Boxing Predictions 2024: Ngannou to Box More; Taylor Needs Challenges
The new year is upon us, and that means that it’s a whole new year for boxers to make a splash in their respective divisions, climbing toward championship glory. Amongst the headlines, can Francis Ngannou box his way into title contention? Katie Taylor could do with more legacy-defining fights before she bows out, too.
Ngannou to Step Up Heavyweight Campaign
After that boxing debut against Tyson Fury, it’s hard to see a future where Francis Ngannou doesn’t box again. He more than held his own against the heavyweight champion, with some believing that on another day, he could have won the exhibition. As such, multiple boxing divisions put him in their official rankings. If he’s to stay there and convince everyone that he’s just as good in the boxing ring as the MMA cage, he would be wise to fight some big stars like Fury.
Deontay Wilder, coming off the back of a loss in December, would be a very interesting opponent, with both men fancying their powerful punch ability. Equally, Anthony Joshua might relish the opportunity to announce himself back at the elite level against a high-profile opponent. If the rumors are to be believed, he may have already agreed to fight the British boxer.
Taylor Needs More Defining Fights
Katie Taylor sits atop the female boxing world. She’s a multi-time champion, having defeated her biggest opponents in the past years in Amanda Serrano and avenging her loss to Chantelle Cameron. These fights were arguably her best to elevate her stature within the sweet science. Unfortunately, she’s already 37 years old. While she doesn’t have to retire soon, the next fights need to be big hitters.
What do these fights look like? If Mikaela Mayer wins her fight against Natasha Jonas, then that would be a fantastic opportunity for the pair to headline a big card. Mayer is a big enough name, and there’s room to maneuver in the classification. The American has shifted weight many times in the past few years, so she could come down, or Taylor could try to conquer the welterweight division. Jessica McCaskill could be another adversary for her.
Or if the Irishwoman would prefer to hit the treadmill than the weights, she could fight Alycia Baumgardner for the super featherweight title.
Heavyweight Division Tournament?
The men’s heavyweight division has often been the face of the boxing world. The heavyweight division is in a confused state. There are more fighters at the top of the division who could easily claim headline slots and demand title shots. Is Anthony Joshua back? Three straight wins since his two losses to Oleksandr Usyk have made people believe he can still compete. Yet, Filip Hrgović, Zhilei Zhang, Joseph Parker, Francis Ngannou, Daniel Dubois, and the two champions, Oleksandr Uysk and Tyson Fury, might contest that they are the best heavyweight. Conveniently, that’s eight heavyweights. The perfect number for a tournament eliminator to determine the best right now.
Canelo Alvarez Needs a Change
There was a point when Canelo Alvarez was the hottest commodity in the boxing world. The Mexican transcended American and Mexican markets as he fought multiple fights across multiple divisions as one of the most active fighters. Better yet, he usually won and collected silverware. Dmitry Bivol sank his battleship, however, when the Russian defended his WBA light heavyweight title. Since then, Canelo has defended his super middleweight championships, but… this isn’t exactly a lead story for online boxing news outlets. Everyone expects him to do so. He’s nowhere near as followed as he was. If 2024 is to be a success, he needs to change it up, whether that’s avenging the loss against Bivol or trying something else.
Nicolson to Get Title Shot
Skye Nicolson is doing everything right to put her name in the lights. She’s never backed down from a fight, having fought and won all nine of her fights since debuting in March 2022. Going 9-0 and picking up the WBC interim featherweight title puts her in real contention for a proper belt. This could set up a big clash against the current undisputed featherweight, Amanda Serrano, in a match that would make boxing news sites sit up and pay attention. That is unless Serrano gets beat in her upcoming bout against Nina Meinke.
Eubank Jr to Wind Down Career
Chris Eubank Jr. might be one of the biggest characters in the boxing landscape, but did he ever leave his father’s shadow? More importantly, will he ever do so? He doesn’t seem to be bothered about fighting anymore; he’s in and around the peripheral, but two consecutive fights against Liam Smith don’t spark enthusiasm. That’s been the case since the fight with Conor Benn was put on hold due to a failed drug test; it seems now very unlikely that a rivalry bout will ever happen.
YouTuber Boxing to Conclude
YouTuber Boxing, as championed by Misfits Boxing and DAZN, entered the mainstream in 2023, but this could be a passing fad. The search trends for ‘YouTuber Boxing’ have been at their lowest in a long time, indicating that interest in this format has diminished. The next card, as promoted by the aforementioned promotions, is set for late January but doesn’t have the star appeal of social megastars like KSI or Logan Paul. Looks like their trending boxing news just left the limelight.
Saudi Arabia Set to Continue Sportswashing with Boxing at Heart
First, it was the golfing project, then Ronaldo lit the fuse on the Saudi Pro League trying to buy its way into the spotlight, and now it is boxing. In 2023, the country hosted a wealth of big cards that featured Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua, and other superstars. The end goal? Who knows, the license to print their own money – not like they don’t do that already. Either way, boxing will remain at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s entertainment portfolio.
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