Boxing 2022: Five burning questions surrounding the sport’s biggest stars are entering a new year

The sport of boxing is poised to continue building its enormous momentum into 2021 with many stars hoping to head to head. Last year gave us some of the wildest moments of the new millennium while setting the stage for some young stars to really take off in 2022. Plus, the Paul brothers continue to be a force. quantity worth watching as they develop the sport. attention shaft and bridge.

With so many to choose from, the writers at CBS Sports have taken it upon themselves to answer some of the biggest questions at the moment as a new 12 months of fighting kicks off this weekend.

Now let’s dive into the questions and predictions from “Morning Kombat” host Brian Campbell as well as staff writer Brent Brookhouse.

Can’t get enough boxing and MMA? Get the latest in the world of combat sports from two of the best in the business. Sign up for Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for the best analysis and in-depth news.

Which department will surprise the most in 2022?

Campbell: Junior weight category

Although the 140-pound division has consistently featured world-class fighters in recent years, from Terence Crawford’s run to undisputed championships to dueling dynasties. Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez’s couple, culminating in their unification in 2021, it’s been a while since the split is considered deep. Former unified champion Danny Garcia’s move to welterweight in 2015 has seen the majority of big names pursue him with as high as 147 pounds. But the recent tease of former lightweight Teofimo Lopez Jr.’s interest in pursuing Taylor’s four-belt reign will be an important addition to the top of the ladder in junior weight and could create its own ripple effect. Ramirez will kick off a year of trying to recover from the first defeat to Jorge Pedraza while the likes of Regis Prograis, Jose Zepeda and Viktor Postol add considerable depth. But if Lopez is followed by any young underweight who looks ready to break through, including Gervonta Davis, there could be enough big business at £140 by 2022 for even the fans to Ordinary graves must also pay attention.

Brookhouse: Lightweight (but for all the wrong reasons)

While there’s still plenty of reason to be excited about boxing’s 135-pound division with all the young talent available, 2022 could very well be another year in which Gervonta Davis, Ryan Garcia and Devin Haney can’t go head to head. together. Teofimo Lopez looks like his time in lightweight is over after losing to George Kambosos and it’s unlikely any lightweights will kick him up a division without a title on the net. That leaves everyone chasing after Kambosos, who absolutely deserves the spotlight, but any two boxers who lose the Kambosos sweepstakes won’t be able to step foot into the ring together. Add Vasiliy Lomachenko – who is also on the hunt for the Kambosos fight – and you have another star on the team that might not be up against those young stars. There is still a lot of talent in the division and they can all take part in the fascinating battles. Those wars are not likely to go against each other.

Who is Jake Paul’s logical opponent in 2022?

Campbell: Everyone from Paul to MMA fans will likely be interested in some kind of cross-boxing bout between him and any of the UFC stars, including Conor McGregor, Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal. But controlling president Dana White currently has a contract with UFC fighters that will likely prevent that scenario from happening any time soon. As a result, Paul could benefit from a bit of legitimacy when fighting a “real” boxer. His recent flirting with the idea of ​​going up against former middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr was a smart move, especially if the boxing legend’s 35-year-old son continues to falter with 4 losing in the last 7 matches and almost unforgivable. unprofessional when fighting becomes difficult. That’s right, Chavez just lost to 46-year-old former MMA star Anderson Silva last year in a legal boxing match. But the fight will still earn Paul some respect if he passes the potentially dangerous test while also being the perfect setup for a market war against Silva, if he wins, year end.

Brookhouse: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Still the best option. He’s a former world champion and a “true boxer,” two things that all Paul doubters ask him to address. Many have even suggested that Paul simply face a fighter 5-0 to tick the box “just fight a real fighter”. Of course, those milestones will move every Paul fight until his inevitable death or retirement. That’s right, Chavez lost to Anderson Silva in his most recent bout, a combination of Chavez being one of the great boxing idiots of this era and Silva putting in a ridiculous performance. . Still, does Paul enter the ring with a former champion and a man holding 53 wins against “real boxers”? That would be a feather on Paul’s hat that would be hard to shake off for a 5-0 Youtuber.

Who ended the year in light form?

Campbell: Devin Haney

With boxing networks and political divisions, making it harder to go head-to-head with each other than the luxury expected, it’s hard to gauge which bout might actually be made. If this were a round-robin tournament, it would be difficult to count former king Vasiliy Lomachenko or a dangerous rising star like Gervonta Davis. But as newly crowned champion George Kambosos Jr continues to negotiate a financial reward for being disappointed with Teofimo Lopez Jr. in 2021, it looks like undefeated WBC champion Devin Haney is all about hitting a fight. Haney will likely be favored over Kambosos, even if the fight takes place in the Australian champion’s backyard. And with the mandatory responsibility of an undisputed champion, Haney is likely to leave in 2022 as the new face of the league.

Brookhouse: Vasiliy Lomachenko

As I stated in our boxing predictions, I believe Vasiliy Lomachenko will end the year holding three of the four belts of the tournament, with Devin Haney remaining the WBC champion. Lomachenko might be the easiest man to get George Kambosos’ men to deal with, especially if Kambosos is adamant with the men coming to Australia to fight him. Gervonta Davis will be content to keep fighting for minor titles – while everyone around him pretends they are world champions – and Ryan Garcia seems unlikely to return to the ring. That makes Haney and Lomachenko the most likely options for Kambosos. Any man entering the fight will take precedence over the champion. It also has to be considered that Kambosos is left at the top of the tournament, both because he has proven he can beat the “adults” and because his inability to see the political game of boxing allows him to defend. Forcing one lower – the opponent over or two just because the sport likes to shoot himself in the foot.

Who finished the year at the top of the welterweight division?

Campbell: Terence Crawford

Will this be the last year we get the Errol Spence Jr.-Terence Crawford super fight to determine the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao era at 147 pounds? If Crawford, a promotional free agent, signs up with PBC, that seems more likely. Spence will have to get past WBA champion Yordenis Ugas first in their unification targeted for April, but the winner of the Spence-Crawford fight is just before its bright potential hits the point. expired because of age and injury, the winner will be the new legitimate king. In the past, both boxers have had their public favorite moments to win the much-hyped bout. Spence, however, seems to have more questions to answer due to his physical obstacles in recent years, including surgery in 2021 on a detached retina. Crawford, who turns 35 in September, isn’t any younger, but he proved in his first first class test so far against Shawn Porter last year that he is favorite at the moment.

Brookhouse: Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford

Is that cheating? Crawford vs. Spence is the “must do” match in the league, as it has been for years. With Crawford out of the Top Rated camp, the fight is easier to do now than it was before. Even so, there are still enough other names in the group for the two to face as they continue to find reasons not to enter the ring together. The two will win their matches for the year but will not face each other, leaving the question of who is really the king of the weight division still being raised.

Who is the breakout star of 2022?

Campbell: Tim Tszyu coming soon and the rest of the £154 division needs attention. Hall-of-Famer’s son Kostya Tszyu has overcome every hurdle placed before him over the past two years at domestic level in his native Australia, including injury-time wins over Jeff Horn and Dennis. Hogan. It’s time for the 27-year-old to bring his talents to America’s biggest stage, where a host of names, both coming and going, await him. Tszyu is a confident fighter with a poise that seems to have surpassed his years. He’s also a brutal body puncher and seems poised to potentially turn his own body part over the next 12 months.

Brookhouse: Subriel Matias got the chance to continue his redemption story on January 22 when he rematched Petros Ananyan on Showtime. Ananyan upset Matias in February 2020. While the results were a bit shocking, it was somewhat understandable. The first fight with Ananyan took place in a fight after Maxim Dadashev tragically died after a TKO loss to Matias. Matias appeared to have headed straight after the loss to Ananyan with a pair of overwhelming wins over prospects Malik Hawkins and Batyrzhan Jukembayev. Matias has a fan-friendly style, and the base weight class is an attractive division with many close matches. Between a TV saga of tragedy and redemption, a pleasing style, and a split where there are big battles in his future, 2022 could be a big year for Matias . Boxing 2022: Five burning questions surrounding the sport’s biggest stars are entering a new year

Dustin Huang

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