Fury-Usyk, Crawford-Spence and Lomachenko-Davis: Five dream fights for 2022

Could we see the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999 next year?

The year is closing and boxing fans are already dreaming of possible fights heading into 2022. And of course, there are plenty of showdowns to be made - as long as fighters, TV broadcasters and promoters can all agree on the finer details.

In 2021, we saw Tyson Fury end his rivalry with Deontay Wilder - one that lasted three years with as many fights and a court battle, Anthony Joshua relinquish his world titles to Oleksandr Usyk and Canelo Alvarez become undisputed champion at 168lbs.

Planet Sport has made a five-fight wish list for 2022 below.

Terence Crawford vs Errol Spence Jr

Crawford

An all-American battle for three welterweight world titles could not be closer to being made now that Terence Crawford is a free agent. Having made five defences of his WBO crown, Crawford's deal with Top Rank has ended and he is unlikely to renew a deal, instead remaining a free agent to get the biggest fights in boxing.

"Bud" - who defeated Shawn Porter in the 10th round in his only fight of 2021 - wants one name and one name only, Errol Spence. The pair have been calling each other out for years only for negotiations to stall on numerous occasions.

Spence, under Al Haymon's Premier Boxing Champions, missed out on a legacy defining fight with Manny Pacquiao due to suffering a retina eye injury weeks before the encounter. The Dallas fighter was present to witness Crawford's win over Porter and while he'll require a tune-up fight early into 2022, this is a fight that can happen in the second half of the year.

Both men are undefeated. Spence holds the WBC and IBF titles and has wins over Kell Brook, Mikey Garcia, Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia. Crawford is a three-division world champion and is regarded as one of the Pound for Pound best. In years gone by, Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto and Pacquaio held the flag high for the welterweight division. It's now time for a mega-fight at the weight.

Teofimo Lopez vs Josh Taylor

Josh Taylor has won all 18 of his professional fights

There is needle here.

The pair had an altercation ahead of Teofimo Lopez's fight against George Kambosos about a potential contest in 2022. Lopez is not interested in taking on Vasyl Lomachenko for a second time and while Devin Haney is a potential fight for Lopez should he come through Kambosos, the chance to move up to 140lbs is something the "Takeover" wants sooner rather than later.

Josh Taylor's stock could not be any higher after becoming the first undisputed champion from Scotland since Ken Buchanan. The "Tartan Tornado" overcame Jose Ramirez in Las Vegas to add the WBC and WBO belts to his WBA and IBF titles and is now undefeated with an 18-0 record.

First things first, Taylor has to take care of his mandatory challenger Jack Catterall on February 26 in Glasgow. If Lopez decides to not stick around at 135lbs for Haney then a clash at junior welterweight with Taylor could be a summer showdown.

Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk

Usyk

The heavyweight fight we all need. For it to happen, we need both fighters to come through their next respective bouts. Tyson Fury defeated Deontay Wilder in a heavyweight classic this year, climbing off the canvas twice to end proceedings in round 11 to retain his WBC championship.

He will now have to fight his mandatory challenger and as it stands, it is looking like it will be Dillian Whyte despite his current arbitration court battle with the WBC. That fight should happen in the first half of the year with a UK return for Fury likely.

Oleksandr Usyk has a rematch to deal with against Anthony Joshua next after the Brit triggered his rematch clause. The pair collided in London with Usyk earning a unanimous decision win over Joshua to win the WBA, IBF and WBO straps. Should both come through, the WBO will likely delay their mandatory challenger to allow the unification to happen.

Canelo Alvarez vs Artur Beterbiev

Saul Canelo Alvarez, November 5, 2021

Canelo - money man of boxing - continues to make his way through the weights and will take on Ilunga Makabu for the WBC cruiserweight title in May. In 2021, he defeated three opponents, unifying the division against Billy Joe Saunders before crushing Caleb Plant to win the IBF title - the only belt to elude him at super middleweight.

He will now look to become a five-division world champion when he takes on Makabu but after that fight - if it goes according to plan - his next fight is unknown. It is unlikely he will stick around at cruiserweight and if not, Artur Beterbiev is the fight to be made at light heavyweight for Canelo.

The Russian, 36, may not be getting any younger but is 16-0 with as many knockouts and is the unified king at 175lbs. If Canelo can beat the top dog of the light heavyweight category then it cements his legacy further in the sport as an all-time great. The Mexican is focused on making history and a clash with Beterbiev would certainly do that.

Vasyl Lomachenko vs Gervonta Davis

Lomachenko tastes first defeat in 14 bouts [photo credit: Mikey Williams]
[Photo credit: Mikey Williams]

This would be fireworks. Vasyl Lomachenko may not be able to get the Lopez rematch but the next best fight to make is between himself and Gervonta Davis. Loma - the quickest three-division world champion in male history (12), has a lot of miles on the clock and at 33, alongside an amateur record of 396-1, it is unlikely for how long he'll continue fighting for.

"Tank" Davis - whose biggest win is Leo Santa Cruz - is one of the hottest fighters in and around at lightweight. He may have fought at 140lbs this year but next year he'll want a huge fight and what bigger than a fight with one of boxing's greatest. It would be a classic case of a technical fighter facing a heavy-hitter and would be a pay-per-view success.

The only problem would be what TV station it goes on - ESPN or Showtime and that could be the sticking point as it always is with big fights that never get made.

Other fights that deserve a mention:

Gennadiy Golovkin vs Jaime Munguia

If GGG can come through Ryoto Murata then a middleweight contest against Jaime Munguia would be an absolute war. Both are on DAZN and it is a fight that can be easily made.

Demetrius Andrade vs Jermall Charlo

Demetrius Andrade
Photo credit: Matchroom Boxing

"Boo Boo" is desperate for a huge fight and DAZN will not stand in the way of Demetrius Andrade fighting on another TV network. Jermall Charlo is one of America's biggest talents and the build-up would whet the appetite.

Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder

wilder breazeale

A fight which never got made when the pair held all of the heavyweight titles between them. Deontay Wilder doesn't have many years left in the sport and the biggest bout out there for him is Anthony Joshua.

If AJ loses to Usyk again then this is the most lucrative brawl for him outside of facing Fury.

Read more: 2021 FOTY - Usyk, Canelo, Taylor and Fury to battle it out for top prize

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