Boxing Fights That Could Happen In 2023 Featuring Fury, Joshua And More
The year 2023 promises to be an action-packed one for boxing enthusiasts, with a lineup of highly anticipated bouts that could happen.
From heavyweight title defenses by Tyson Fury and to Anthony Joshua’s next fight under Derrick James, fans are in for a thrilling ride.
This year’s calendar showcases electrifying matchups, taking place across the globe. With that being said, let’s look at the potential upcoming fights that could happen.
Liam Smith vs. Chris Eubank Jr
Liam Smith has talked up the possibility of having a rematch against Chris Eubank Jr.
Smith had comprehensively defeated Eubank Jr. with a fourth-round knockout in front of a packed-out AO Arena, Manchester.
The victory left little desire for a rematch with question marks over whether or not Eubank Jr. had a future in the sport, with suggestions that he was not the same durable fighter that he was once known for being.
Therefore, this coupled with the fact that a bout with Conor Benn seemed likely even following the latter’s failed drug tests for Colompheine after reports stressed that a bout in Abu Dhabi was being considered, a rematch seemed unlikely.
However, since the British Boxing Board of Control would have had to agree to Eubank Jr. fighting in Abu Dhabi, there would have been plenty of red tape to navigate.
‼️ The Rematch between 🇬🇧 Chris Eubank Jr and 🇬🇧 Liam Smith is expected to take place on June 17 in Manchester.
Who do you think wins the second fight? 🤔#Boxing #boxingnews #SmithEubank pic.twitter.com/c6Yj2USQIL
— iBoxingHub (@iBoxingHub) April 12, 2023
And now that this has fallen through, Smith appears to be Eubank Jr.’s only big fight.
Immediately after the loss, he exercised his rematch clause, signally his intention to right his wrong. And as per Smith’s statement, Eubank has now shifted his attention towards a second fight.
“The rematch seems to be back on now and if that’s the case, then that’s the route that we’ll go.
“My next fight will be in June 99.99. I’m fighting June, regardless if it’s Chris or anybody. If it’s Chris, I beat him last time and I’ll beat him again.
“I think the only reason that fell through is because the Boxing Board of Control, they stayed firm on it. I feel Conor wanted it, [Benn promoter] Eddie [Hearn] wanted it, Chris wanted it,” Smith
Manny Pacquiao Vs. Conor Benn
With Conor Benn out of the picture against Eubank Jr., there is a chance that the Brit could face Manny Pacquiao.
Talks were allegedly taking place for a bout in Abu Dhabi on June 3rd, 2023. And since Eubank Jr. is now tied up, Pacquiao has re-entered the picture.
Manny Pacquiao's advisor, Sean Gibbons, has confirmed that a deal has been agreed for Pacquiao to fight Conor Benn and he is awaiting a response from Eddie Hearn 😮
🤔 Who wins?
(Source: @PlanetSportcom)#BennPacquiao #BoxingNews #ConorBenn #MannyPacquiao pic.twitter.com/f10iv3kiSG
— IFL TV (@IFLTV) April 13, 2023
In a conversation with Planet Sport, the CEO of Manny Pacquiao promotions, Sean Gibbons, mentioned that Pacquiao has agreed to face Benn.
He said: “Senator Manny Pacquiao has agreed to fight Conor Benn. Do me a favour, call Eddie Hearn. The ball is in his court. Senator Manny Pacquiao is happy to fight Conor Benn. Agreed – please call Eddie Hearn.”
Tyson Fury’s Next Fight
Following the breakdown in talks for an undisputed bout with Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk, Bob Arum has outlined the ‘Gypsy King’s’ next opponents.
Fury is reportedly looking to defend his WBC title in the summer, which has left the division wide open for two stars: step-forward Andy Ruiz Jr. and Joe Joyce.
The former will be looking to make a name for himself once again after having experienced the taste of being a unified champion when he beat Anthony Joshua.
Bob Arum Names Andy Ruiz, Joe Joyce As Potential Opponents For Tyson Fury This Summer https://t.co/Iyhrc3uozi pic.twitter.com/jp2XmyrHLb
— BoxingScene.com (@boxingscene) April 13, 2023
Meanwhile, Joyce has made it clear that the Fury fight is something he is considering, as shown in the infamous showdown involving him, Usyk and Fury after the latter’s win over Dereck Chisora.
With that being said, this is what Arum had to say: “[Joe] Joyce would be a possibility, assuming he gets by the Chinese fighter, because Tyson wants to fight this summer. And Andy Ruiz would be a possibility. We’re gonna be talking to Tyson next week.”
Outside of that, Fury has plenty of other options. Reports indicated that Anthony Joshua could face either Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury in Saudi Arabia.
Speculation emerged after Joshua went back on his words of fighting in the summer by stating that his next fight would be in December.
And that is for a good reason, according to former cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew.
In his comments to DAZN Boxing, he said: “My thinking from the outside looking in, it’s Fury [AJ’s next fight]. I can’t dress it up as anything else.
“I’m surprised because I know he [Joshua] wants to go back out to Dallas and continue training with Derrick James again. I’m shocked, to be honest.”
With so many potential bouts, fans are in for a treat.