get more attention than ever

In a way, this should be a year that pushes women's boxing forward. Many of the top fighters began to gain popularity - led by Amanda Serrano, Claressa Shields, Katie Taylor and Mikaela Mayer - and there were incremental steps to bring more attention to women's boxing.

Mayer's victory over Maiva Hamadouche was one of the best fights of the year for men or women, and Alycia Baumgardner's vicious knockout of Terri Harper drew attention, as did Serrano's beating of Miriam Gutierrez.

Chantelle Cameron and Kali Reis will fight for the undisputed junior welterweight crown later this year. If all goes according to plan, Shields and Savannah Marshall will do the same at middleweight in the first half of 2022 - a chance for Shields to avenge her only loss as an amateur or professional boxer. And then there's the big fight - Taylor vs. Serrano - which seems inevitable at this point.

Add to that the potential for Mayer to take on Alycia Baumgardner in the latter half of the year, and more opportunities for Taylor and Serrano to make other superfights as well - perhaps another Taylor-Jessica McCaskill matchup - and it's going to be an exciting year at the best in boxing history. feminine.

Of course, boxing is boxing and half of these fights can fail, but unlike the men, the fighters still seem willing to take on the biggest and best fights. That could mean more attention and bigger payouts. The headlines about Taylor and Serrano's possible fight at Madison Square Garden are another step forward, as is Matchroom's consistent commitment to signing top-notch female fighters.

This year, more than any other in women's boxing, could provide an opportunity for the sport to capture the world's attention as something to watch.- Rothstein

(Video) Team Jaron Ennis Say's Crawford not #1 P4P Errol Spence Is + Bob Arum wants to Resign Haney !!

There will be no rematch between Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua

Joshua found Usyk to be every bit as menacing as he looks. The wide-eyed, toothless Ukrainian defeated the British superstar to win three of the four major rounds of the heavyweight title.

And so far it doesn't seem like either of them really wants anything to do with the other. Joshua was spotted looking for new trainers across the US. Usyk was last at ringside with Vasiliy Lomachenko-Richard Commey in December to celebrate the 90th birthday of Top Rank founder Bob Arum.

Joshua's best chance of remaining a financial star in the UK and beyond is to stay away from Usyk, who showed that smaller, accurate fighters can outrun Joshua very well. In fact, Joshua's best bet is Fury, promoted by Arum, to deal with Usyk.

If Fury beats Usyk, it could reopen the window for that lucrative fight between Fury and Joshua that ended in 2021. That means Joshua-Usyk II is unlikely to happen.-- Baby

Women's boxing finally goes 3-minute rounds for championship-level fights

It's called bold predictions for a reason, but this one really shouldn't be bold. When I covered this in June and July, everyone on board showed up except for the WBC. The two biggest esports commissions - Nevada and California - were open to it. Many of the best fighters in the game, including Mikaela Mayer and Claressa Shields, have expressed interest in him. Alphabet's other organizations also said they would accept this, as would promoters including Top Rank.

So it makes a lot of sense and has a lot of momentum for it not to happen. If things go well in some of the biggest title fights in the first half of the year, that could be enough incentive for fighters and their promoters to push harder in the 3-minute rounds, which could lead to more interruptions, more emotion and possibly more money.- Rothstein

Devin Haney becomes undisputed lightweight champion

See you soon, email champion. While not many people were thrilled about Haney becoming a lightweight champion (they can thank the WBC for that), Haney still holds one of the top four belts. And given Kambosos' angry victory over Lopez, Haney has a very easy way to remove any reputational illegitimacy from him.

Kambosos has already shown a willingness to fight one of the other big names in the lightweight division, preferably in Australia, where he is from, and should draw very well. Haney, on the other hand, didn't have any huge fans falling for him during his run. He has a lot of blitz in the ring, but not a lot of power, and besides being defeated by Jorge Linares in late May 2021, he hasn't been involved in many convincing fights.

A matchup between Haney and Kambosos not only seems doable - Haney signed with Matchroom, Kambosos with promoter Lou DiBella - but it makes a lot of sense for both fighters. And it could simplify things into a chaotic division where multiple battles need to be fought.-- Baby

Naoya Inoue Ends 2022 as the #1 P4P Fighter in the World

Watching Inoue fight remains a lesson in boxing accuracy and strength. It might be tough for him to move up higher than third considering Canelo Alvarez and Crawford are in the top two, but there's a chance for Inoue here.


In June, Inoue said he wanted to look forward to the highly anticipated fight between Nonito Donaire and John Riel Casimero. Unfortunately, that fight never happened. Instead, Inoue can see an opening and take them out one by one. If he can make it in calendar year 2022, he has as good a chance as any other contender for the top spot on the pound-for-pound list. He has also fought and defeated Donaire before - and Donaire is one of only three fighters to have beaten Inoue. If they fought again and Inoue knocked out Donaire, it would be another point to be number 1 pound for pound. Inoue has the talent to get there. Just wondering if this is the year for the 28 year old.- Rothstein


1. Who is the Best Pound For Pound Boxer Right Now? Teddy Atlas & Stephen A Smith Discuss
(THE FIGHT with Teddy Atlas)
(Blue Blood Sports TV)
4. Terence Crawford vs Vergil Ortiz Fight NEXT in “COWBOY STADIUM”, Errol Spence Jr hometown says Oscar
6. Young hungry lion 🦁 Jaron Boots Ennis wants his title shot, if Crawford v Spence don’t happen.
(Tha Outlaw Pugilist)


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