Ten Boxing Bouts to Look Forward to in 2021

Ten Boxing Bouts to Look Forward to in 2021

Combat

Ten Boxing Bouts to Look Forward to in 2021

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When: January 14
Who: OPBF Bantamweight Championship: Keita Kurihara (c) (15-5) vs. Takuma Inoue (13-1)
Why: We are in the golden age of Japanese boxing, and the Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation is a launching pad for future world champions. Kurihara has his work cut out for him, defending his strap against a former interim world champion and current top-10 bantamweight in Inoue.

 

When: January 16
Who: WBC/IBF/Vacant IBO World Female Minimumweight Championships: Tina Rupprecht (c) (10-0-1) vs. Yokasta Valle (c) (20-2)
Why: Title vs. Title for the undisputed best female strawweight in the world in a 2018 rematch that Rupprecht won, but this time, Valle is in her home country.

 

When: January 30
Who: IBF World Super Middleweight Championship: Caleb Plant (c) (20-0) vs. Caleb Truax (31-4-2)
Why: Fan Favorite DeGale picked up one of the biggest upsets of the decade when he defeated James DeGale in 2018 for the IBF Super Middleweight strap, and now, at 37, the likeable Minnesotan hopes to see lightning strike twice.

 

When: January 30
Who: Light Heavyweight Bout: Bektemir Melikuziev (6-0) vs. Sergey Kovalev (34-4-1)
Why: That is QUITE the step-up for a fighter on his seventh professional fight, even as an Olympic silver medalist.

 

When: February 13
Who: Vacant WBO World Light Heavyweight Championship: Joe Smith Jr. (26-3) vs. Maxim Vlasov (45-3)
Why: After 71 combined wins, one of these two men will finally be a world champion. You know, barring a draw, or no-contest. Which is definitely happening now that I jinxed it.

 

When: February 13
Who: WBO World Junior Middleweight Championship: Patrick Teixeira (c) (31-1) vs. Brian Castano (16-0-1)
Why: Castano is a former world champion at 154lbs who relinquished his WBA title over contractual disputes, so he has a chance to become a two-time champion after winning a secondary WBO title.

 

When: February 13
Who: IBF World Junior Lightweight Championship: Joseph Diaz (c) (31-1) vs. Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov (15-0)
Why: Rakhimov, the longtime IBO champ at 130lbs, heads to the Western Hemisphere for the first time to challenge for real world gold.

 

When: February 20
Who: WBO World Junior Lightweight Championship: Miguel Berchelt (c) (37-1) vs. Oscar Valdez (28-0)
Why: Two top-5 130lbers in their primes that aren’t afraid to absolutely let their hands go.

 

When: February 27
Who: Heavyweight Bout: Joseph Parker (27-2) vs. Junior Fa (19-0)
Why: Parker needs to climb back towards another world title shot, and Fa, who is currently the WBO Oriental champion, this would be the biggest win of his career.

 

When: March 13
Who: WBC/WBA Super World Junior Bantamweight Championships: Juan Francisco Estrada (c) (41-3) vs. Roman Gonzalez (c) (50-2)
Why: A rematch over eight years in the making to unify two belts in the fantastic super flyweight division.

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