Boxing in 2023: How the sport can rebound from a disappointing end to

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Over the summer, it appeared that the 2022 boxing calendar would close with a bang. Instead, the year will end with a fizzle after big fights fell through and less appealing clashes took their place.

Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk were expected to come together and crown the first four-belt, undisputed heavyweight champion. Instead, Fury pursued a fight with Anthony Joshua, whom Usyk had just beat twice. And when that fell apart, Fury turned his attention to Derek Chisora, whom Fury already owns two wins over and a fight few have interest in seeing again.

Similarly, dreams of an undisputed championship clash between welterweight titleholders Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr. fell apart at the negotiating table, leaving Crawford against David Avanesyan on upstart streaming service BLK Prime in its wake. And Spence still without an opponent.

There was also hope that the end of the year would include Ryan Garcia and Gervonta “Tank” Davis in a battle of rising superstars. While it won’t happen this year, the two parties seem to have ironed out what tends to be a difficult web to make a highly-anticipated fight in 2023. 

There’s still one battle to crown an undisputed champion on the calendar, with Naoya Inoue taking on Paul Butler for all four world titles at bantamweight on Dec. 13. Also, it should be said that Crawford vs. Avanesyan is a good fight, it’s just not a fight anyone was clamoring for.

The sport has been on a good track over the past few years, with the pandemic seemingly helping to change the way fighters and promoters approached the sport, understanding the need for bigger, better fights more often to capture attention. Fans are now left to hope that backward steps are taken that see more and more fights fall apart due to “the business of boxing.”

With 2023 inching ever closer, boxing remains in a position to deliver the kind of fights fans demand and that will help the…

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