The highly-anticipated fight between welterweight champions Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford has yet to take place, but if/when it happens, will the winner be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world? Canelo Alvarez and Tyson Fury will have something to say if Spence or Crawford can’t put on an impressive performance.
On Saturday in London, Chris Eubank Jr. and Conor Benn meet at 160kg, 29 years after their fathers beat Nigel Benn in 1990 for a draw in a rematch of Chris Eubank’s ninth-round knockout. of those rare cases where offspring are better fighters than their fathers?
Tyson Fury has drawn many contenders after his proposed fight with fellow champion Alexander Usyk to unify all four major world titles for the first time in history, but will a fight with Usyk ever happen?
Mike Coppinger, Nick Parkinson, Ben Babe, and Michael Rothstein answer these questions and more as they try to sort out what’s real and what’s not.
True or Not: Errol Spence Jr.-Terence Crawford Winner Will Be World’s Best P4P Fighter
Child: real. This is not really up for debate. Crawford is my #1 fighter right now. He was the former undisputed junior welterweight champion, and since moving up to the 147-pound division, Crawford has remained impressive. However, there are still many who believe his level of competition was lacking during his run as welterweight champion.
Likewise, Spence has a legitimate claim to being one of boxing’s best pound-for-pound fighters. He holds three of the four major heavyweight belts. While Crawford has had success in multiple divisions, Spence has been impressive in big wins against former champions Shawn Porter, Yordenis Ugas and Keith Thurman, despite a car accident and resulting injuries that put his career in jeopardy.
So it only makes sense that a potential Spence-Crawford rematch would cement the winner as the pound-for-pound king. Obviously, there are others who have a legitimate stake in this claim, such as Canelo Alvarez and Tyson Fury. Alvarez’s stock took a slight dip after losing to Dmitri Bivol in a failed attempt to win another lightweight title. Fury is the reigning WBC champion and holds the WBC belt, but Alexander Usyk has had a better career routine (at cruiserweight and heavyweight) and has looked good at the sport’s highest weight class.
That leaves Spence and Crawford to settle in what will be one of the most anticipated fights of the century. That is, of course, if it happens.
“Real” or not: Tyson Fury will fight Oleksandr Usyk in 2023
Coppinger: Real. If Fury and Usyk don’t meet next year for the undisputed heavyweight championship, it will be a huge surprise — even in a sport that doesn’t consistently produce marquee rivalries.
After Usyk narrowly defeated Anthony Joshua in their rematch in August, both the Ukrainian and Fury expressed interest in facing each other in the future. Usyk has said he won’t be ready until next year due to the injuries he sustained in the Joshua fight, while Fury has said he will fight in December regardless.
King Siji’s insistence on a second fight in 2022 – despite claims he is yet to retire – has sparked talks with Joshua for the December 3 fight. A media circus took place. Fury then claimed last Monday that he would fight journeyman Manuel Charr after a deadline passed without signed contracts.
Naturally, Fury backtracked over the weekend, saying he would allow more time to complete the deal. Even if Fury and Joshua strike a deal, the champion should remain in contention with Usyk in the first half of 2023, if not later.
True or not: Chris Eubank Jr., Conor Benn, better than their parents
Parkinson: Of course not. While the Benn-Eubank rematch is an interesting fight and gives seniors a chance to reminisce about one of the most exciting rivalries in boxing, it’s not on the same scale as their fathers’ two fights in 1990 and 1993.
And neither did Chris Jr. and neither Connor can be considered a better fighter than their father.
In a continuation of the Nigel Benn-Chris Eubank rivalry that captivated British sports fans in the 1990s, family pride rather than titles will be at stake when Conor and Chris Jr. meet in the same weight class at London’s O2 Arena. . saturday
Their purses are three times their father’s income, but their competition and achievements are not on the same scale as their father’s.
English rivals Benn and Eubank fought twice for the world middleweight and super middleweight titles and their feud continued after their controversial split draw in 1993 and Eubank’s ninth round submission victory three years earlier. Their fights were huge crossover events and attracted the attention of casual fans, people who don’t normally watch boxing, because of the drama of the fights and their intense rivalry. Meanwhile, Conor with Chris Jr. suddenly came up without being invited or trash talking, but only because of the lack of options for both of them at the time.
Their children will not achieve what their fathers did.
Both Chris and Nigel have won world titles in two weight divisions — Conor and Chris still don’t have a major world title between them. Both are talented and could hold a world title in 2023, but Chris Sr has won 17 of 24 title fights (two draws) while Nigel has won 11 of 16 title fights (with a draw). Conor (21-0, 14 KOs), 26, is yet to fight for a world title, while Chris Jr. (33-2, 23 KOs), 33, is in his only fight for the belt with a decision over George Groves in broke in 2018. .
Some of those fights were even bigger than Saturday’s Benn-Eubank clash. For example, Eubank-Benn II attracted a free-to-air TV audience of 16.5 million and an attendance of 42,000 fans at Old Trafford, home of English Premier League team Manchester United. Chris Eubank Jr.-Conor Benn, in his home market of Great Britain, is unlikely to surpass the 1.8 million people who bought Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker in 2018, the UK boxing pay-per-view record. .
Benn-Eubank I and II were also part of an interesting period for the sport. Both had big fights against Michael Watson, Steve Collins, Thulani “Sugar Boy” Malinga and with Gerald McClellan for Benn and against a young Joe Calzaghe for Eubank. Eubank Jr.-Conor is an independent event.
Some things are bigger now, like the wallets that boys get. When Benn made his second defense of his WBO world middleweight title at the NEC in Birmingham in November 1990, Benn and Eubank split the £250,000 purse. As their rivalry intensified, Benn and Eubank received £1m each for a rematch three years later. .
Conor and Chris Jr are reportedly set to earn £3.5m each and have been fined £125,000 for being over the 157lb weight limit.
But even if Chris Jr.-Connor isn’t quite as big as their dad was when they pulled it off years ago, this fight should be a must.
Real or not: Vasyl Lomachenko will fight for the 135-pound title next year
Coppinger: Real. Lomachenko fought George Kambosos for four belts in June 2022 before deciding to stay in war-torn Ukraine. Devin Haynie defeated Cambosos to become the undisputed lightweight champion and will face Cambosos on October 15th on ESPN and ESPN+.
Hani needs to win again and face Lomachenko in the first quarter of 2023. After all, Lomachenko will return on October 29 against Jamain Ortiz.
Hany has lobbied for a fight with Lomachenko for some time, and with both fighters now aligned with Top Rank, there is a clear path to a deal. It certainly won’t be easy for Top Rank to come to an agreement on the money with each side, but it’s an excellent game that will generate a lot of interest.
It seems that Bob Arum wants to get Lomachenko, one of his longtime stars, and what better way than to give him the opportunity to finally become the undisputed champion. After losing to Teofimo Lopez, Lomachanko fought just twice, earning dominant victories over Richard Commey and Masayoshi Nakatani.
True or not: Sebastian Fundora will win the world title at 154 pounds
Rothstein: Well, he already has – at least on an interim basis. The 24-year-old won the interim WBC crown in April when he stopped Erickson Lubin in an impressive display. When he fights again in October — his first title defense — the real test will come when he gets the chance to face undisputed champion Jermell Charlo. Hopefully this will happen in 2023.
Fundara, who stands at 6-foot-5, is a proper threat to anyone because of his height and reach. Plus, there’s real power behind his punches. Fundara is a good fighter — one of the best young fighters in the sport, regardless of division — so yes, an interim world title is in his future. I will also go one step further. By the time he’s done, he’s a multi-division world champion.