Canelo, Usyk, Joshua all make the list
Maybe not quite as we know it but after the longest of Winters, we're finally on the verge of seeing boxing return. The month of February kicks a stuttering 2021 into gear with action on both sides of the pond to look forward to.
With fighters like Josh Warrington almost guaranteed to bring the excitement and narratives, and Canelo looking to bring explosive action there is already much for the boxing media to chew over.
There's more though. With action comes storyline. With storyline comes imagination. Who fights who next? Who wins this potential matchup or is that divisions real King or Queen?
The rumours are out in force, here are some of the best.
Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez v Billy Joe Saunders
Saul Alvarez is a man on a mission. Callum Smith is probably still on 2 paracetamol twice a day following one of the most dominant performances in recent memory, while tickets are already on sale for Canelo's next fight - a mandatory against former Chris Eubank Jr victim Avni Yildrim - there is little time being wasted. The cat briefly stuck it's head out the bag pre pandemic about a fight with Billy Joe Saunders, several sources believe it will be announced more formally should everything go to plan on Feb 27th.
Adrien Broner v Jovanie Santiago
The first Broner fight since Pacquiao Jan 2019, light heartedly referred to as 'The Billion Dollar Problem'. Rewind the clock a few years and Adrien Broner is the protege of the great Floyd Mayweather, the man to take the mantle, to throw money around, to hit and not get hit. Ever since Marcos Maidana solved 'The Problem', Broner's career has been a turbulent one. High profile losses to Mikey Garcia, Shawn Porter and the aforementioned Manny Pacquiao along with reported issues outside the ring, have seen Broner 'almost' (key word) head into obscurity.
A resurgence on social media has shown a different side to AB, a determination. It seems we're due a fight announcement and this is potentially the one as Broner looks to climb back to the top of the mountain.
Josh Taylor v Jose Ramirez
The long awaited, mouthwatering clash. Since winning the World Boxing Super Series, Josh Taylor is a major name on the scene. Criminally left out of pound for pound lists, the Scotsman went about his business, dispatching his last victim inside a round.
Destined for future huge fights, Taylor looks like he could move up in weight and follow footsteps of greats before him, setting up mega clashes with some of the current stars of the sport. To do that, he'll have to get past one of the biggest tests in world boxing at the moment. Jose Ramirez, some are tipping to derial Taylor.
Popcorn ready for this one.
Oleksandr Usyk v Joe Joyce
Another fan friendly fight that certainly would have major implications on the heavyweight scene, but you have to say a very generous offering if true from Oleksandr Usyk.
As with Taylor above, Usyk claimed the WBSS tournament, the first ever one in fact to be presented with the Muhammad Ali Trophy. Subsequently Usyk retired Tony Bellew in devestating fashion before a less than convincing introduction to the heavyweight scene.
There is huge respect for Usyk, no doubting his ability, but the demolition of Bellew wasn't replicated in either of his first two tests, and now in Joyce there is a high risk low reward situation.
Usyk is mandatory for the WBO title, we know this story inside out now, currently held by Anthony Joshua, who is chasing a fight for all the marbles with Tyson Fury.
After upsetting many bookmakers with an utterly brilliant dismantling of Daniel Dubois, Joyce is next in the WBO queue, and could leapfrog Usyk if he were to beat him. The two have met before before they steped into the pro game, and both will have reason to believe they can win - but Joyce has significantly more to gain here.
Many say he's cumbersome, boring and lacks style, making him easy pickings for Usyk - give the guy some credit, he's a lot more than that.
The fans win in this one, whoevers hand is raised has a significant pile of chips on their table, but the loser has a lot to lose - will be interesting to see if it happens.
Anthony Joshua v Tyson Fury
A little known rumour is that Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury may have held prelimanary talks - or rather their camps have.
Noteable other fights to keep an eye out for, Liam Williams v Demetrius Andrade, Chris Eubank Jr v Kell Brook and Joe Parker v Derek Chisora.
Come on 2021, we're ready!